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Colonial

Explore Architecture 101

colonial house

Colonial
Architecture

During the 1700s, European settlers in North America incorporated the architectural styles of their native countries into their new homes. The styles that arose can be referred to as Colonial architecture, which includes Georgian, Spanish, German French and Dutch variations, plus Federal and Cape Cod. Georgian Colonial is one of the most popular, characterized by its rectangular, symmetrical and formal style. Georgian homes find their roots in both Italian Renaissance and the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. “Eventually, those who chose this style were attempting to emulate those wealthy enough to build the original homes,” said Pete Shannon, an assistant professor at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, on HGTV.com. Georgian Colonial became the dominant style for domestic construction in the U.S. from 1700 to 1780 — and is still highly desired today.

Colonial

What to look for

Boxy, symmetrical shape; side-gabled roof; chimneys on both sides; five windows across the second story; pedimented dormers jutting from the roof and dentil moldings — with their characteristic toothlike blocks — along the eaves. A gabled or flat-roofed portico with columns is often dominant.

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Colonial

Why It Works

The symmetry and simplicity — and, therefore, elegance — of true Georgian Colonial–style homes make them fixtures in affluent suburbs. Practically speaking, working shutters on Colonial homes in the South tend to be louvered to welcome breezes but thwart the sun.

Colonial

Famous Examples

Tara, in Gone with the Wind. Macaulay Culkin’s house in Home Alone. Steve Martin’s house in 1991’s Father of the Bride. In Williamsburg, Virginia, the stately brick President’s House at William & Mary college.

Where to find it: Today, Georgian-style homes can be found all over North Texas. Your Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty agent can find the perfect one for you.

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