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Title: The Architecture of Colonial America
Author: Eberlein, Harold Donaldson
Language: English
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                          THE ARCHITECTURE OF
                           COLONIAL AMERICA


An excellent example of the Pennsylvania Colonial type. Built 1690.


                          THE ARCHITECTURE OF
                           COLONIAL AMERICA


                       HAROLD DONALDSON EBERLEIN

                          BY MARY H. NORTHEND
                              AND OTHERS

                       [Illustration: colophon]

                      LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY

                          _Copyright, 1915_,
                     BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY

                         _All rights reserved_

                       Published, October, 1915

                             Norwood Press
 Set up and electrotyped by J. S. Cushing Co., Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.


It is the purpose of this volume to set forth a brief history and an
analysis of the architecture of Colonial America, in such wise that they
may be of interest and value both to the general reader and to the

The subject will be treated with reference to the close connexion
existing between architecture and the social and economic circumstances
of the period, so that some additional light may fall upon the daily
conditions of life among our forefathers. At the same time, there will
be a careful critical analysis of the origin and development of the
several seventeenth and eighteenth century styles that have left us so
wealthy an architectural heritage, an heritage based upon a groundwork
of traditions brought across the Atlantic by the early craftsmen and

Such an analysis, it is hoped, will materially contribute to a broader
appreciation of our possessions and will not be without value in the
interpretation of modern buildings in which the traditions of the past
have been perpetuated. Perhaps it is not too much to hope that a more
exact knowledge of early achievements may even supply a measure of
inspiration and guidance to those who purpose building homes for

In thanking those who have so courteously assisted in the preparation of
this book, acknowledgment must first of all be made to Miss Mary Harrod
Northend, to whose suggestion the undertaking was entirely due, and
whose illustrations have, in large measure, made it possible of
realisation. The author gratefully records his indebtedness also to
Messrs. J. B. Lippincott Company, of Philadelphia, for permission to use
a number of illustrations of Pennsylvania houses that appeared in “The
Colonial Homes of Philadelphia and its Neighbourhood”, by H. D. Eberlein
and H. M. Lippincott, and likewise for permission to reproduce an
illustration of the Adam Thoroughgood house from “Historic Virginia
Homes and Churches”, by Robert A. Lancaster, Jr.; to the _Architectural
Record_ for permission to incorporate, in chapters IV, VIII and XI,
parts of papers contributed to that magazine; to Dr. George W. Nash of
Old Hurley, for generous assistance in supplying many illustrations
drawn from a wide geographical area; to H. L. Duhring, Jr., of
Philadelphia, for suggestions that bore important fruit in the progress
of the work and for the illustration of the Saal at Ephrata; to Messrs.
R. A. Lancaster, Jr., G. C. Callahan and Joseph Everett Chandler for
sundry items of assistance; to the Librarian and staff of the Library
Company of Philadelphia, and to the Librarian and staff of the
Pennsylvania Historical Society for continued courtesies while the
following pages were in course of preparation, to the _Brickbuilder_, to
Mr. Edmund C. Evans and, finally, to Messrs. Horace Mather Lippincott
and Philip B. Wallace for valuable help in the matter of photographs.


     PHILADELPHIA, August, 1915.


CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

   I. INTRODUCTORY                                                     1

  II. THE DUTCH COLONIAL TYPE, 1613-1820                              14



   V. THE COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE OF THE SOUTH                          77

  VI. THE GEORGIAN MODE IN NEW ENGLAND                                99

 VII. GEORGIAN ARCHITECTURE IN NEW YORK                              113


  IX. THE GEORGIAN ARCHITECTURE OF THE SOUTH                         156



 XII. CHURCHES OF THE COLONIAL PERIOD                                205

XIII. MATERIALS AND TEXTURES                                         236


      INDEX                                                          275


Doorway of Wyck, Germantown, Philadelphia. 1690            _Frontispiece_

                                                             FACING PAGE

Senate House, Kingston-on-Hudson, N.Y. 1676                            4

Ward House, near Salem, Mass.                                          4

House at Yorktown, Va.                                                 5

Exterior of the Lee House, Marblehead, Mass. 1768                      5

Laurel Hill, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. 1762                       10

Pingree or White Portico, Salem, Mass.                                10

Typical Houses, Old Hurley, N.Y.                                      11

Elmendorf House, Old Hurley, N.Y.                                     11

Van Deusen House, Old Hurley, N.Y.                                    16

Hallway, Van Deusen House                                             16

Hoffman House, Kingston-on-Hudson, N.Y.                               17

Characteristic Old Dutch House, Kingston-on-Hudson, N.Y.              17

Ackerman (Brinckerhoff) House, Hackensack, N.J. 1704                  24

Verplanck House, near Fishkill Landing, N.Y.                          24

Hall, Bowne House, Flushing, Long Island, N.Y.                        25

Dining Room, Van Cortlandt Manor House, Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.        25

House of Seven Gables, Salem, Mass. 1669                              40

Fairbanks House, Dedham, Mass. 1636                                   40

Whipple House, Ipswich, Mass.                                         41

Paul Revere House, Street Front, after Restoration. 1676              46

Paul Revere House. Great Room, Ground Floor                           47

Doten House, Plymouth, Mass. 1640                                     52

Narbonne House, Salem, Mass.                                          52

Wynnestay, Philadelphia. 1689                                         53

South Front of Wyck, Germantown, Philadelphia. 1690                   53

Little Tavern at Ionic and American Streets, Philadelphia. 1692       60

William Penn House, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia                      60

