Architecture is not revolution, but evolution. When in the fifth century Romans left Britain, their villas, well-planned cities and British culture in common were dived into Dark Ages. Norman conquerors brought the light back and played an important role in the comeback of British culture.
The architecture of the USA as the former British colony often picks us traits of English one. The article tells about a history of architecture in America since the 1600s to 1950s and what styles were influenced by colonists. You can also order another interesting article or an assay on FreelanceHouse.
Post-Medieval English architecture: 1600-1700
The first patterns were built by first European colonists and took some features from European building traditions. We can say they have no style yet and were not planned by architects. But they have some similarities in appearances. They differ in using building materials depending on the region and climate. In New England wattle and daub made of clay, wet soil, straw and animal dung were used. Here the buildings of this period were two-storied with an inclined roof so that to withstand the weight of snow. The fireplace in the center was standard because of cold New England winters. Nowadays original houses almost disappeared and were replaced by modern reconstructions.
Mostly the structures of this period were located in the places which had been settled down by 1700 such as Connecticut and Massachusetts.
• Inclined roof.
• Using chimney as a standard.
• Small windows.
• Asymmetrical door and window openings
• Houses of one room.
• Staircases around chimney.
The Georgian style originates from Italian Renaissance and is based on principles of classical architecture. The symmetry of Roman buildings inspired English architects and later were brought to colonies. The architectural style takes its name from English king George. The houses characterized with symmetry, centered front side and counted two stories with a center-passage floor plan. Later upper colonial classes started to imitate the European gentility by sustaining codes of behavior, speech and dress. Georgian architectural patterns were mostly concentrated along the eastern Atlantic coast in communities that didn’t grow up actively.
• Symmetry and centered facade.
• Side-gabled hipped roof with a gambrel.
• Raised foundation.
• Decorated paneled front doors.
• Center or paired chimneys.
• Ornamented high ceilings
Queen Anne: 1880-1910
The style of Queen Anne epoch can be defined difficultly, and counts a variety of elements from other traditions. The features of Queen Anne style are half-timbering and asymmetrical forms. The first houses were planned inspired by Elizabethan cottages. The followers of the style appealed to a simple life in the rural area and were against urbanization and industrialization.
The style was becoming popular with the advancing the building technologies. Originally the houses had to be made of bricks but the materials were replaced and local decoration was added. So mostly wood was used and houses were decorated with towers, bays, multiple wall textures. Several windows gave the view of Tudor designs. There are some stone buildings and they can be found in urban areas. Queen Anne homes were located mostly in the southern part of the country.
• Asymmetrical two and three-storied buildings.
• Projecting upper floors.
• Bay windows.
• Irregular floor plans.
• Large 1:1 windows.
• Rich, bold paint color schemes
Colonial Revival: 1880-1955
1876 is considered as a point of renewing the interest to Britain architecture. The popularity of colonial influence on the architecture increased and McKim, Mead & White was created. This firm designed several famous buildings in colonial style. The style required fewer materials and was really simple what grew its popularity more and more.
Early Colonial Revival patterns were historically inaccurate, with overstated elements and forms. Other styles had some influence into it, for example, indoor surrounds, windows, façade, and roofs. Researchers made colonial architecture more accurate. The depression in the 1930s and then World War II simplified the style.
Colonial style were spread all over the country and was followed by various sub-types.
• Front door decorated by pilasters and supported by columns to form a perron.
• Façade symmetry, aligned windows, centered door.
• One-story flat-roofed wings.
• Broken frontons, rarely originally used.
• Dormer windows with extensive frontons.
• Gambrel, hipped, gable roofs.
• Asymmetrical and more open than historic examples interior floor plans.
These styles of United Kingdom architecture influenced the architecture in America the most. In the 20st century, with a rapid growth of urban areas and developing technologies, the new styles and technologies appeared but trends passed Britain by.