As we remember those who have served and those who have given their lives for our country this month, we also remember the residential architecture styles they’ve left behind during trying times.
Colonial and Civil War Residential Architecture
Pennsylvania is a very old state, one of the original thirteen colonies of the United States. This means that many of the homes in our are are incredibly old. Everywhere we look we see historic brick and wood homes boasting with beautiful colonial architecture, choppy defined rooms, and possibly rotting wood that needs to be inspected and updated.
These homes have a lot of history and need a delicate, experienced hand to renovate and prevent destruction of beautiful historical details while adding necessary updates such as non-lead or copper plumbing and electrical wiring. Civil War era homes are much the same way, especially if they haven’t been updated in a long time. There’s a good chance your kitchen setup will be rudimentary at best and unless you’re excited to cook in an old wood stove, it’s best to do a full internal renovation.
Victorian and Edwardian Architecture
With urbanization and the industrial revolution came Victorian and Edwardian homes. A trademark of Victorian homes, high ceilings and large windows matched with cramped layouts gave the homes a large perspective for the growing population, which means that an open-concept renovation . These homes began simple in outlook, but quickly became more decorative by the end of the century.
Before World War I, the Edwardian period brought influences from The Arts and Crafts Movement (the source of Craftsman style homes), promoting simpler designs similar to the Georgian era that appreciated quality, handmade details over the opulence of mass-produced Victorian flourishes. The shift to suburbs allowed Edwardian homes to fill out the square footage. These homes are ideal for new open concept floor plans supposing the foundation and weight bearing sections allow it. Since rooms were so blocky and separate, you’ll be able to enjoy open space maximizing your interior square footage without compromising on the historical decorations of the exterior. Thankfully, these homes also had some form of plumbing or electrical preparation that will make some parts of a full renovation easier on your contractors.
Wartime Architecture to Today
In 1917 the United States Government embarked upon an unprecedented experiment- the planning and construction of neighborhoods and housing for American workers and their families. The post World War I housing boom was ambitious, with planned infrastructure developments labeled as worker’s paradise. Within few years 5,033 acres were developed into housing for over 170,000 people, but also creating jobs for the men returned from Europe.
The average home was simple with wooden siding, but included some leftover, evolved details from the Victorian Era. Art Deco was the key style of the era post-war and pre-depression and the jazz age loved stained glass, mosaic, and wood inlay elements that are worth keeping.
Homes built after World War II were dubbed post-war, not to be confused with the post-war homes of World War I. These homes tend to come in certain styles, such as ranch or Cape Cod due to their trademark basic designs. Rooted in American history, you’ve likely learned about these homes in school or seen them around your neighborhood due to their mass produced qualities. They’re more functional than fun, reflecting the mentality of the times. Builders couldn’t build them fast enough, compromising on the previously mentioned artistry and grandeur of houses found during the pre-war period. While the flair may be missing in the post-war home, the craftsmanship isn’t. This means your post-war homes have great homes and are just waiting for a renovation update! Not sure how to renovate your historical home? Bella Casa is here to help!