Gloria Dei Glebe House                                                61

Oldest House in Dover, Dela.                                          61

Quaker Alms House, Philadelphia                                       66

London (Bradford’s) Coffee House, Philadelphia. 1702                  66

Old Philadelphia Court House. 1707                                    67

Merion Meeting House, Pennsylvania. 1695                              74

Moravian Sisters’ House, Bethlehem, Pa. c. 1748                       75

The Saal, Ephrata, Pa.                                                75

Adam Thoroughgood House, Princess Anne County, Va. c. 1740            88

Governour Eden House, Edenton, N.C.                                   88

House at Yorktown, Va.                                                89

“Hospital” House, Yorktown, Va.                                       89

House of Hon. John Blair, Williamsburg, Va.                           98

Carey House, Williamsburg, Va.                                        98

Royall House, Medford, Mass. 1732                                     99

Lee House, Marblehead, Mass. 1768                                     99

Royall House. West Doorway                                           100

Royall House. Doorway in West Parlour                                100

Lee House. Banquet Room                                              101

Lee House. Stairway                                                  101

Lee House. Fireplace                                                 104

Lee House. Wall Paper                                                104

Macphaedris-Warner House, Portsmouth, N.H. 1723                      105

Dummer Mansion, Byfield, Mass. _c._ 1715                             105

Doorway, Dummer House                                                108

The Lindens. Stair and Hall. _c._ 1770                               109

Wentworth House. Hall and Stair                                      109

Parson Williams House, Deerfield, Mass. 1707                         112

Van Cortlandt House, Van Cortlandt Park, N.Y.                        113

Philipse Manor House, Yonkers, N.Y. 1683                             116

Fraunce’s Tavern, Broad Street, New York City                        117

Window Detail, Van Cortlandt House                                   118

Philipse House, near Tarrytown, N.Y.                                 118

Waynesborough, Paoli, Pa. 1724                                       119

Graeme Park, Horsham, Pa. 1721                                       119

Graeme Park, South Front                                             120

Hope Lodge, Whitemarsh Valley. 1723                                  120

Great Parlour, Graeme Park                                           121

Hallway, Hope Lodge                                                  121

Whitby Hall, North Front, Kingsessing, Philadelphia. 1754            128

Stairway, Whitby Hall                                                128

Whitby Hall, South Front                                             129

Mantel Detail, Whitby Hall                                           129

Cliveden, Germantown, Philadelphia. 1761                             140

Mantel in Parlour, Mount Pleasant, Philadelphia. 1761                141

The Woodlands, South Front. Philadelphia, _c._ 1770                  141

The Woodlands, North Front                                           146

The Highlands, Whitemarsh Valley, Pa. 1796                           146

Homewood, near Baltimore                                             147

Harwood, Annapolis. 1774                                             160

Brice House, Annapolis. 1740                                         160

Shirley, James River, Va.                                            161

Westover, James River, Va.                                           161

Carter’s Grove, Va. 1728                                             164

Andalusia on the Delaware, Pennsylvania. 1794-1832                   165

Old Maritime Exchange, Philadelphia                                  165

Andrew Safford Porch, Salem, Mass.                                   176

Interior Doorway, Nichols House, Salem, Mass.                        176

The Capitol at Washington                                            177

Girard College, Philadelphia                                         177

Window Detail, House in Philadelphia                                 180

Door Detail, House in Philadelphia                                   180

State House, Philadelphia, South Front. 1733                         181

Hallway, State House, Philadelphia                                   181

Faneuil Hall, Boston. 1741                                           188

Independence Room, State House, Philadelphia                         188

Old State House, Boston                                              189

Bulfinch State House, Boston                                         194

New York City Hall                                                   194

Old Pine Street Market, Philadelphia                                 195

Carpenters’ Hall, Philadelphia                                       195

Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia                                  204

Black Horse Inn Yard, Philadelphia                                   204

Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg, Va. 1714                         205

Old South Church, Boston. 1730                                       210

King’s Chapel, Boston                                                210

Christ Church, Philadelphia. 1727                                    211

St. Peter’s Church, Philadelphia. 1761                               211

Gloria Dei (Old Swedes), Philadelphia. 1700                          220

St. Luke’s Church, Smithfield, Va. 1632                              220

Old Ship Church, Hingham, Mass.                                      221

Sleepy Hollow Church, Irvington, N.Y.                                221




Architecture is crystallised history. Not only does it represent the
life of the past in visible and enduring form, but it also represents
one of the most agreeable sides of man’s creative activity. Furthermore,
if we read a little between the lines, the buildings of former days tell
us what manner of men and women lived in them. Indeed, some ancient
structures are so invested with the lingering personality of their
erstwhile occupants that it is well nigh impossible to dissociate the

But it is rather as a revelation of the social and domestic habits of
our forebears that the story of architecture in Colonial America
concerns us immediately at this point. As the naturalist can reconstruct
the likeness of some extinct animal from a handful of bones or tell the
age and aspect of a sea creature that once tenanted a now empty shell,
so can the architectural historian discover much concerning the quality
and mode of life of those who dwelt aforetime in the houses that form
his theme. The indisputable evidence is there in bricks and stone, in
timber and mortar, for us to read if we will.

What can be more convincing than an early New England kitchen in whose
broad fireplace still hang the cranes and trammels and where all the
full complement of culinary paraphernalia incident to the art of
open-fire cookery has been preserved? The fashion of the oven attests
the method of baking bread. A mere glance at these things brings up a
faithful and vivid picture of an important aspect of domestic life. Or,
turning to another page in this book of the past, we read another tale
in the glazed lookout cupolas--“captains’ walks” they were called--atop
the splendid mansions of portly and prosperous mien in the old seaport
towns. Thither the merchant princes and shipowners of a by-gone day were
wont to repair and scan the offing for the sails of their returning
argosies, laden with East Indian riches or cruder wares from Jamaica or

The old Dutch houses of the Hudson River towns reflect an wholly
different mode of life. The living rooms, in many instances, were all
on the ground floor and the low, dark, unwindowed attics proclaim the
custom of laying up therein bountiful stores of grain and other products
of their fruitful farms. In the same region the manors and other great
houses bespeak a fashion of life that cannot be surpassed for
picturesque interest in the annals of Colonial America.

The spacious country houses in the neighbourhood of Philadelphia, with
their stately box gardens and ample grounds, tell of the leisurely
affluence and open hospitality of their builders whose style of life
often rivalled in elegance, and sometimes surpassed, that of the country
gentry in England. In the city houses there were the same unmistakable
evidences of the courtly social life that ruled in the metropolis of the
Colonies. Round about the city, and throughout the Province of
Pennsylvania, were substantial stone and brick farmhouses that fully
attested the prosperity of the yeoman class and also indicated some
striking peculiarities in their habits and customs.

Going still farther to the South, we read in the noble houses that
graced the broad manorial estates of Virginia and Maryland of a mode of
existence, socially resplendent at times and almost patriarchal in
character, which had not its like elsewhere.

So it goes. One might multiply instances indefinitely to show how
architecture was a faithful mirror of contemporary life and manners and
how the public buildings of the day represented the classic elegance of
taste, then prevalent, that found expression in a thousand other ways.
We shall also learn why it was that New England, with all its ready
abundance of stone, preferred to rear structures of combustible wood
while Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, with all their vast
and varied wealth of timber, chose to build of brick or stone, often at
the cost of great inconvenience and expense.

Our patriotic, historical and genealogical societies have done much to
make us regard the men and women of by-gone years with a keener
veneration than we, perhaps, formerly paid them. This book, it is hoped,
in the same way, will be of some avail to increase our appreciation of
the architectural wealth back of us. We have a history of which we may
well feel proud and we have an architectural heritage, dating from the
time when that history was in the making, which we may view with deep
and just satisfaction.

The worthy record of structural achievement during our Colonial period
ought to fill us with high respect for the ability and energy of the men
who, while they were building a nation and subduing a wilderness, found
time also to rear


Exemplifying early Dutch peculiarities. Built 1676.]


Copyright, 1912, by Baldwin Coolidge.


Characteristic of seventeenth century New England type.]

[Illustration: HOUSE AT YORKTOWN, VA.

Showing steep pitch roof and outside chimneys proper to the Southern
Colonial style.]


Representative of the second phase of New England Georgian. Built

a vast aggregate of structures, both domestic and public, that to-day
command our unfeigned admiration and are fit to afford us no small
degree of inspiration for our own architectural guidance.

But we must turn also to another aspect of the subject and consider the
architecture of Colonial America from a more purely technical point of
view as well. The historical side of the question, embracing social and
economic relations, it must be remembered, however, is vastly important
and will conduce to a more intelligent grasp of the whole situation.
Indeed, without adequate historical knowledge, many architectural phases
will be inexplicable of character or origin. As an example we may cite
the New England frame tradition. Blood tells in architecture quite as
much as it does anywhere else and unless we know the history of the
early colonists, unless, in fact, we know their historical antecedents
in England, we cannot expect to understand fully their hereditary
preference for timber buildings. Thus we see that history and
architectural expression go hand in hand and one must study both to have
a full comprehension of either.

Keeping ever before us, then, the full significance of history, we shall
examine the architecture of the Colonial period in a far more
sympathetic and intelligent spirit than we could possibly expect to do
if we were to eliminate the historical background. Of course, in the
present volume the historical background must be a background,
architectural matters must have the preponderance of attention and
history, however fascinating it may be, must be referred to only to
elucidate architectural phases.

Near akin and closely linked to understanding is the quality of
appreciation and it is necessary for us to understand our architectural
past that we may fully appreciate it. It is likewise absolutely
essential for us to understand and appreciate our architectural past in
order that we may appreciate our architectural present. A thorough
acquaintance with the work and ability of the architect who reared the
buildings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries will give us a
truer perspective and better enable us to judge the merits of
contemporary performances. Widespread intelligent appreciation
inevitably leads to the betterment of public taste, so that our study of
the past is bound to have a favourable reflex action upon the
architectural activities of our own day.

