Monday, September 23, 2013

What is a "Historic Home"?
Part I

It is interesting to note that many perceive the term "historic home" as referring to a home that is a landmark or plaqued.  In the real estate industry, however, a "historic home" refers to any home that is 50 years or older.  Oh yes, that means that all those 1950s ranches are now considered "historic homes"!  Indeed, there is even a museum dedicated to this very thing--the 1950s ranch and how families lived during that era.  (rolling meadows historical museum)

The 1950s Ranch is a "Historic Home"
picture from Daily Herald

A now historic "modern-day" kitchen picture design from 1951.  So pretty in pink!

Going right down the line then are homes pre-1950s which one typically would equate with as having a more custom-type of construction, i.e., built on-site as opposed to pre-fab.  Originating in the 1600s and re-introduced again by Royal Barry Wills as an architectural style in the 1920s, the cape cod became a typical suburban home built in the 1940s.  Its exterior was in keeping with the original design of the 1600s but the interior was adapted for modern living.  Returning soldiers from WWII were in need of housing and this simple house fit the bill.

Royal Barry Wills Cape Cod
copyrighted image

This design was promoted as a "house for homemakers" which essentially is indicative of what most women were considered to have been doing during that era.

The 1930s brought in the era of Art Deco which primarily was seen in commercial applications and apartment buildings.  Art Deco consisted of geometric shapes, bold colors, and lavish ornamentation. 

Art Deco Carbide and Carbon Building
Chicago, IL (pic by Terence Faircloth)

Art Deco also influenced the interior design of the buildings as well as fashion, art, and furniture.

Art Deco Elevators Chicago

One style of home that was built in the 1930s was the "English cottage" home also known as the English Vernacular Revival, which was basically a bungalow with tudor styling.  These homes were single-story with steep pitched gabled roofs and one or more dominant front-facing gables.  

1936 Sears Roebuck Kit House

English Cottage Venacular, aka Tudor

The era of 1920s-1930s home were typical of the arts and crafts movement, aka craftsman, with the bungalow being a primary and most popular style.  The bungalow was not just an architectural style--but a way of life where all rooms were on one floor with no stairs allowing for ease of living.  

Part II next week.

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
(an old Irish blessing)

Marian McCoy Boveri
Specializing in Historic Homes
Keller Williams Fox Valley Realty


  1. What a cute pink pre-1950s style kitchen. I had no idea that time period could be considered a historical home. How fun and interesting.

  2. Pink kitchens are adorable! Yes, 1950s ranches are now officially historic. Definitely definitive of what was going on during that time in history.