Tudor… Or Is It?

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In 1485 the first Tudor king, Henry VII, ascended to the throne of England.  The prevailing English architectural style of that period also became known as Tudor.

Now fast-forward four centuries…  In the early 1880’s America, architects began looking at the old European architecture for inspiration.  As the result, between 1880 and 1940 a number of old architectural styles were revived.  One of the most popular ones was Tudor.

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You will have no trouble recognizing Tudor Revival homes in your neighborhood.  Steeply pitched roof, decorative half-timbering, tall and narrow windows, and massive chimneys are all dead-giveaways.  The façade is usually brick or stucco, although stone is common, too.  Windows and doors are often framed with a brick or cast stone trim.  Especially beautiful are the Tudors with a false thatched roof, which gives them that fairy-tale medieval look.

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And what do American Tudor homes have in common with the original English ones?  Very little.  The truth is that most American Tudor homes were styled after homes from a different period of English history – the Jacobean era (early seventeenth century).  Therefore, the homes we know as “Tudor” should more accurately be called “Jacobethan,” which is what some architectural historians call this style.

So next time you see a For Sale sign in front of a Tudor home, call the realtor and ask “How much is that Jacobethan home going for?”  Than feel free to giggle quietly as he or she tries to figure out what in the world you are talking about.

Architecture Blog

Starting in 2003, this blog series ran for 11 years.  Click on the images below to read some of the posts.

Dutch Colonial

Dutch Colonial

Georgian

Georgian

Folk Victorian

Folk Victorian

Greek Revival

Greek Revival

Queen Anne

Queen Anne

Mission

Mission

Craftsman

Craftsman

International

International