Twin sister to appreciation is discrimination and as we appreciate the
architecture of Colonial America we shall also learn to discriminate
between the different local manifestations and attribute each to its
proper origins. In this connexion a word of explanation should be
offered in answer to a question that some readers, no doubt, have
already asked themselves regarding the title chosen for this
volume--“Why was it not called Colonial Architecture in America?” Solely
because such a title would have been misleading. Indeed, there is no
more commonly misapplied term than “Colonial Architecture.” Colonial
America had two varieties of architecture, one of which is correctly
called Colonial and the other is not. The one is entirely distinct from
the other and it is mischievous to confound them. The second variety is
Georgian and it is illogical and indefensible to call it anything but
Georgian. The Colonial architecture evolved its distinctive forms in
America subject to the dictates of local necessity while the Georgian
was directly transplanted from England and, although it showed marked
tendencies to differentiation in the several parts of the Colonies,
preserved its unmistakable likeness in every instance to the parent
stock from which it sprang.

The Colonial architecture which is really Colonial presents several
distinctly different forms of local manifestation, each of them
pronouncedly characteristic. One form is to be found in New England, and
outside of New England it is not to be met with. Another type, of
wholly diverse aspect, is peculiar to the parts of New York State
settled at an early period by the Dutch colonists and to the parts of
Long Island and northern New Jersey where Dutch influence was paramount.
Still another and altogether distinct Colonial type of architecture is
to be seen in numerous examples in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and
Delaware. A fourth type, with yet other clearly defined peculiarities,
may occasionally be discovered in Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas.
The scarcity of examples of true Colonial architecture in the last-named
section is explicable by the fact that the southern planter, when his
wealth increased, chose to live in more sumptuous manner than his first
built dwelling permitted. He therefore built himself a stately Georgian
house, better suited to the more elegant style and equipage he now found
himself able to maintain. The “fair brick house” in Georgian mode, with
porticoes and pillars, often stood upon the site of the earlier house,
which was either partially incorporated with it or demolished to make
way for it because the first chosen location was the most eligible on
the estate and best suited the fancy of the owner.

All these types of Colonial architecture possess an healthy, indigenous
flavour that smacks of the manly vigour and robust hardihood of the
pioneers who had the courage and the initiative to forsake their wonted
paths of comfort and known conditions at home and face unflinchingly the
dangers and difficulties of an untamed wilderness as the founders of a
settlement whose future was by no means assured and of whose ultimate
greatness they little dreamed. This tone of staunch, native originality
was due to the local forms, evolved in response to local exigencies,
dictated by resourceful motherwit and engrafted upon an inherited stock
of architectural traditions which the first settlers, hailing from this
or that part of the old world, had brought hither with them. In other
words, it was the logical and necessary outcome of architectural
precedent, modified by contact with a new environment, and all its forms
are clearly traceable to typical antecedents on the other side of the
Atlantic. Edward Eggleston has somewhere said that “it is difficult for
the mind of man to originate, even in a new hemisphere.” He is
oftentimes coerced into originality by force of circumstances. So it was
in our early architectural efforts. The first settlers followed
tradition so far as they could and essayed original departures only
under stress of necessity or expediency.

While the several forms were full of the grace that was inherent in the
early builders’ spirit of construction and design, they were also
strong because they were so thoroughly utilitarian and because nearly
every feature was produced in response to some specific local need. The
vital quality of the early and truly Colonial architecture has not been
exhausted and after nearly three hundred years we turn to it to find it
still rich in adaptability to many of our present requirements. Owing to
its essentially utilitarian characteristics, Colonial architecture in
all its forms is wholly unpretentious, informal, and, one might almost
say, fortuitous, but it suited the manners and estate of the majority of
the people for whom it was devised.

On the other hand, formality, as an element in American architecture,
came in with the advent of the Georgian influence. For the most part it
was not a chilling, hard, rigid formality but rather the formality of
ordered symmetry and concurrence with the elegant genius and refinement
of classic architectural conventions. It was, if one chooses so to put
it, formality tempered with domesticity and common sense. The American
colonists of the eighteenth century adopted the Georgian style, when
they were able to afford it and had acquired the desire for it, and
adapted it to their own ends. These adaptations took shape in divergent
forms in the several parts of the Colonies, exhibiting certain local
peculiarities in New England and others quite as distinct


Showing the delicate detail and attenuation that came with the last
Georgian phase.]


Copyright. J. B. Lippincott Co.


Belonging to the second type of Middle Colonies Georgian. Built 1762.]


With thick walls and small eaves.]


Early Dutch type before local modification.]

in the Middle Colonies or the South. Notwithstanding their minor
differences, however, the specimens of Georgian work in America all bear
an unmistakable family resemblance which proclaims their common ancestry
from a British classic origin. The later Georgian work in America
followed the later phases of the style as they developed in England and
hence we find a great many variations attributable to differences in
date as well as to differences in locality, but in all its divers
manifestations, whether temporal or local, American Georgian is true to
the spirit and traditions of its strongly individual parent stock of

Economic and social conditions made possible the introduction and
development of the Georgian style in America and the same conditions
nurtured and kept it alive so long as its influence continued to
dominate the public taste. When its latest phase passed over into the
forms of the Classic Revival, a new order of society, actuated by
different ideals, had arisen. An era of general peace and growing
prosperity in the early years of the eighteenth century permitted and
encouraged the colonists to pay more heed to the material amenities of
life than had previously been their wont and it was but natural that,
with favourable domestic conditions, they should seek to emulate the
luxury and more polished manner of life obtaining in the mother
country, and the adoption of contemporary British architectural modes
was one way in which that filial emulation found expression. When the
period of Georgian influence came to an end and the Classic Revival type
held the first place in popular esteem, new economic, social and
political circumstances existed with which the prevailing architectural
mode was more in keeping. Widely distributed affluence, coupled with a
general spirit of independent self-sufficiency and a disposition to
follow French inspiration, found fit environment in the pomposity of
neo-classic settings whose vogue is mainly attributable to influences
that arose in the train of the French Revolution, the same influences
that gave us the Empire type of furniture so largely copied in both
England and America.

Surveying thus the history of architecture in America, from the
beginning of the Colonial period down to the end of post-Colonial
activity, a continuous and logical process of development can be traced
of which each succeeding phase was a faithful exponent of contemporary
local manners and modes of life. Truly indigenous architecture was
non-existent. Architectural derivations, modified and often obscured as
they were by force of circumstances, are not always obvious and
occasionally, in order to detect them, careful analysis and some
knowledge of history are necessary. Nor need the student of American
architecture be perplexed at discovering certain hybrid types. It is but
natural that such should be evolved by a resourceful people with a
genius for adaptations and possessed of a variety of models, a
combination of whose features expediency suggested. In spite of all the
bewildering multiplicity of manifestations which the architecture of
Colonial America affords, the derivations from hereditary European
sources may be identified by the expenditure of a little effort and the
threads of continuity and growth then become clearly apparent. A
detailed elucidation of the genesis and progressive stages of the
several types will be the content of the ensuing chapters.




The Dutch Colonial house is at once a mystery and a paradox. It is a
mystery because it seems to defy the law of physics about two bodies
occupying the same space at the same time. It is a paradox because,
despite its apparent simplicity, it is most complex in its texture and
varied in its modes and expression.

