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Georgian Revival 1895 - 1930

From The Salem Handbook, Historic Salem Incorporated, 1977


Rectangular, strictly symmetrical, balanced facade.


Elaborate fanlights and sidelights. Central bay of facade slightly projected and crowned with pediment. Sometimes the center entrance was framed by a portico with free-standing columns.


Rectangular with double hung sash. Semi-circular, multi-storied bay window features with Paladian window decorative focus.


Hipped, double-pitched, or gambrel roof. Chimneys placed to contribute to overall symmetry. Hipped roof often topped with a flat deck with surrounding balustrade. A central cuppola also sometimes capped the roof.


Executed in brick or wood.


Classical cornice detail.




Colonial Revival: 1880-1955



The Philadelphia Centennial of 1876 is usually credited as the starting point for a rebirth of interest in the colonial architectural heritage of this country and the early English and Dutch houses of the Atlantic seaboard. It is not surprising that in celebrating one hundred years as an independent nation Americans proudly looked to the past for inspiration. The increasing popularity of colonial influences on contemporary architecture motivated a highly publicized tour of a group of architects in 1877 who observed and recorded Georgian and Federal houses of New England. These men would go on to form the well-known firm of McKim, Mead & White a year later. It was also this trip that influenced the first two landmark examples of the Colonial Revival style designed by the firm: the Appleton House in Lenox, Massachusetts, and the HAC Taylor House in Newport, Rhode Island. The simplicity of colonial designs and honest use of materials with more economical plans than the recently popular Picturesque homes also contributed to the growing popularity of the style. Even a century after “modern” architecture was introduced, Colonial Revival motifs continue to be popular in new construction.


Early Colonial Revival examples were rarely historically accurate, with exaggerated forms and elements which took inspiration from the details of colonial precedents. Georgian and Federal examples had the largest influence on the revival with elements such as colonial door surrounds, multi-pane sash windows, and cornice dentils on a symmetrical façade. Secondary influences came from First Period Post-Medieval English and Dutch Colonial examples, evident in gambrel-roofed examples or later Colonial Revival examples with second-story overhangs. More researched and accurate examples appeared between 1915 and 1935, aided by the publication of a large number of books and periodicals on the subject of colonial architecture. However, the economic depression of the 1930s followed by the Second World War led to a simplification of the style in later examples with stylized door surrounds, cornices, or windows merely suggesting a colonial precedent.


Geographic Range: Domestic construction during the first half of the twentieth century was dominated by Colonial Revival examples in a multitude of various sub-types. Well-suited for domestic architecture, examples can be found throughout the country.


Typical Features:


  • Accentuated front door with decorative pediment supported by pilasters or extended forward and supported by slender columns to form entry porch

  • Fanlights and sidelights common; Palladian windows common

  • Façade symmetry; centered door; aligned windows

  • Double-hung sash windows usually with multi-pane glazing; frequently in adjacent pairs; multi-pane upper sash with single pane lower sash and bay windows (not historically accurate) were popular

  • One-story wings, usually with a flat roof and commonly embellished with a balustrade

  • Broken pediments, rare on original colonial structures popular in Colonial Revival examples

  • Door surrounds tend to be shallow (less deep) than originals and exhibit machine-planed smoothness

  • Dormers, often with exaggerated, eclectic pediments

  • Masonry cladding grew in popularity as technology for using brick or stone veneer improved after 1920

  • Gable, Hipped, or Gambrel roofs

  • Details tend to be exaggerated with larger proportions than original elements

  • Details from two or more types of Colonial styles often combined so pure replicas of a particular style are far less common than eclectic mixtures

  • Interior floor plans are not symmetrical and are more open than historic examples




Stick Style: 1860-1890


The Stick style is often considered to be a transitional style, linking the preceding Gothic Revival with the subsequent Queen Anne. All three were inspired by the building traditions of Medieval English half-timbered construction with its visible structural elements, steeply pitched roofs and projecting gables. Unlike Gothic Revival, the Stick style stressed the wall surface itself rather than applying decorative elements merely at windows, doors, and cornices. Various patterns of wood clapboards or board-and-batten siding were applied within square and triangular spaces created by the raised stick work. This detailing was applied to a variety of nineteenth-century building forms, making it the defining element of the style.


