Primarily Characterized by Gambrel Roofs Having Curved Eaves
This American style originated in homes built by German, or “Deutsch” settlers in
Pennsylvania as early as the 1600s. A hallmark of the style is a broad
gambrel roof with flaring eaves that extend over the porches, creating a barn-like effect. Early
homes were a single room, and additions were added to each end, creating a distinctive linear floor plan. End walls are generally of stone, and the chimney is usually located on one or both ends.
Double-hung sash windows with outward
swinging wood casements, dormers with shed-like overhangs, and a central Dutch double doorway are also common.
One of the most famous houses (shown above) is in this style at 112 Ocean Avenue, which became infamous as the site of the Amityville Horror.
The double door, which is divided horizontally, was once used to keep livestock out of the home while allowing light and air to filter through the open
top. The style enjoyed a revival during the first three decades of the 20th century as the country looked back with nostalgia to its colonial past
Dutch Colonial architecture, primarily characterized by gambrel roofs having curved eaves along the length of the house. Modern versions built in the early 20th century are more accurately referred to as "Dutch Colonial Revival," a subtype of the Colonial Revival style.
The modern use of the term is to indicate a broad gambrel roof with flaring eaves that extend over the long sides, resembling a barn in construction. The early houses built by settlers were often a single room, with additions added to either end (or short side) and very often a porch along both long sides. Typically, walls were made of stone and a chimney was located on one or both ends. Common were double-hung sash windows with outward swinging wood shutters and a central double Dutch door.
Although called "Dutch", this American style of home may have been introduced in colonies with various ethnic backgrounds.
- Settlers of the Dutch colonies in New York, Delaware, New Jersey, and western Connecticut built these homes in ways familiar to the regions of Europe from which they came, like the Low Countries, the Palatine parts of Germany, and Huguenot regions of France. Used for its modern meaning of "gambrel-roofed house", the term does not reflect the fact that housing styles in Dutch-founded communities in New York evolved over time. In the Hudson Valley, for example, the use of brick, or brick and stone is perhaps more characteristic of Dutch Colonial houses than is their use of a gambrel roof. In Albany and Ulster Counties, frame houses were almost unknown before 1776, while in Dutchess and Westchester Counties, the presence of a greater proportion of settlers with English roots popularized more construction of wood-frame houses. After a period of log cabin and bank-dugout construction, the use of the inverted "V" roof shape was common. The gambrel roof was used later, predominantly between 1725 and 1775, although examples can be found from as early as 1705. The general rule before 1776 was to build houses that were only one-and-a-half stories high, except in Albany, where there were a greater proportion of two-story houses. Fine examples of these houses can be found today, like those in the Huguenot Street Historic District of New Paltz, New York.
- However, at least one other source states that this style of home originated with German, or “Deutsch” settlers in Pennsylvania.
- It may be worthwhile to compare the Dutch colonization of the Americas with the history of the Pennsylvania Dutch.
Dutch Colonial Homes in America
considerable book, containing vividly detailed color photographs of Dutch Colonial Style homes, for the most part interiors, providing a glance into the lifestyles of the period. These picturesque restored and preserved residences are a pure delight to see with the ability to linger upon each
inspirational page which show period furnishings, colonial era cooking fireplaces featuring full trappings and, beamed structures and fabrics. The book is truly picturesque which gives me the impression as having way more images than the majority of similar books on the subject.
Revival in the 20th Century
Beginning in the late 19th century, America began to look back romantically upon its colonial roots and the country started reflecting this nostalgia in its architecture. Within this Colonial Revival, one of the more popular designs was a redux of features of the original Dutch Colonial.
Within the context of architectural history, the more modern style is specifically defined as "Dutch Colonial Revival" to distinguish it from the original Dutch Colonial. However, this style was popularly known simply as Dutch Colonial, and this continues to be the case today.
Up and through the 1930s, Dutch Colonials were most popular in the Northeast. While the original design was always reflected, some details were updated such as the primary entryway moving from the end to the long side of the house. The more modern versions also varied a great deal with regard to materials used, architectural details, and size. For example one Dutch Colonial might be a small two-story structure of 1,400 square feet (130 m2) with dormers bearing shed-like overhangs, while another larger example would have three stories and a grand entrance adorned with a transom and sidelights.
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