We have all heard it said of the Dutchman’s breeches that they could be
made to contain whatever objects could be forced through the pocket
apertures, and the number of things that the Dutchman could stow away in
the baggy recesses of his nether garments has always been a source of
wonder to the foreigner. It is precisely the same with his house. It
really seems to be elastic. Viewed from the outside, it gives the
observer the impression that its extent is small and that the space
within must necessarily be limited. On stepping across the threshhold,
however, a surprise awaits one. Room seems to open out from room in a
miraculous manner, and there is apparently no end to the space that can
be made within the four walls. At times, baffling despair fills the mind
at the attempt to master the anatomical intricacies of the Dutch abode.
The early Dutch house is practically all upon the ground floor, but the
attic, occasionally, is almost as complex in its mysterious arrangement.
The Dutchmen and their wives were past masters in ordering the economy
of space. The bulk of household gear they could stow away in compact
style always excites our wondering admiration. Perhaps their familiarity
with canal boat life, and the attendant necessity of compressing their
belongings within strait limits, suggested many of their household
arrangements. At any rate, the Dutch houses are a standing example
showing how much can be done within closely restricted bounds.

The Dutch house in America is to be found in the valley of the Hudson,
in Long Island, and in the counties of northern New Jersey, particularly
Bergen and Essex, settled at an early period by the Dutch. The purest
forms of the early type are to be found along the Hudson. In Long
Island, certain modifying influences began to work at an early time and
in portions of Long Island, especially in the neighbourhood of
Hempstead and towards the Eastern end of the Island, where settlements
were made about the middle of the seventeenth century by New England
colonists, we find a curious combination of Dutch and English
characteristics in the local architecture. In northern New Jersey, while
the type is thoroughly Dutch, the majority of houses are of a somewhat
later date than those along the Hudson and exhibit features not to be
found in the houses erected by the first colonists of New Netherlands.

Notwithstanding certain minor differences that will be brought to our
notice by comparison, there is an unquestionable continuity of type that
differentiates the houses of Dutch architecture from all the other
structural creations of the American colonists. The style of the first
Dutch houses contained within itself the seeds of development, and while
the earliest expression of Dutch Colonial architecture was practically
the same as that in vogue in Holland at the time of the colonists’
emigration, the later examples disclosed new features which local
necessity and native ingenuity had suggested and achieved. By this very
flexibility and elasticity the Dutch colonial style has shown its
adaptability to varying conditions, and in that adaptability lies no
small share of its fitness as a resource for present-day needs.

Old Hurley near Kingston-on-Hudson--to


Built early in eighteenth century.]



Built shortly after middle of seventeenth century.]


select a striking concrete example--discloses the style in its earliest
form. Although Hurley was not settled until about 1660, the houses
erected there showed practically no departure from the styles with which
the settlers were familiar in Holland before their emigration. To show
their absolute fidelity to the traditional type of Dutch house, we may
refer to the amazement created in the mind of a Dutch diplomat who, when
taken to visit Hurley two or three years ago, declared that it was more
Dutch than almost anything left in Holland. Ever since its foundation,
Hurley has slumbered peacefully on, disturbed only at times by Indian
raids and the alarums of war. Physically it has changed scarcely at all
since the founders settled on the rich lands by the Esopus. It is one of
the backwaters of our civilisation that has preserved intact the
exterior aspect and much of the inward character of the date of its
settlement. The lapse of time has wrought little change in its fabric
and the swirling eddies of feverish American progress have raced past
it, heedless of its presence, so that it has preserved for us a
refreshing bit of the days and ways of the New Netherlands of Peter
Stuyvesant and his sturdy colleagues.

Old Hurley is just as Dutch as Dutch can be; Dutch in its people, Dutch
in its houses, Dutch in its looks, Dutch in everything but name, and
that was Dutch for the first few years of its history when it was known
as Nieuw Dorp, that is, New Village. To understand, therefore, the mode
of life and the comfortable, easy-going informality with which the
architectural style fitted in, we cannot do better than take a brief
survey of this picturesque community.

Hurley cheeses and Kingston refugees have given Hurley most of its
renown in the outside world. So plentiful and so famous, at one time,
were the former, that Hurley was popularly credited with having “cheese
mines.” The following old Dutch jingle, done into English by a local
antiquary, tells of plenty at Hurley, not only of cheese but of many
other kinds of foodstuffs as well:

    What shall we with the wheat bread do?
      Eat it with the cheese from Hurley.
    What shall we with the pancakes do?
      Dip them in the syrup of Hurley.
    What shall we with the cornmeal do
      That comes from round about Hurley?
    Johnnycake bake, both sweet and brown,
      With green cream cheese from Hurley.

Does not this reflect the reign of peace, plenty and contentment? The
old Dutch, indeed, is truly realistic as the question comes “Wat zullen
wij met die pannekoeken doen?”, and at the answer, “Doop het met die
stroop van Horley,” one involuntarily licks his chops over the dripping
sweetness of “die stroop.” The very mention of cheese and cheese making
brings to the mind visions of fat farming country with sleek kine
feeding, knee-deep in pastures of heavy-matted clover, from whose
blossoms the bees are distilling their next winter’s store. Such a
mental picture for Hurley town is not far amiss. Lying in comfortable
contentment in the rich bottoms along the banks of the Esopus, its
horizons both near and far bounded by the Catskills and their
foot-hills, it approaches the ideal of bucolic felicity, and one freely
admits that “Nieuw Dorp exists a pastoral or else Nieuw Dorp is not.”

Comfort, solid comfort, is the keynote of Hurley, indoors and out. Its
houses, built along the one village street, their farm lands stretching
back beyond them, have an aspect of substantial prosperity and cheer.
Long, low buildings they are, with thick stone walls, whose roofs
jutting just above the windows of the first floor, begin their climb to
the ridge pole, enclosing with their shingled sides great, roomy garrets
that seem like very Noah’s arks, with everything under the sun stowed
away in their recesses. Such portion of this second floor as the old
Dutchmen saw fit to spare from storage purposes, they made into chambers
for their families, and pierced the roof slope with tiny dormers.
Oftentimes, however, the only light came in at the gable ends, through
windows on each side of the massive chimneys. It was not at all unusual
to give over the whole upper floor to the storage of grain and other
food supplies, while the family lived altogether below on the ground
floor. The cellars were not one whit behind the garrets in holding
supplies. The people of New Netherland were valiant trenchermen before
whose eyes the pleasures of the table loomed large, and they used up an
amazing lot of victuals. Such overflowing store of potatoes and carrots,
turnips, pumpkins and apples as went into those cavernous bins!
Rolliches and headcheeses were there a-many, with sausages, scrapple,
pickles and preserves, to say nothing of barrels of cyder. These all
contributed their share to the odour of plenty that rose up through the
chinks and pervaded the rooms above. Only those who have met them face
to face, in all their substantial corporeality, can realise the
indescribable cellar smells of old Dutch farmhouses. Everywhere economy
of space was practised, and things were tucked away in all sorts of odd
corners. Some of the bedchambers were scarcely as large as a steamer
stateroom, and these ofttimes had little pantry closets beside the
bed--a truly convenient arrangement for those disposed to midnight
pantry raids. Tradition says that the good people of Hurley even took
their cheeses to bed with them that the heat of their bodies might help
to ripen them.

Hurley’s gardens were, and are, a source of genuine delight. They are
charmingly inconsequent and unconventional. There is not a jot of plan
or pretence about them. Hurley vegetables grow side by side with gentle
flowers in a most democratic promiscuity. Cabbages and cucumbers rub
elbows with roses and lilies. Plebeian sunflowers and four-o’clocks
stand unabashed beside patrician boxwood and blooms of high degree,
while onions and lavender, in sweet accord, send their roots into the
common ground within a foot of each other. The Dutch gardens, if not
grand, are, at least, comfortable and useful, and have an air of
sociability about them that puts one immediately at ease.

