It’s a history of changing demographic, cultural, and social trends. In its relatively short history, American architecture has evolved alongside the changing face of the country, representing the patchwork of diverse cultural influences that constitute the United States as a whole.
To see just how the design of the American home has changed over time, we produced a series of renderings that depict the same home designed in the most popular architectural styles of the last 450 years.
Built with one story and little ornamentation, the modesty of Cape Cod-style homes reflects the values of the Puritan colonists who designed them
Many architects were beginning to take on the role of artisan. Incorporating features like paired chimneys, crown molding, and five-window rows, the relatively ornate nature of Georgian homes allowed architects of the era to design in high style.
This rendering shows a home designed in what has become known as the Federal style, used to describe the style of architecture used in homes, public buildings, and planning projects in the period following the American Revolution.
This rendering depicts a house in what is today known as the Greek Revival style, featuring bold, simple moldings, a pedimented gable, and a wide, plain frieze.
Italianate homes favor asymmetry and natural landscaping. Other features include flat, low-pitched roofs, tall, rounded windows, and decorative brackets.
The Queen Anne style emerged in America during the end of the 19th century, featuring excesses of design evocative of British monarchy. This rendering shows a single-family home designed in the Queen Anne style.
The Arts and Crafts movement decried the impersonal, machine age architecture of the era, instead favoring thoughtful, handcrafted design that incorporated natural, locally-sourced materials and highlighted the hand of the designing artist.
Ranch homes have simple floor plans and an openness reminiscent of the wide-open spaces of the American West.
As this rendering shows, many prefabricated homes are built with mid-century modern or futurist design, which go well with the minimalist production methods.