Colonial Revival Architecture

By Brad Litz
Real Estate Developer, Broker & Appraiser
Meridian-Kessler Resident

Continuing the journey through architectural styles brings us to the Colonial Revival. According to the Washington Township Interim Report, there are nearly 1,200 examples of Colonial Revival in Washington Township, making it the most popular style. There are many variations that relate to this style of architecture including the charming Cape Cod and its often mistakenly identified relative, the Williamsburg.

The Revival portion of the title is particularly interesting as it was actually revived around the American Centennial in 1876 as most things American, including colonial American architecture, had newfound fame. The revival of this style has lasted from the late 19th Century and is still popular through the start of the 21st Century, meaning it has outlasted its origins from the late 18th century.

The first example that I would like to touch on is the Cape Cod, which is named after its Massachusetts heritage. Some of the defining characteristics include 1-story design, a side gabled roof, central chimney and the 6 over 6 window grid pattern. Many have a central entry and have brick, clapboard or wood shingle siding. This particular colonial home had its most popular period from 1930 to 1940 as it was inexpensive to build and had a simple, yet functional floor plan.

Next up is the Williamsburg, which is often confused for its relative, the Cape Cod. A Williamsburg is most recognizable by its two (or sometimes more) gabled dormers and always features a central entry. The most fun fact relating to this style is that it became popular during the rehabilitation of Colonial Williamsburg by J.D. Rockefeller, which garnered much public attention and affection for the period. This style allows for a more second floor space than the Cape Cod without needing more land due to its steeper roof pitch and dormered façade.

So, my research on Colonial Revival architecture didn’t provide the craziness as I eluded to last month, but it provided much insight to this popular style. The homes fit so well in our neighborhoods and are much beloved. Any suggestions for next time? Queen Anne, Craftsman? I’m all ears and happy to research and share.