What the people were in Holland, that were they in New Netherland, and
what they were elsewhere in New Netherland, that were they in Hurley
only, perhaps, somewhat more conservative and tenacious of old customs
and ideas, as is apt to be the case in places remote from the active
scene of events. The Dutch of the Hudson were not the slow, stupid,
fat-witted louts that Washington Irving and his copyists pourtray,
although, to us of English blood, many of their ways seem strange, and
some amusing. They were broad-minded, alert, wholesome, human people who
took life pleasantly and got whole-souled enjoyment in their frequent
festivals. They were incapable of stiff formality, and the architecture
of their houses was exactly suited to their mode of life.

When we remember how tenaciously the English settlers clung to tradition
in selecting the materials for their houses, those in New England
holding by the timber tradition while the stone and brick tradition
prevailed in the Middle Colonies and the South, one might expect to find
among the Dutch colonists the same adherence to Dutch traditions in the
case of materials, especially as the early Dutch houses so closely
followed their prototypes in Holland. In this respect, however, the
Dutchman made a virtue of necessity and quickly learned to be governed
by expediency, using with good effect whatever materials the locality
most readily provided. Although brick was in most cases the hereditary
material which Dutchmen might have been expected to prefer, with natural
thrift and common sense they used stone when bricks were not to be had,
or wood when they could not get stone. Thus, for instance, we find the
early Dutch houses of the Hudson Valley built of stone. Those in
northern New Jersey were likewise built of stone of different colour and
character from that found in the Hudson region. Again, in Long Island,
where stone was not available, they built of wood and covered their
houses with shingles, often leaving as much as fourteen inches to the
weather. Dutch quickness in utilising readily available material is also
seen in the willingness to use field stone for walls, while the New
Englander, despite the abundance of the same material, merely used it
for the divisions between his fields.

Furthermore, the Dutchman did not restrict himself to any one material
for the whole fabric of his house. He was not in the least averse to
using a variety of materials in the same building and this he often did
with excellent effect. It is no unusual thing to find two or three
materials used for several parts of the same small building, and it is
not a hard matter to find instances in which stone, brick, stucco,
clapboards and shingles all occur in the one structure and the result is
usually felicitous, possibly, perhaps, because of the _naïveté_ with
which the several materials are employed, necessity and common sense
being obviously the causes dictating their presence.

The stone used was sometimes carefully squared and dressed and, at
others, the walls were of rubble construction without any attempt at
careful arrangement. Occasionally the front of the house would be of
dressed stone laid in orderly courses while the sides and back showed
rubble walls. Then, again, where circumstances permitted, brick quoins
and window and door trims, as in the Manor House at Croton-on-Hudson,
might be used while the body of the walls was rubble. In this connexion
it should be stated that the walls were carefully laid so that the
stonework would hold together without much dependence being placed on
the mortar, for the earliest mortar was of rather poor quality. In this
respect the masonwork approached the ideal of a good wall construction.

When stucco was used it was generally plastered over a rough stone
surface and whitewashed or washed with some colour. When this stucco is
removed it will often be found that the wall underneath is of admirable
rubble construction and that the stucco coating was apparently added as
a ground work for white or coloured wash. Some years ago, the stucco
coat was removed from the walls of the Manor House at Croton-on-Hudson,
and the stone walls beneath presented a far more interesting surface
than the plaster, which seems to have been added at a date considerably
subsequent to that of original construction.

An examination in detail of the characteristics of the earliest Dutch
houses discloses the following features of importance. As previously
stated, almost all the houses were low, the eaves coming down to within
a few feet of the tops


Local adaptations have begun to develop.]


Showing genesis of porch from eave extension.]


With typical woodwork.]

N. Y.

With Dutch interpretation of Georgian _motifs_ on mantel.]

of the first-floor windows. In many instances, the roofs were unbroken
by dormers as the garrets were used largely for storage purposes and the
bedchambers were on the ground floor. If families were large, one or two
bedrooms would be partitioned off in the garret, the major part,
however, being reserved for the storage of grains, household effects,
and various supplies. Even then, the roofs were not interrupted by
windows but the light would come from windows in the gable ends beside
the chimneys. In many cases the stone walls at the gable ends did not
rise above the line of the eaves and the portion above that would be
hung with clapboards. Of course there were instances in which houses
rose to a greater height and contained second floors as a visible part
of the plan. Such was the old Hoffman House in Kingston-on-Hudson, built
not long after the middle of the seventeenth century. It is to be noted,
also, that, in that case, the stonework in the gable ends was continued
to the top of the gable and there was no wall of overlapping clapboards.

The earliest houses were covered with roofs of the ordinary ridge type
and presented the appearance outwardly of one-storey buildings, though
in effect they often contained two floors. The gambrel roof of the Dutch
houses was of later evolution and was probably suggested by force of
circumstances. The gambrel construction made it possible to give more
room in the garrets so that chambers could be accommodated with greater
ease and there would not be so much waste room just inside the eaves, as
the slope of the roof was at a steeper angle. It has been suggested that
the gambrel roof came into being as an ingenious method of beating the
devil around the bush, when a tax was laid upon houses of more than one
storey in height. Technically and legally the gambrel roof house _was_
but one storey high although, as a matter of fact, the gambrel made it
possible to have an additional storey in the roof which served all
practical purposes quite as fully as though the walls had been carried
up to enclose a second floor. In the older Dutch houses with gambrel
roofs, the pitch is never steep and the contour presents somewhat the
lines of a flaring bell.

Although the gambrel roof was known in New England as early perhaps as
1670 and was, in all probability, borrowed from the Dutch, there is a
wide difference in appearance between New England and Dutch gambrels.
Generally speaking, the New England gambrels have the pitch from the
eaves much steeper and shorter while the top pitch is longer than in the
Dutch houses. In the Dutch gambrel roof, on the other hand, the steeper
slope usually makes an angle of forty-five degrees, or less, and is by
far the longer, while the top slope is quite short and has an angle of
about 25 degrees. This difference in angle gives the Dutch gambrel roofs
a rarely beautiful quality, especially when the lower end of the long
slope just above the eaves was made with a kickup to avoid darkening the
windows or possibly to throw the rain-water farther away from the walls.
Whatever may be the origin of the gambrel,--and many ingenious theories
have been suggested--whether it originated as previously suggested, to
avoid the tax on two-storeyed dwellings, or whether the desire to
increase the breadth of the span, by piecing out rafters, was the
underlying cause, it is an exceptionally agreeable form of house
covering and so closely associated with the dwellings of the Dutch
Colonial period that we may properly identify it as a characteristic
feature of that style.

Before leaving the subject of roofs, the development of the
wide-projecting eaves, as we find them in the New Jersey and some of the
Dutch Long Island houses of the eighteenth century, must be considered.
The earliest Dutch houses as, for example, those at Kingston or Hurley
had not the flaring eaves. Neither had the earliest Dutch houses in New
Jersey. It has been ingeniously suggested that the projection was
evolved to protect the walls and prevent the rain from disintegrating
the mortar which, in the early part of the Colonial period, was
frequently not of as good quality as it was later. This theory would
seem to explain, to some extent, the habit of carrying the masonry at
the gable ends only to the height of the first floor joists, filling in
the space between that line and the peak of the gable with clapboards.
In such cases, where the mortar of the exposed gable walls was damaged
by the weather, it was an easy matter to re-point. Mr. Embury has still
further suggested, coincidentally with this theory, that the desire to
protect the masonry suggested the penthouses on two-storeyed structures.
There is something to be said both for and against this hypothesis, but
as the discussion does not materially affect the subject immediately
before us it must be reserved for another place.

