What do you know about US Architecture?

Seattle, Wa  2.12.2018

Denise Owen 

Successful Agents know how to "Talk the Talk" when discussing homes with clients. What is interesting however is that in working with some agents a gap has presented itself in terms of home and furniture styles. People know what they like but don't always know what it is called. Hence, I created a small piece that highlights some of the common types of architecture we see predominantly in our lovely little slice of Rain City Pie. 

Seattle is best known for the Craftsman Bungalow but we also have a large number of homes from other architectural design eras - Prairie, American Foursquare, Victorian, Colonial, Mid-Century Modern, Northwest Contemporary, and of course the popular Modern. Let's take a look in more detail on the Craftsman, Prairie, American Four Square, Mid-Century Modern, and Modern styles of homes. 


 CRAFTSMAN STYLE  Craftsman bungalows are now very popular with preservationists and young homeowners wanting to restore a beautiful historic house back to its original splendor. Craftsman architecture was a reaction to the excessive, over-the-top ornamentation of the Victorian era. Dating the Craftsman Bungalow goes back to the Arts & Crafts movement in the 1900-1910. Many historic areas including Queen Anne, West Seattle, and Tacoma's North Slope, Ballard, and Magnolia are full of these beautiful examples of days gone by.   When talking specifically about the actual design of Craftsman-style houses in the United States, the most common architectural details were inspired primarily by the work of two California architects — brothers Charles and Henry Greene. During the decade of 1900-1910, their architectural firm, Greene and Greene  churned out dozens of landmark Craftsman homes. The Craftsman Bungalow goes back to the Arts & Crafts movement in the 1900-1910. 

CRAFTSMAN STYLE

Craftsman bungalows are now very popular with preservationists and young homeowners wanting to restore a beautiful historic house back to its original splendor. Craftsman architecture was a reaction to the excessive, over-the-top ornamentation of the Victorian era. Dating the Craftsman Bungalow goes back to the Arts & Crafts movement in the 1900-1910. Many historic areas including Queen Anne, West Seattle, and Tacoma's North Slope, Ballard, and Magnolia are full of these beautiful examples of days gone by. 

When talking specifically about the actual design of Craftsman-style houses in the United States, the most common architectural details were inspired primarily by the work of two California architects — brothers Charles and Henry Greene. During the decade of 1900-1910, their architectural firm, Greene and Greene  churned out dozens of landmark Craftsman homes. The Craftsman Bungalow goes back to the Arts & Crafts movement in the 1900-1910. 

 PRAIRIE STYLE  Prairie Style is attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1893, Frank Lloyd Wright founded his architectural practice in Oak Park, a quiet village on the west edges of Chicago. It was at his studio during the 1910's that Wright pioneered this a bold new approach to domestic architecture.   Prairie School style is usually marked by horizontal lines, flat or  hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves. Windows were grouped in horizontal bands. Important elements included integration with the local landscape, solid construction and craftsmanship, minimal use of ornate elements. Popular in the MidWest, close to Wright's ever-popular Architectural firm in West Chicago. (Picture by Eileen Lanza.)    

PRAIRIE STYLE

Prairie Style is attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1893, Frank Lloyd Wright founded his architectural practice in Oak Park, a quiet village on the west edges of Chicago. It was at his studio during the 1910's that Wright pioneered this a bold new approach to domestic architecture. 

Prairie School style is usually marked by horizontal lines, flat or  hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves. Windows were grouped in horizontal bands. Important elements included integration with the local landscape, solid construction and craftsmanship, minimal use of ornate elements. Popular in the MidWest, close to Wright's ever-popular Architectural firm in West Chicago. (Picture by Eileen Lanza.) 

 


 Mid 1890's-1930's - The American Foursquare was plain, often incorporating handcrafted woodwork. This style incorporates elements of the Prairie School  and the Craftsman styles.   Highlights of the style include a square, boxy design, two-and-one-half stories high, usually with four large, boxy rooms to a floor, a center dormer, and a large front porch with wide stairs. The box shape provides maximum interior room space, and incorporates the most square footage and use of small city lots.   The Foursquare was a popular mail-order era style along with the Mid-Century California Bungalow. When one was ordered, it came via train in a boxcar with a book of directions and all the parts pre-cut and numbered for self-assembly.

Mid 1890's-1930's - The American Foursquare was plain, often incorporating handcrafted woodwork. This style incorporates elements of the Prairie School  and the Craftsman styles. 

Highlights of the style include a square, boxy design, two-and-one-half stories high, usually with four large, boxy rooms to a floor, a center dormer, and a large front porch with wide stairs. The box shape provides maximum interior room space, and incorporates the most square footage and use of small city lots. 

The Foursquare was a popular mail-order era style along with the Mid-Century California Bungalow. When one was ordered, it came via train in a boxcar with a book of directions and all the parts pre-cut and numbered for self-assembly.

 Mid-century modern  is a term that describes mid–20th century developments in interior, product, and graphic design, architecture, and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965. Scandinavian architects were very influential at this time, with a style characterized by clean simplicity and integration with nature.   Like many of Wright's designs, Mid-Century architecture was employed with the goal of bringing modernism into America's post-war suburbs. This style emphasized ample windows and open floor plans, opening up interior spaces and bringing the outdoors in. Many Mid-century houses utilized post and beam architectural design that eliminated bulky support walls in favor of walls seemingly made of glass. Function was as important as form.   An emphasis was placed specifically on targeting the needs of the average American family. One of the most famous developers of the MidCentury Ranch Style home was Joseph Eichler . Richler was instrumental in bringing Mid-Century Modern architecture ("Eichler Homes") to subdivisions in the Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay region of  California, and select housing developments on the east coast.

Mid-century modern  is a term that describes mid–20th century developments in interior, product, and graphic design, architecture, and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965. Scandinavian architects were very influential at this time, with a style characterized by clean simplicity and integration with nature. 

Like many of Wright's designs, Mid-Century architecture was employed with the goal of bringing modernism into America's post-war suburbs. This style emphasized ample windows and open floor plans, opening up interior spaces and bringing the outdoors in. Many Mid-century houses utilized post and beam architectural design that eliminated bulky support walls in favor of walls seemingly made of glass. Function was as important as form. 

An emphasis was placed specifically on targeting the needs of the average American family. One of the most famous developers of the MidCentury Ranch Style home was Joseph Eichler . Richler was instrumental in bringing Mid-Century Modern architecture ("Eichler Homes") to subdivisions in the Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay region of  California, and select housing developments on the east coast.

 Modern architecture  or  modernist architecture  is a term applied to a group of styles of  architecture  which emerged in the first half of the 20th century and became dominant after World War II . It was based upon new technologies of construction, particularly the use of glass, steel, and reinforced concrete. This style focuses on the rejection of the traditional. Influential architects at the end of the 20th century are difficult to put into any one category or movement.   The notable end-of-century buildings of Richard Meier, Frank Gehry, and Ludwig Miles van nder Rohe, (shown pictured) are notable architects.

Modern architecture  or  modernist architecture  is a term applied to a group of styles of  architecture  which emerged in the first half of the 20th century and became dominant after World War II . It was based upon new technologies of construction, particularly the use of glass, steel, and reinforced concrete. This style focuses on the rejection of the traditional. Influential architects at the end of the 20th century are difficult to put into any one category or movement. 

The notable end-of-century buildings of Richard Meier, Frank Gehry, and Ludwig Miles van nder Rohe, (shown pictured) are notable architects.