We need to go back before we move on to Victorians. We forgot some people. The Dutch, for instance.
It's intensely regional, of course. New York, New Jersey, a little bit of Connecticut, Delaware, and a sliver of Pennsylvania. The crowning achievement of Dutch Colonial architecture, the Gambrel roof, is everywhere now, of course, but that's about it. And that's Dutch Colonial Revival, not Dutch Colonial.
New Amsterdam is the original name of New York. Dutch Colonial was its urban style. It was very like what a medieval European city would have, but most of that's gone now. The real estate was too valuable in what's now Manhattan and surroundings to have anything too ancient. But up and down the Hudson River, out in the sticks, you can still find plenty of Dutch inspired farm houses. The whole style was gone before the Civil War started.
We used to call the style "stone enders." Like the house in the first photo, the ends of the house were of stone or masonry of some sort, usually with wood infill walls between them. The end walls were parapeted --project higher than the roof. Unlike the postmedieval British house, instead of a big center chimney with lots of flues, the end walls had chimneys in them, usually in both ends. The roofs would be very steep, as a rule. That goes back to when roofs were not very waterproof, sometimes thatched, and so the steeper the roof, the more likely you'd be dry inside.
Here's a signature item that's entered the lexicon: A Dutch Door. Open just the top, and let the fragrance from the garden, but not the livestock from the garden into the house. It's still makes a great secondary entrance door.
Here's a gambrel roofline. Multistory Dutch Colonials are pretty rare. They were most often 1-1/2 stories, and you'd live right under the roof. British colonial houses maximized space under the roof with dormers. The knee in the roofline in the gambrel pushed the stand up space in on the second floor out towards the exterior walls all along the eave, not just in the footprint of the dormers. This one needs painting or dynamite or something:
They'd flare the roofline at the first floor eave and kick the rain away from the sidewalls and add to the picturesque look of the thing:
Steep roof? Check:
The farmhouse version. Lower roofline, rambling a bit, flared eaves, gambrel roof:
The urban version. Masonry ends, parapets, wooden infill walls. Neat as a pin is another Dutch tradition. This one in Schenectady is:
Hey look, another term for the lingua franca: The Dutch Oven. It has a secondary, ribald definition now, but people used to call a brick oven using the preheated walls to cook things slowly a Dutch Oven. A lidded cast iron slow cooking pot is the most common word usage now, but here's what a Dutch Oven used to mean:And of all the common details of the Dutch colonial style, the one I like best is the benches flanking an entry door. What a pleasant place to shell peas or shuck corn and smell the flowers in the beds.
If you're going to steal anything from the Dutch, steal that. And sweep it ten times a day for the whole effect.