To the Dutch Colonial house may probably be attributed the origin of
that essentially American institution, the porch, or at least one form
of the porch as we now have it. “The porch has been evolved and
developed in response to a distinct and manifest need in our mode of
life imposed by climatic conditions. It falls in with our habits bred of
love of outdoors; our seasons invite, nay even, at times, compel its
use. True, the porch has its prototype in certain architectural
features found in England and on the Continent (especially in some of
the Southern countries), but, as we now have it, it is a peculiarly
national affair and its evolution has been due to American ingenuity in
an effort to meet the demands of local requirements. The earliest
American houses, from New England to the Southern Colonies, faithful to
prevailing precedent and tradition, had no porches, porches, that is, as
we ordinarily understand the term. It was only as our domestic
architecture developed along lines marked out and prompted by peculiarly
American conditions and needs that precedents were forsaken, adaptations
made, and porches appeared, at first in a rudimentary and tentative form
and then finally, after the lapse of years, reached the full fruition of
their growth in the form familiar to us. That growth varied widely in
the course it followed, according to the several sections of the country
and consequent diverse requirements and preferences,” but one form at
least may be traced to the growth of plans in the houses of the Dutch
Colonial type. This growth started with the projecting eaves at the
front which, eventually, were carried out long enough to make a porch
roof and supported at their edge by pillars or columns. An excellent
example of this may be seen in the piazza of the Manor House at
Croton-on-Hudson where the flaring slope of the roof is thus carried
out and forms a porch covering. The same process may be traced in some
of the later Dutch houses of New Jersey and Long Island.

Almost synchronously with the development of the porch as a distinct
feature, we find a tendency to carry the walls a trifle higher and
pierce them with a row of small, low windows above the porch roof and
immediately below the line of the eaves which have now become distinct,
the porch roof being cut off and made an independent member. These low
windows, which were usually on a line a few inches above the floor
inside have been rather facetiously called “lie-on-your-stomach

The doorway of the early Dutch houses was not a feature of any
architectural pretension. It was approached by one or two steps only, as
the houses were close to the ground, and sometimes a small platform, or
a stoop with settles on either side, gave an inviting appearance
indicative of the hospitality within. The doorway was rectangular
without attempt at adornment further than occasionally a narrow transom
with small, square lights. Even this was often lacking. The Dutch door
divided in the middle shared the honours with solid, undivided batten
doors. Both types were in common use, although preference was given the
Dutch or divided door for the main entrance and the corresponding back
entrance at the opposite end of the hall.

As the Dutch Colonial style developed in the eighteenth century more
attention was paid to the adornment of the entrance and about the time
of the Revolutionary War, which made the Colonists more fully aware of
each other’s presence and served to spread and popularise ideas, we find
that Georgian _motifs_ were borrowed and adapted to local needs with a
broad freedom of treatment that imparted a good deal of individuality to
them and removed them at times almost altogether from the Georgian
category from which the first inspiration had sprung. Up to this time
the Dutch Colonial type had been singularly free from the working of
outside influences and had developed independently along lines suggested
by its inherent qualities. But even after this infusion of Georgian
feeling the treatment was so typical and original that the newly
introduced and adapted _motifs_ were perfectly congruous with the parent
stock upon which they had been engrafted.

Finally, in making the survey of the distinctive exterior features of
the Dutch Colonial style, it should be remembered that the dormers,
which so frequently appear, were not characteristic of the earliest
dwellings but were a later development dictated by expediency when it
was found desirable to use more fully the attics for sleeping rooms
than was customary in the earliest houses, where all the light necessary
was admitted from the gable ends and where the attics were storerooms
and workshops for domestic operations such as weaving and spinning,
often carried on by the slaves.

Ordinarily the Dutch house in ground plan was a long rectangle with an
ell extension at one end. Oftentimes the roof of this ell extension
swept down to within a few feet of the ground. There was no attempt at
symmetry of plan in the arrangement of these houses but the walls were
pierced with doors and windows wherever convenience dictated their
presence. The Dutch house was almost invariably set close to the ground
and it is this fact, together with their restful roof lines, that gives
so many of the old Dutch dwellings their aspect of thorough repose. As
stated before, the Dutch preferred to live downstairs and only used the
attic for bedchambers when force of circumstances made it necessary. The
two chief rooms of the house were the kitchen and the best parlour. In
the one, not only was the cooking done but all the ordinary household
life of the establishment was concentrated and there the family both
played and worked. In the other the household gods were stored away and
the best furniture and china of all sorts were displayed in proud array.
Ordinarily a wide hall ran through the house from front door to back
door and the rooms were on either side of this. Small bedrooms were
tucked away back of the parlour and kitchen, while sometimes a great
living room took the place of the kitchen on one side of the hall and
the kitchen was pushed into the ell extension at the rear. Thanks to the
lack of formality in the plan of the Dutch house, it was capable of
indefinite growth and in that respect the architecture was profoundly
affected by the mode of life of the occupants. It not infrequently
happened that a larger addition was built to the old houses and this
addition was again added to by another smaller addition when a married
son or daughter came home to live and share the protection of the
paternal rooftree.

The stairway in the majority of Dutch Colonial houses was not an
important feature and was not made much of. It merely led to the attic
where some of the children or servants slept, if there was not room
enough below stairs, and where all sorts of materials and provisions
were stored or where spinning and weaving were done. Consequently,
little decoration was bestowed upon it. The hand-rail might or might not
be of mahogany and supported on straight, slender spindles. It was often
boxed in to prevent the heat from rising to the attic and thus being

The chief feature in the old Dutch rooms was the fireplace, and many of
these old fireplaces are of cavernous proportions. The chimney breast
almost invariably extended well into the room and the spaces on either
side were often filled with built-in cupboards, or else with deeply
embayed window seats. Very little attempt at decoration was made in the
panelling of the over-mantels and indeed there was often no panelling at
all but the rough plaster of the wall was whitewashed. The walls were
exceedingly thick, often two feet or more, and this gave deep reveals to
the windows. All the woodwork in the earlier houses was ordinarily plain
and was usually painted a spotless white as it so often was in Holland
and this made a striking background for the hinges, latches, bolts and
other hardware whose decorative value the Dutch thoroughly appreciated
and which they accordingly fashioned in graceful shapes. It was not
until a later period, towards the middle of the eighteenth century and
later, that any attempt was made to embellish the woodwork by carving or
turning and even then the adornment often consisted of only simple but
well-proportioned mouldings. Towards the end of the eighteenth century
when the Georgian influence, particularly in its Adam phase, began to be
strongly felt, one finds adaptations of current _motifs_ such as oval
fans, swags, drops, flutings, reedings, sunbursts and divers other
decorative forms in vogue at the period. All of them however were
handled with a surprising degree of freedom and independent of English
precedents and the manner in which they were used seems to be thoroughly
original. It is at this period of elaborated woodwork that we also find
the doorway assuming importance as a decorative feature of the house.
Slender turned columns--some of them ought rather to be called
spindles--were added at the sides, occasionally there were glass side
lights with leaded tracery and fanlights in elliptical door heads or
tracery in square transoms were all used to add a note of state to the
doorway that had hitherto been very plain and unpretentious. In the
fanlights, as well as in the side lights, it was not unusual for the
tracery to be formed in delicately-moulded lead work. In a very able
study of ornamental detail of the older Dutch houses by John T. Boyd,
Jr., published in _The Architectural Record_, the author says: “The
first thing one notices about these details is their freedom. It is an
architecture absolutely without orders. In some rare cases, there are
mantels with little Tuscan columns, but they are not among the finest
examples and are found side by side with freer forms. The over-mantels
often ... show a very rare use of fluted pilasters.

