History of the Colonial Style Home
One of the most popular styles of homes that you will find in Nashville and in Middle Tennessee is the Colonial Style home. In fact, according to “Better Homes and Gardens”, Colonial homes are one of the most common types of homes all across the United States.
Colonial houses stemmed out of the Colonial Period in the 1700’s, and started to flourish in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Evolving from European influences, Colonists settled primarily along the Eastern Seaboard building homes that became known as the Colonial Style. Initially the Colonial began as two-story homes that featured one room on each floor and eventually matured into the “four-over-four”, two-story rooms built with four rooms on each floor of the home.
Regardless of the size of the Colonial home, they are typically symmetrical, or square, featuring a highlighted entry door in the middle of the front of the home. Many styles are very congruent with two or more identical windows on each side of the front door. Other popular characteristics include paired chimneys, a medium pitched roof to provide drainage in heavy weather, and a staircase directly in front of the front door leading up to a hallway that divides both sides of the upstairs level.
The Colonial Style can trace its lineage back from England, from which most of the U.S. Colonists emigrated from. When London burned in 1666, many architects helped in the reconstruction of the city ruins. Popular Italian architects during the Renaissance era, such as Andrea Palladino, influenced British architects such as Christopher Wren who helped with much of London’s reconstruction. The architecture was based partly around Roman and Greek ruins, which can be seen in the geometric proportions and Greek style columns that front Colonial homes.
Colonial architecture flourished in two main regions of the United States: Southern U.S. and New England, and are designated as Southern Colonial and New England Colonial.
As the architecture evolved the two regions started adopting their own distinct differences. In the South, ceilings were built high to allow for ventilation during the hot summer months. In New England, a lot of the homes were built with wood sidings as material was easy to come by. Colonial homes in the state of Virginia (which is part of the New England region) are built with brick as clay was plentiful.
Reference: Antique Home/Better Homes & Gardens
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