Some of the first houses built in the United States were Cape Cods. The original colonial Cape Cod homes were shingle-sided, one-story cottages with no dormers. During the mid-20th century, the small, uncomplicated Cape Cod shape became popular in suburban developments. A 20th-century Cape Cod is square or rectangular with one or one-and-a-half stories and steeply pitched, gabled roofs. It may have dormers and shutters. The siding is usually clapboard or brick.
The Creole Cottage, which is mostly found in the South, originated in New Orleans in the 1700s. The homes are distinguished by a front wall that recedes to form a first-story porch and second-story balcony that stretch across the entire front of the structure. Full-length windows open into the balconies, and lacy ironwork characteristically runs across the second-story level. These two- and three-story homes are symmetrical in design with front entrances placed at the center.
“Creole French,” a variation of the basic Creole design, came into vogue in southern states in the 1940s and 1950s.
This American style originated in homes built by German, or “Deutsch” settlers in Pennsylvania as early as the 1600s. A hallmark of the style is a broad gambrel roof with flaring eaves that extend over the porches, creating a barn-like effect. Early homes were a single room, and additions were added to each end, creating a distinctive linear floor plan. End walls are generally of stone, and the chimney is usually located on one or both ends. Double-hung sash windows with outward swinging wood casements, dormers with shed-like overhangs, and a central Dutch double doorway are also common. The double door, which is divided horizontally, was once used to keep livestock out of the home while allowing light and air to filter through the open top. The style enjoyed a revival during the first three decades of the 20th century as the country looked back with nostalgia to its colonial past.
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