“A freer and very exquisite channelling was often used, which is found
in many houses with slight variations. The theory of all these Dutch
mouldings is a series of many fine parallel lines and shadows made by
hollows, beads, and fillets, beautifully varied in proportion, all very
delicate in scale.”

It has been stated that the interior woodwork was generally painted
white and that the rough walls were ordinarily whitewashed, but while
speaking of the paint it should not be forgotten that the Dutch had a
wonderful eye for colour and, though the interiors of their houses
presented an aspect of spotless white, the exteriors rejoiced in
chromatic brilliancy that at times was positively dazzling and, even in
its weatherworn stages, presented a lively appearance that could not
fail to attract the attention of the most unobservant. Greens, blues,
and reds were used with the greatest freedom and, just as in Holland
to-day, gave a touch of kaleidoscopic interest that served to throw all
the delightfully intimate and fanciful details of the Dutch house into
strong relief.

The shutters of the earlier Dutch houses were usually of the batten type
and at the top often presented the curious saw cuts intended to admit a
ray of light or for ventilation. These saw cuts were made in almost any
pattern from that of a half moon or a five pointed star to a heart or a
pot of flowers. This same conceit of decorative saw cuts has been
perpetuated in the shutters of modern houses patterned after old Dutch
models. Shutters of a later period were pannelled.

Of all the types of domestic architecture that have been either evolved
or modified in America during the Colonial period, none more generally
commends itself to the favourable consideration of the modern home
builder than that which the Dutch settlers of Manhattan, North Jersey
and Long Island worked out as the most satisfactory solution for their
needs. Although the body was sturdy and stout, the ornamental details,
which were developed in the later period, were often extremely graceful,
the proportions throughout the type are agreeable and in every instance,
whether early or late, we find the omnipresent charm of domesticity,
which in the long run is more valued by the majority of people than a
stately formality which sacrifices a measure of comfort to the exacting
purity of proportion.



The Colonial houses of New England are of singular interest because they
fill a gap in our architectural history, a gap regarded for a long time
as embarrassing and awkward to bridge over. They are also peculiarly
interesting because they are so full of surprises that open up with
increasing frequency to repay diligent investigation on the part of the
architectural student, the historian or the antiquary. They are still
further interesting because they supply us with important and ample
material for comparative study.

The gap alluded to is the apparent hiatus in the connexion between
domestic architectural precedents and tradition in old England, on the
one hand, and Colonial manifestations, as popularly conceived until very
recently, on the other. In order to avoid an undue extent of
introductory explanation, it will be assumed that the reader is
reasonably familiar with the general characteristics of outward
appearance displayed by seventeenth-century English houses and knows
something of the structural methods employed in their erection. To
appreciate fully and understand the spirit and peculiarities of the
earliest Colonial architecture of New England, we must seek, in the
course of our examination of the subject, to find a fundamental and
close correspondence between it and the architecture of old England, no
matter how far the visible traces of that intimate relationship may have
been obscured by subsequent alterations and additions to the original
houses whose fabric affords our basis of comparison. If we keep our eyes
and wits alert, we shall not be disappointed in the results of our

While pursuing our quest for evidences of architectural descent or
consanguinity, we should keep constantly in mind three things. Indeed,
we _must_ keep these three facts before us to understand not
only the early phases of architecture but many other aspects of
seventeenth-century New England life as well. First of all, the men who
built the early New England houses and the men who lived in them were
Englishmen, and, as Englishmen, they were naturally disposed by
temperament to be strongly conservative and to cling tenaciously to
precedent and tradition, particularly in a matter of such vital
importance as the fashioning of houses. They were, in short, proving the
truth of Edward Eggleston’s dictum that “men can with difficulty
originate, even in a new hemisphere.” In the second place, all their
training in craftsmanship was English and it was but reasonable that
they should continue to work in a new land with the same tools and to
fashion their materials in precisely the same manner as they had been
wont to do in the land of their birth. It was but natural, too, that
they should perpetuate the technicalities of the trades they had learned
in old England in the training they gave their apprentices. This
identity and continuity of craft traditions may be clearly seen in the
furniture of early New England, which is exactly the same as
contemporary furniture in England in contour, joinery, and the technique
and pattern of the carving. Identity and continuity of craft
characteristics may also be traced in the turning of baluster spindles,
in the chamfering of beams, in the framing of house timbers and in a
dozen other ways. Lastly, those early American Englishmen were possessed
of no mean degree of clear-headed, practical common sense and were
eminently resourceful, as pioneers in a new and untamed land must needs
be if their efforts at colonisation are to be crowned with success. If
local exigency seemed to demand that they modify their methods to fit
current needs, they were prompt to devise a suitable adaptation to meet
the requirement. But these adaptations and

[Illustration: HOUSE OF SEVEN GABLES, SALEM, MASS. 1669.

Showing overhang and corner pendant.]


Courtesy of Henry I. Fairbanks, Dedham, Mass.



The latticed casements are restorations.]


departures from precedent were not indulged in from mere caprice or with
any deliberate and conscious intent to develop a new and original mode
of architectural expression. The adaptations in each case, before they
became precedents for subsequent repetition elsewhere, were suggested by
obvious necessity and originality was left to take care of itself, with
the usual happy results arising from the observance of the principle
that the safest and truest originality comes by a gradual process of
evolution, elimination and adaptation to local needs.

In view, then, of the foregoing considerations, one not unreasonably
expects to find the early New England house identical or almost
identical in appearance and structure with the contemporary English
house of a like size, only such differences being evident as local
expediency occasioned. If one could only see several such houses now as
they unquestionably were at the date of their erection, this chapter
would be altogether unnecessary, for the resemblance between them and
their prototypes in our old home beyond the Atlantic would be so
striking that the veriest dolt would be sensible of it. In nearly every
instance the alterations and accretions of centuries have blurred and
often hidden the points of likeness, but, by the judicious employment of
archæological surgery, we may readily trace all the steps of
evolutionary development from the well-known old English type to a type
that became peculiarly American and local, that is to say, peculiar to
New England. The steps are all logical and we can see how the early
colonists began by building houses as they were accustomed to see them
built in old England and ended by building a type whose characteristics
were generally determined by local conditions and expediency. We can see
how, by successive steps, mediæval English peculiarities of structure
and design gradually gave way to methods of more recent contrivance or
of foreign origin. Indeed, among all the colonists, whether of English,
Dutch, Swedish or German blood, directly they had passed the temporary
log-cabin stage, there was a virtual identity between the architectural
forms of the parent countries and their own earliest permanent
architectural attempts, and the process of differentiation did not begin
until new environment and new necessities pointed the way to the
adoption of new modes and forms. It is exceedingly important to
recognise the strong current of continuity and to realise that the
architecture of Colonial America, in its sundry manifestations, was not,
as some are pleased to contend, an wholly independent growth without
old-world antecedents or clearly marked historical background.

The evolution of local architecture, of course, not only mirrors the
social and economic development of the colonies but also presents
numerous edifying variations within the confines of New England which
show how strongly the course of architectural growth in the new land was
influenced by conditions locally prevalent in the old home. It can
oftentimes be seen how the artisans from one particular place in England
perpetuated certain idiosyncrasies of craftsmanship within limited
Colonial areas and that those peculiarities are found nowhere else. In
both its economic and purely technical aspects, the mode of domestic
architectural expression devised in Colonial New England has many
admirable features to commend it and is due partly to native Yankee
mother wit and shrewd practicality quickened by the spur of necessity,
and partly to the spirit of true British conservatism and attachment to
long-established custom, a spirit that was strong in the early Puritans
and often determined their actions in spite of themselves.