The focus on patterned siding is reminiscent of High Victorian Gothic detailing, except that the latter were universally executed in masonry rather than wood. In fact, the Stick style is a celebration of wood construction and in many ways the “structure” as defined by the stick work is the decoration. The undecorated, square-milled lumber gives a precise, geometric quality to Stick-style homes. Advocates additionally promoted the Stick style’s structural "honesty" because the stick work was meant to express the building’s internal structure. However, unlike true half-timbering, stick work was merely applied decoration with no true relation to the underlying balloon-frame construction. During the 1880s the Stick style was rapidly replaced by the related Queen Anne movement which was both more widespread and influential.


Geographic Range:
The Stick style was less common than the contemporary Italianate or Second Empire styles. Examples survive primarily in the northeastern United States and date from the 1860s and '70s. It is likely that many original examples are now obscured, as their characteristic wall patterns and detailing, susceptible to deterioration, have been removed rather than repaired or replaced.


Typical Features:


  • Asymmetrical two or three-storied form with emphasis on vertical

  • Complex gable roofs, usually steeply pitched with cross gables and overhanging eaves

  • Decorative trusses at gable ends common

  • Exposed rafter tails

  • Wooden wall cladding (either clapboards or board-and-batten siding) interrupted by patterns of horizontal, vertical, or diagonal boards (stick work) raised from the wall surface for emphasis and meant to represent the underlying framework

  • Extensive porches and verandas; porches plainly trimmed but commonly have diagonal or curved braces

  • Large 1:1 or 2:2 windows; frequently paired; fit within patterns created by stick work

  • Corbeled chimneys

    High-Style Elaborations:


  • Towers and projecting pavilions with decorative trusses and stick work

  • Jerkin-head gables

  • The style sought to bring a translation of the balloon framing that had risen in popularity during the middle of the century, by alluding to them through plain trim boards, soffits, aprons, and other decorative features. Stick-style architecture is recognizable by the relatively plain layout often accented with trusses on the gables or decorative shingles.

  • The style was commonly used in houses, train stations, life-saving stations, and other buildings from the era.

  • The Stick style did have several characteristics in common with the later Queen Anne style: interpenetrating roof planes with bold panelled brick chimneys, the wrap-around porch, spindle detailing, the "panelled" sectioning of blank wall, radiating spindle details at the gable peaks. Highly stylized and decorative versions of the Stick style are often referred to as Eastlake.


·         Stick-Eastlake[edit source | editbeta]


  • A Stick-Eastlake–style "cottage", built in Eureka, California.

  • Stick-Eastlake is a style term that uses details from the Eastlake Movement of decorative arts on Stick-style buildings . The style is named for Charles Eastlake. It is sometimes referred to as Victorian Stick, a variation of Stick and Eastlake styles. Stick-Eastlake enjoyed modest popularity in the late 19th century, but there are relatively few surviving examples of the style when compared to other more popular styles of Victorian architecture.


Stick style, Style of residential design popular in the U.S. in the 1860s and ’70s, a precursor to the Shingle style. The Stick style favoured an imitation half-timbered effect, with boards attached to the exterior walls in grids suggestive of the underlying frame construction. Other characteristic features included attached open stickwork verandas, projecting square bays, steeply pitched roofs, and overhanging eaves. Angular and vertical elements were emphasized. Though associated with Carpenter Gothic, the Stick style made less use of gingerbread. The style also marked the beginning of greater openness of the floor plan. Charles S. and Henry M. Greene succeeded admirably in reinterpreting the style in the early 20th century. (Encyclopedia Britannica)


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