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Thematic: Bungalow, Colonial Revival, Vernacular, Catalog House

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Concept of a Thematic District | Bungalow — Description | Bungalow — Architectural Overview |
Catalog — Description | Colonial Revival — Description | Colonial Revival — Architectural Overview

Colonial Revival - Description

The Colonial Revival style first became popular in 1876. The Centennial Exposition was held in Philadelphia and concentrated much of its focus on the Early American styles of architecture. This was the stimulus for the first wave of Colonial Revival architecture in the United States.

Much of the early Colonial Revival was constructed on the East Coast. The Midwest was still deeply rooted in the European styles, mainly Italianate and Queen Anne. By the end of the 19th century, many large homes were appearing with a cross blend of styles including Colonial Revival elements.

By the early 20th century, Colonial Revival appears as a style unto its own in Joliet. Many excellent examples exist throughout the city, one of the best being the Walter Pitcher home at 608 Western Avenue.

Key elements of the Colonial Revival include quarter round attic windows in gables, fan light or motif above doors, small classic porches around the front entry, gothic style tracery in attic windows (especially dormers), and large engaged corner columns. Many 20th century Colonial Revival homes have symmetrical façades on the main home with occasional sunrooms off to the side, or offset front doors.

The Colonial Revival movement spawned a substyle known as the Dutch Colonial. This style covers the same time period as the regular Colonial Revival, but has its own distinctive look. The Dutch Colonial is set apart by the use of the gambrel roof. This roof is a four-section roof with two steeply pitched sides and more shallow pitched roofs on the top. The roof always ends in open-end, front, or cross gables with the traditional Colonial elements used within.
Many variations can be found in Joliet that incorporate other design elements such as Queen Anne towers or Romanesque overtones. Still, whatever the decoration, a building must have a gambrel roof to be classified as Dutch Colonial.