Easily recognizable by their unique roof, the homes we now call Dutch Colonial first appeared on our continent in the 17th Century. These homes weren’t really Dutch – they were built by the people of German (Deutch), French, Flemish and Dutch origins, who lived in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. The style is a combination of building traditions the settlers brought from Europe, so Dutch Colonial is really an eclectic American style.
The main characteristic of a Dutch Colonial home is its “barn roof,” which in architectural terms is called gambrel. It’s a symmetrical two-sided roof, with each side having two slopes. Side gables also have a characteristic shape, thanks to the roof.
This style is further characterized by small porches supported by columns, rectangular doors, double-hung sash windows, dormers, and one or two chimneys located at one or both ends of a home. One interesting feature sometimes found on these homes is the central double door, which is divided horizontally. The top portion of the door could open to let the air in, and the lower portion could stay closed to keep the livestock out. The walls are either stone or brick, though shingle and clapboard siding wasn’t uncommon either.
During the early 1900’s, when other revival styles were becoming popular, the Dutch Colonial style was brought back as the Dutch Revival. The homes of this later period were more modern and more ornate. Unlike their predecessors which were mostly country homes, newer Dutch Revival houses were often built in cities.
Starting in 2003, this blog series ran for 11 years. Click on the images below to read some of the posts.