The architecture of America is truly a mixture of styles and textures from everywhere around the globe. Perhaps one of the earliest forms is the Colonial style, which was developed during the colonial period of America.
Colonial architecture spanned for about 200 years, starting from 1600 to 1800. It was mainly influenced by European architecture, especially the architectural style of England, which included the original colonial style known as Georgian.
The majority of Georgian architectures were developed out of materials that were most accessible to colonists, including bricks, wood, and stones. They are usually symmetrical, rectangular, and have windows that were either aligned horizontally or vertically.
Moreover, Georgian architecture houses also have one massive chimney in the center of the house or two chimneys located in each end. A significant amount of Georgian colonial architectures were built with white wood trim and brick as well.
The houses built by the first English settlers in America were typically single-room homes that were daub and wattle. These homes usually have wooden frames that are comprised of sticks and holes that were filled with a sticky daub, which are traditionally made of grass, mud, and clay. The roof was also a thatched, which is made from local dried herbs while the widows were filled with paper.
The single-room home also has a fireplace, which is used to keep the house warm during the winter and for cooking. While early settlers did not have a lot of furniture, their homes often feature a small table, chests for clothing storage, and a bench for sitting while the bedroom has a straw mattress on the floor.
As the colonies evolve, landowners in the south started building large farms known as plantations. The houses on estates had several rooms including a separate dining and living rooms. They also had plenty of furniture, fireplaces, and glass windows. In most cases, the architecture of these houses was English, Spanish, French, Mid-Atlantic, Dutch, and German.
The earliest buildings in some areas of America often reflect the architectural traditions of the colonial powers that ruled these regions. Baroque and renaissance styles of Mexico and Spain often reflect in the architecture of California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and Florida. At the same time, Louisiana evokes the architectural style of the French colonial.
More often than not, the French colonial architectural style has double-pitched hipped roofs that are surrounded by galleries or porches to manage the hot summer climate. Besides the French architectural style, the Pueblo design was also one of the most famous architectural styles in the Southwest.
Fun Facts about the Architectural History of Colonial America
- Colonial Georgian buildings were famous during the reign of King George II and King George III. They were usually painted in pale yellow and were based on a classical architecture that dates back to the Italian Renaissance period.
- The German Colonial architecture was initially developed after 1675 in the Delaware River Valley area, which included the city of Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. It was mainly comprised of immigrants from Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Finland, Sweden, and several other Northern European nations.
- The Dutch colonial architecture was established around 1600 following the arrival of Dutch colonists at the Hudson River Valley and Bergen, which are now located in New York and New Jersey, respectively.
- While some colonial houses feature incredible architectural styles, they did not have running water, telephones, and even electricity.
- The majority of the homes built in New England during the Colonial period were called Saltbox.
- Spanish architectural designs also have a low-pitch or a flat roof that is covered with clay and Earth tile.
- French colonial style combines the style of the West Indies, Caribbean, and French.
- Georgian style architectural houses also have a patio, small six-paned windows, dormer windows, and cornice.
Q & A:
What are Georgian architectural houses built of?
Georgian colonial homes were usually using brick and white wooden trim.
What states reflect the architectural style of Spain and Mexico?
The architectural styles of Mexico and Spain were reflected in the buildings and architectures of California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and Florida.
Where are Saltbox houses famous?
Saltbox houses were famous in New England during the Colonial period.
What state has buildings that are mainly comprised of French Colonial architectural style?
The state of Louisiana adopted the French colonial architectural style on most of their buildings during the American colonial period.
What are the main influences of American colonial architecture?
American colonial architecture was mainly influenced by early European settlers’, especially English people.