American House

American home style

The styles covered in this directory are buildings designed and built from 1900 to about 1960.

This period is rich in style and texture as architects looked to the future with design innovations that were optimistic and influenced by international trends. At the same time, they continued to draw inspiration from the past and those traditional American styles that had become established in various regions.

From the International, Art Deco, and Moderne styles with their cosmopolitan flair and Bauhaus roots to the traditional Colonial Revival styles in its various guises, American architecture had something for everyone.

During this period, architects and builders frequently borrowed stylistic elements from various periods. In some respects it’s difficult to assign many homes any single style. As a result, all this stylistic freewheeling is accurately called American Eclectic.



American architecture

American House Styles The New American house plan embodies expansive space and style. A reflection of American affluence and desire for elbow room, the New American home is big, inside and out. New American style is a melting pot of architectural traditions, borrowing the asymmetrical massing of European country cottages and Victorian-era designs, and applying the formal architectural flourishes of Colonial and Neoclassical styles for a uniquely American home design.
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Inside, the New American house plan is all about uninterrupted flow. The open floor plan concept is much in evidence, with integrated gathering areas and kitchens for effortless entertaining.







Master suites are designed to cater to the needs of couples, with his and hers closets and spacious bathrooms with dual vanities, soaking tubs, and walk-in showers. Plenty of bedrooms house children and guests, and there’s always a den, bonus space for family activities.
Architectural features:
• Massive two-story asymmetrical façade, often faced in mixed materials
• Complex roof featuring multiple elements at varying heights
• Oversized windows let light stream into interior space
• Large interior rooms often feature vaulted or cathedral ceilings.
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Exterior styles are a product of deeper cultural values that represent a particular place and time.
Styles are somewhat analogous to clothing fads, which can come and go, and sometimes return. Back when the spread of cultural ideas and fashions across the country was slower, certain architectural styles remained in vogue for multiple decades or longer, and often revealed a distinctly regional identity. By the Victorian Era of the mid-to-late nineteenth century, multiple styles became simultaneously popular and readily available throughout the United States, ushering in what historians refer to as the “Eclectic Era” of architecture, when Americans had their choice of numerous modern or revival styles. This co-existing fascination with so-called

“period styles” and early modernism continued unabated until the Great Depression. Relatively little building construction took place between 1929 and 1945. Not until after World War II did America see another national building boom, by which time automobile suburbs, modern-era housing and office towers were the rule. America’s modern era of functionalism and a general aversion to historic references dominated the built environment from the 1940s through the 1980s.
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The familiar “glass box” office tower and ubiquitous suburban ranch house are still powerful symbols of this anti-stylistic era when “form followed function”. Changes were brewing by the 1970s, however, leading America to react against modern architecture and planning practices. Historic styles became gradually popular once again, coinciding with the now-booming historic preservation movement. Colonial Revival elements adorned otherwise modern ranch houses, and by the 1990s a vague “postmodern era” was in full swing.








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Post modern architecture is generally characterized by an unrelated and exaggerated use of historical styles, or imitatated reproductions of older buildings. The current rise of postmodern historicism has coincided with a revived interest in traditional town planning practices known as “neotraditional” development, or more generally, the New Urbanism.
A return to city centers in high-rise, mixed-used lofts and condos is now occuring, and hundreds of neotraditional neighborhoods are under construction or are already completed, with designs that variously emphasize walking, mass transit, mixed uses, community livability, public space, and — hopefully — affordability.