Land of the Brave

Colonial Houses

Colonial America - Land of the Brave

Colonial Houses

This article contains fast facts and information about Colonial Houses during the 1700's. There were many different types, styles and designs if Colonial Houses during the 1700's. Types of houses used by the colonists were dictated by wealth and the availability of natural resources to use as materials to build Colonial Houses. The first colonists needed to build houses as quickly as possible to provide shelter from the elements. Timber was in ready supply and simple log cabins were built. As people acquired wealth the elegant mansions sprang up in the towns and also in the great Southern plantations.

Colonial Houses - Town Houses, Farmhouses and Mansions
The Colonial Houses varied according to the regions in which each of the colonies were located. In New England great industries and town life developed leading to the development of town houses. In the Middle Colonies farming communities were established and farmhouses were built. The economy of the Southern Colonies were largely based on plantations and their wealthy owners built opulent mansions.

Types of Colonial Houses
The different styles, architecture and types of American colonial Houses that were built during the 18th century in North America are described as:

  • Georgian Colonial Houses (1700 c.1780): Classical influences from ancient Rome and Greece. Symmetrical, proportioned with imposing grandeur
  • Federal-style architecture: Colonial Georgian architecture blended with the neo-Palladian style to add curved lines and decorative flourishes to Georgian houses
  • German Colonial: Found in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland often featuring wishbone-shaped chimneys, Exposed half-timbering and stone arches
  • New England Colonial: Symmetrical wooden houses covered in shingles or clapboard. Often featured a front door in the center of the house, and a large central chimney for fireplaces in each room
  • Spanish Colonial: Two stories, whitewashed houses, often featuring porches
  • French Colonial: Featured double-louvre doors, dormers and shutters
  • Dutch Colonial: Feature gables on the end walls
  • Farmhouses: One or two stories with three of four rooms around a central chimney
  • Hall and parlor houses (1620-1860): House with two rooms downstairs with interconnecting doors
  • Log Cabins (1600-1800's): Simple one room houses built from logs
  • The I-house: Features gables to the side, at least 2 rooms in length, one room deep, and two full stories in height
  • Row Houses - rows of terraced houses built in brick in Colonial times, such as in Philadelphia. In New York and Boston rowhouses are called "Brownstones" and are typically multiple stories
  • Saltbox Houses - featuring a long, pitched roof that slopes down to the back

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Updated 2018-01-01

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