By Brad Litz
Real Estate Developer, Broker & Appraiser
Following through on the architectural tour of our neighborhood, I often stumble upon beautiful examples of the French Eclectic style and am always intrigued. This style can range from simple design with subtle hints of French architecture to ornate, sprawling mansions with Chateauesque details. Several resources claim this was an unusual style in the United States, however it is prominent in our area and fits in quite nicely, I think.
Another interesting bit of information is how the French Eclectic came to prominence. In the 1920’s, photographic studies became available to American architects and the style was familiar to those returning from WWI, thus the style became a little more tame as compared to its ornate French inspired predecessors. This made the style available to wider audiences and was embraced by builders and developers to differentiate their product.
The style was embraced by builders and developers to differentiate their homes. The most obvious tell of the French Eclectic style is its roof. Typically steeply pitched, hipped and most often the eaves are flared. It has a lot of similar characteristics to the Tudor Revival, such as consistency is in the materials used and half-timbering, however is differentiated by a front-facing cross gable. Round Towers are an obvious sign of this style and were often built on more elaborate homes while dormers are common and their seen ‘through-the-cornice’ design creates a distinctive look.
That brings us through three of the most popular styles of architecture in the area. So, next month I am going to change it up and will be diving into sharing information on some of the more prominent past residents of our neighborhood. This has been brought up to me several times as a suggestion for an article and I am quite intrigued by it. If you have any ideas on who should be profiled and information on their connection to the neighborhood, I am all ears!