Colonial Revival FURNITURE ....... Illustrated Architecture Dictionary ............... Styles of Architecture
Colonial / Colonial Revival Architecture
On this page:
- Neoclassicism - Terminology
- Colonial styles- Pre-Revolutionary War
- Colonial Revival 1870-1920
- Dutch Colonial Revival
- Examples of Colonial Revival Architecture in Buffalo
See also: Colonial Revival FURNITURE
|Literally: "New Classicism."
European and American architecture style inspired by Classical Greek - and especially Roman - ruins.
|Georgian||Four King Georges in England. George III ruled England when Neoclassicism was popular.|
|Georgian Neoclassical||Neoclassicism named after George III in England. Encompasses both Palladian and Adamesque Neoclassical styles.|
|Palladian Neoclassical||Earlier version of European Neoclassicism based on the books of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio who studied Roman ruins in Italy.|
|Adam style/Adamesque||Later version of European Neoclassicism based on Robert's Adam's studies of excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii.|
|Colonial||Styles of architecture during America's colonial period, i.e., before the Revolutionary War. The most prominent style was Georgian because most the colonies were English owned.|
|Federal||The American term for Adamesque after the Revolutionary War. "Federal" is a a patriotic term.|
|Roman Classicism/ / Jeffersonian Classicism / Classic(al) Revival||Neoclassical version inspired by Renaissance-inspired Palladian
Neoclassical style. Thomas Jefferson owned three copies of Palladio's books and used
Palladian ideals in designing Monticello, etc.
This vision of Neoclassicism competed with the simpler Federal style.
|Beaux-Arts Classicism||A very rich, lavish and heavily ornamented classical style taught at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris in the 19th century. Influenced the last phase of Neoclassicism in the United States|
Colonial styles - Pre-Revolutionary War
"Colonial" style in architecture and furniture includes all the styles which existed during the Colonial period of American history. The Colonial period ended once the Colonies declared independence from England.
- Spanish Colonial 1600-1840
- Southern Colonial 1600-1700
- New England Colonial 1600-1700
- Jamestown settlement (1606)
- New England Colonial 1700-1800
- French Colonial 1700-1830
- Dutch Colonial 1700-1830
Colonial furniture styles, of course, corresponded to the architectural styles.
Colonial Revival 1870-1920
Definition: The reuse of Colonial design in the US toward the end of the 19th and into the 20th century, typically in bank buildings, churches and suburban homes.
This architectural style is considered a Victorian era style because, like the British Victorians, reaction to the Industrial Revolution led to reexamination of the pre-Industrial Revolution past. A revival of Gothic style architecture was the first manifestation of this romantic portrayal of the past. In the early 20th century, the two dominant styles being built in suburbs were Tudor Revival and Colonial Revival.
Following on the heels of America's Centennial celebrations, the Colonial Revival emerged in the early 1880s. The style, which borrowed heavily from early American architecture - particularly Georgian style buildings - was largely an outgrowth of a new pride in America's past and a rapidly growing Interest in historic preservation. Among the leaders of the movement were the partners at McKim, Mead and White, who had made a tour of New England's historic towns in 1878.
In the early phase, the Colonial Revival style remained the exclusive domain of fashionable architectural firms and was favored for the large residences of wealthy clients.
The Colonial Revival building is often a combination of various Colonial styles and contemporary elements. Generally the Revival house is larger than its Colonial counterpart and some of the individual elements are exaggerated or out of proportion with other parts of the house. Some Revival houses, however, are executed with such historical accuracy that they are difficult to distinguish from original houses.
A subgenre of Colonial Revival is Georgian Revival which looks to the architecture in the New England Colonies from 1600-1700.
See Colonial Revival staircases
Colonial Revival common characteristics:
- Facade: Symmetrical, often with side porches
- Facade: Asymmetrical (not present or were rarely found in their colonial prototypes)
- Classical cornice (common)
- Cornice parapet
- Entry: decorated with
- Entry: Large porches or porticos (Generally not true for Georgian Revival houses.)
- Walls: clapboard
- Walls: Flemish (red) brick
- Captain's walk
- bay window
- symmetrically arrayed windows in the facade, often, adjacent pairs of windows (or three adjacent windows) treated as single architectural unit
- louvered shutters
- straight window heads
- splayed lintels
- Palladian window (not present or were rarely found in their colonial prototypes)
- rectangular sash windows with multiple panes in both the upper and lower sashes
- Classical detailing such as
- Interior: grand staircase (sometimes freestanding)
- Interior: paneled wainscot
- Interior: fireplaces with
The Pioneers: McKim, Mead and White
Excerpted from "American Revivalism," By Donald Albrecht and Thomas Mellins, published in The Magazine Antiques, May/June 2011, p. 99
A major watershed in the evolution of the colonial revival occurred in 1877 when four young architects - Charles Follen McKim, William Rutherford Mead, William Bigelow, and Stanford White - toured New England, sketching and measuring historic, colonial era houses in Marblehaed, Newburyport, and Salem, Massachusetts, as well as in Portsmouth, New Hampshirte. (Even before this joint effort, McKim had visited and sketched colonial buildings for years on his own in Newport, Rhode Island.) In the process, a new direction in American architecture was forged.
The firm of McKim, Mead and White was esablished in New York in 1879, and three years later the architects began to design the H. A. C. Taylor House in Newport. Completed in 1886 the house was a pioneerting example of the colonial revival.
McKim, Mead and White followed this foray into the colonial revival with the Mount Vernon-inspired James L. Bresse House (1906) on Long Island, as well as numerous residences in New York City.
Dutch Colonial Revival 1880-1955
Of the many forms of the Colonial Revival style, the Dutch cottage variant is among the most distinctive. Adapted from eighteenth century farmhouses erected by Dutch settlers, the defining characteristic of the style is a gambrel roof, which was introduced to America by the Dutch in the Mid-Atlantic colonies. The double-pitch of the gambrel roof created more space in the upper story, while allowing for the rapid run-off of rainfall, common to the eastern seaboard.
Dutch Colonial Revival houses are typically a tall one-and-one-half story building with a large flank-gambrel roof containing the second floor and attic. The lower roof slopes at both front and rear are broken by large full-width shed dormers on the second story level; the dormers usually dominate the roof, and the gambrel form is sometimes evident only on the end walls.
Click on illustrations for larger size
1782 Seneca St.
Rockwell Hall, State U. College at Buffalo
Fraternal Lodge 625 / Wood Senior Residence
Bethlehem Steel Management Club / Brierwood Country Club, in Hamburg. 1950s building.
175 Depew Ave.
237 Depew Ave.
260 Depew Ave.
260 Depew Ave.
270 Depew Ave.
25 Colonial Circle
Other Colonial Revival sites on Buffalo Architecture & History website:
- "Identifying American Architecture," by John J.-G Blumenson. New York: Norton. 1981
- "Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture," by Ernest Burden. McGraw-Hill , 1998
- "The Visual Dictionary of American Domestic Architecture," by Rachel Carley. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1994