Often found along Main Street in many small American towns, Colonial homes evoke a sense of Americana like apple pie and hot dogs on the Fourth of July.
The name “Colonial” derives, of course, from the architectural styles and building techniques brought to the New World from Europe by the colonists. Designs varied by colonized area, with pockets of Dutch, French, and Spanish stylings concentrated throughout America. The predominant style most associated with the founding fathers and the birth of the United States, however, is linked to the most recent of New World colonizers, the British.
Homes and structures built throughout the prosperous English colonies along the Eastern Seaboard borrowed directly from the Renaissance-inspired Georgian Style popular in England in the 18th century when the 13 colonies were settled. Following the American Revolution, the style shifted slightly to the closely related Adam Style, which remained in vogue for several decades following the end of British rule in America.
Between 1880 and 1900, there was a resurgence of interest in the original styles, and the Colonial Revival movement became quite popular nationwide. This reawakening of interest can be traced back to the Philadelphia Centennial of 1876, which stirred an appreciation of America’s architectural heritage from revolutionary times in the original colonies.
A common uniting factor of the New England Colonial home is a prominently featured front door, often accentuated in some way with a decorative crown—or pediment—supported by pilasters. This statement-making front entry may also be projected forward to create an entry porch supported by slender columns. Typically, the entrance is positioned at the center of the home, with a symmetrical facade extending to either side.
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