Artwork By Ursula Roma
Visit her at

Colonial Revival 1895 - 1930

Colonial Revival is used to describe houses based on designs from the Colonial period in American history. Georgian Colonial Revival and Dutch Colonial Revival are among common types of the style, which is distinguished by classical detailing and simplicity of form.

Georgian Colonial Revival houses were meant to resemble those of the Georgian style, an elaborate style of the 18th century. A Georgian Colonial Revival house typically has a three-bay symmetrical facade and a gable or hip roof. Siding is brick or clapboard. Details may include swan's heck pediments (a type of pediment with curved sides, used as a decorative element over windows and doors), pilasters, Palladian windows (a group of three windows in which the middle one is wider, taller and usually arched), columned porticos, dormer windows, classical entablatures, and doors with sidelights and transoms. A simpler version of the Georgian Colonial Revival is common in Cincinnati: is square or rectangular in plan; two-and-a-half stories high; a two bay facade sided with brick or clapboard; a classical columned or brick piered porch; Palladian windows; and, a transomed door and a dormer window, which often has classical detailing such as pilasters and pediments. Windows on the first floor of the facade are usually larger than other windows, and transomed.

Dutch Colonial Revivals are easily identified by gambrel roofs (a roof with two slopes of different pitches on either side of the ridge). Houses of this type are sided in brick, clapboard, or wood shingles. Classical details may include pedimented porticos and doors with sidelights and transoms.

Colonial Revival started in the East in the 1880s and came to Cincinnati about 1895. Early high-style versions of the style were built in affluent areas of Clifton, Hyde Park, and East Walnut Hills. Later, simpler versions are common in areas that developed between about 1905 and 1930. Among these are Oakley, Pleasant Ridge, and parts of Clifton, Fairview heights, Price Hill, Westwood, and Evanston.

The phase of Colonial Revival discussed here ended about 1930 in Cincinnati, but the style never completely went out of fashion. Colonial details continue to be used on houses built today.

Back to Architecture index page

Back to History Resources page

[an error occurred while processing this directive]