Lesson #1: there are house types; lesson #2: there are also house styles. Here’s house styles in a nutshell.
A few posts back, I explored the differences in types of houses, but not all people are phased by types of houses or what kind of style a house is classified as. For the curious who wonder why things are the way they are, here are some facts about styles of houses. Read about and how they’ve come to be American classics, in particular prominent styles seen in the Upper Peninsula.
Many of these styles were influenced by architecture and design of other cultures and were adopted by the American settlers. Styles not seen frequently in this area are those of Latin decent, (Spanish and Italian villas) as well as the Oriental Japanese style home.
Let’s begin with the chalet, considered both a house type and a house style. This Swiss style home is a personal favorite of mine and one you’ll see plenty of up here in da Yoop! Natural wood with decorative detail creates a lodge-like feel on the chalet. Gaylord, Michigan features plenty of Swiss style chalet architecture in its downtown district referred to as ‘The Alpine Village;’ a quintessential representation of American Swiss architecture at its finest!
Post World War II styles are next on our list. These styles include the A-frame, similar to the chalet, but with a steeper-pitched roof that exposes windows and an entryway, resembling an ‘A.’ The A-frame became a popular vacation house style after the war; suitable for mountainous areas and areas with water. ‘Say yah to da U.P., eh?’ (Buy the famous green bumper sticker here!)
Another very popular post World War II style is the ranch. This style originated in the west, but is now perhaps one of the most popular styles of house around in any region of the country.
Early 20th century American styles.
Some of the early 20th century American styles include, but are not limited to the bungalow style house, the shotgun style house and the foursquare. Most bungalows are now referred to as ranch style houses. This small house is popular in coastal areas. Then there’s the shotgun. This style was prevalent during the turn-of-the-century. The name stems from the idea that if something is shot from the front of the house, it will travel straight through all the way to the back of the house. The foursquare house is a popular ‘basic’ style with a layout that includes four rooms to a floor, in the shape of a square.
Colonial American style homes get their roots from the architectural styles of English homes dating back to the 1600s. Colonists were inspired by styles and design of their native countries, thus introducing these styles to America. Greek and Roman styles were particularly popular amongst the settlers. The Cape Cod colonial is popular amongst homes in this region. The log cabin is yet another fitting style of home for this area.
Don’t forget the victorians.
Lastly, there are historic homes in any neighborhood. Here in Marquette, there are a few glorious victorians. Through their architecture and construction, we can decipher the time periods in which they were built, just by looking at the exterior. These styles are classified as 19th century American and styles in the historic Marquette neighborhood include Queen Anne, American mansard/ second empire and the eastlake style. Another 19th century style is the Roman Tuscan mode and can be seen in/ on many public buildings. One that comes to mind right away is the Braastad-Gossard building in Ishpeming, MI. Check out this previous post, dedicated to this historic building and the story behind it.
Some information courtesy of: Harrison, S. Henry. (1992). Houses: The Illustrated Guide to Construction, Design & Systems, Second Edition. Residential Sales Council of the REALTORS® National Marketing Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®.
Information about Gaylord, MI can be found here.