A brief survey of seventeenth-century manners and men, within the bounds
of New England, will greatly assist us in forming an intelligent
appreciation of the houses erected in this pioneer period. The log-cabin
of the first few years of colonisation we need scarcely consider, for
the rude huts erected at first were merely temporary shelters, were soon
replaced by more substantial structures, and were not really
representative in any sense. The houses built as soon as the colonists
had an opportunity to become accustomed to their new environment and get
their economic bearings, reflected a condition of society in which a
modest degree of simple comfort, resulting from rigorous thrift,
rewarded the majority while prosperous affluence fell to the lot of
comparatively few. Well built dwellings were comfortable but not
pretentious. They were apt for all ordinary domestic requirements but,
save in exceptional cases, there was no approach to luxury. They usually
had rooms enough for all essential purposes but rarely were any special
or extra rooms set apart for distinctive uses, with the exception of the
parlour or “best room,” which often held the best bed and served
variously as state bedroom for most honoured guests, repository for the
most treasured household gods and the choicest items of domestic
equipment and, finally, as the gathering place for the more worthy
visitors at times of weddings, funerals or other important occasions.

The number of bedchambers provided in most cases would nowadays be
deemed totally inadequate for the people to be accommodated and, to cite
only one instance thoroughly typical of innumerable others, the members
of the Revere household, if we may believe the statistics of tradition,
must have been packed away at nights in sardine-like and most unsanatory
proximity, or else some of them slept in the cellar or on the roof. This
was well on towards the latter part of the eighteenth century, too, when
habits in this particular had certainly not fallen below the standards
of the seventeenth century. Besides the members of the Revere family,
there were various apprentices and domestics, all of whom found shelter
beneath the roof of this typical seventeenth-century house. It was no
uncommon thing for two or three children or young persons to sleep in
one bed and there was often more than one bedstead in a room. Truckle or
trundle beds for children were frequently put in the bedchambers of
their elders, while indentured servants and apprentices oftentimes slept
in the kitchen, or else master and mistress slept in the tempered
atmosphere of the kitchen fire and underlings took to the frigid regions
above. Wherever the kitchen was put into commission as a sleeping
apartment, there was the folding or “let down” bed or _slawbank_, which
Mrs. Earle describes as “an oblong frame with a network of rope. This
frame was fastened at one end to the wall, with heavy hinges, and at
night it was lowered to a horizontal position, and the unhinged end was
supported on heavy wooden turned legs which fitted into sockets in the
frame. When not in use the bed was hooked up against the wall, and doors
like closet doors, were closed over it, or curtains were drawn over it
to conceal it.” What though the sleeping arrangements of the seventeenth
century, and indeed of much of the eighteenth century, for that matter,
would often have called forth the sharp condemnation of a modern
tenement house inspector, the colonists, nevertheless, made shift to get
along in tolerable comfort and raise large families of children, with a
due regard for the amenities of life, who became the most exemplary of

If the kitchen was sometimes used as a sleeping room, it was almost
universally used as a living room. It was the vital point of the
household whence radiated all domestic energies. It was spacious and was
made as bright and cheerful as it could possibly be. Around the great
open fireplace, where the cooking was done, centred all in-door
activities from carding, spinning and weaving to corn husking. Here the
family circle, eldest in places of greatest comfort, children and
servants about the outer edge, gathered in the firelight of the long
winter evenings; here the neighbour or chance traveller was entertained,
and here lads and lasses, in the full glare of family publicity, did
much of their courting, sometimes whispering their sweet nothings, from
opposite sides of


Copyright, Detroit Publishing Co.


Built 1676.]


Copyright, Detroit Publishing Co.


The old wall paper is not coeval with the house.]

the fireplace, through a “courting-stick,” a wooden tube six or eight
feet long with mouth and ear pieces at each end.

In houses sufficiently spacious to admit of a living room or a
“keeping-room” separate from the kitchen--such a room was analogous to
the old English “hall”--the kitchen was still a cheerful room of great
importance and the scene of many domestic fireside industries. It was a
common thing to make lean-to additions to the original structure and the
kitchen was often put in such an addition or in an ell extension. It was
only the houses of the affluent, like that of Governour Theophilus Eaton
at New Haven, built about 1640, that could boast what we should nowadays
consider a very moderate number of rooms on the ground floor. Besides
the great hall or living room in Governour Eaton’s house, there seem to
have been a large kitchen and a pantry or buttery on one side, and on
the other a parlour and a counting-house or library. Of the appointments
of these rooms we may gain some idea from the inventory of Governour
Eaton’s effects at the time of his death in 1657. In the hall or living
room there were “a drawing Table and a round table; a cubberd & 2 long
formes; a cubberd cloth & cushions; 4 setwork cushions, 6 greene
cushions; a greate chaire with needleworke; 2 high chaires set work; 4
high stooles set worke; 4 low chaires set worke; 2 low stooles set
work; 2 Turkey Carpette; 6 high joyne stooles; a pewter cistern &
candlestick; a pr of small andirons; a pr of doggs; a pr of tongues fire
pan & bellowes.” The other rooms were furnished in a comparable manner.
Living rooms in less pretentious houses had similar equipment though, it
is scarcely necessary to add, they were not usually so complete nor so

The very plan, or rather plans for there were several, of early New
England houses proclaimed an English origin. The house of Governour
Eaton, just mentioned, is said to have been built in the form of a
capital E. The “E” plan was a very common form in the manor houses and
even in the larger cottages of the England of Eaton’s time. It was also
a very old form, “dating from the thirteenth century, if not from the
twelfth, or even earlier, and it had, in its long career, come to be the
expression of a regular and well-recognised arrangement.” “Other houses
of this plan were built in different parts of New England for men of
consequence and substance.”

“The common houses,” according to Edward E. Lambert, the antiquary, “at
first were small, of one storey with sharp roofs, and heavy stone
chimneys and small diamond windows.” Many of the early dwellings also
had two floors. One type of these small houses commonly found in
Massachusetts and Connecticut consisted of two rooms with a chimney
between them. The house door opened into a small entry containing the
staircase, opposite the door and carried up beside the chimney. The
chimney was the core around which the house was built and projected
above the middle of the ridgepole. Each room had a fireplace. To this
type of house was frequently added a lean-to across the whole rear and
this addition usually accommodated the kitchen. Sometimes the lean-to
was incorporated in the plan when the house was built. In either case,
the long, narrow lean-to room contained a fireplace which generally had
a flue in the central chimney. When dwellings of this description had
two rooms on the ground floor, one would be the kitchen and general
living room and the other the parlour containing the “best bed,” an
arrangement alluded to in a previous paragraph; where there was the
additional lean-to room for the kitchen, the two other rooms would be
living room and parlour.

In northern Rhode Island there was another common type that contained
one room, at the end of which “was a vast stone chimney which appeared
on the outside of the house.” Beside the fireplace and in the offset
made by the chimney jamb, was a winding staircase--in the earliest
houses it was sometimes a ladder--leading to the upper room or loft, as
the case might be. An amplification of this “stone-end” type of house
was occasionally found with _two_ rooms placed side by side and a
fireplace in each room in relatively the same position. That these types
of floor plan were part of the common English architectural heritage we
shall presently see by comparison with subsequent chapters. The position
of the chimney served to all intents as an exterior indication of the
internal plan of the house. Of course, many departures from these two
original plans are to be met with in the early Colonial houses of New
England but it will usually be found that such departures are due to
later additions to a structure based, in the first instance, on one or
the other of them.

We are so accustomed to thinking of the old New England houses as
structures covered with clapboards that we are in danger of forgetting
what is underneath this outer coat. In fact, it is safe to say that the
majority of people do not know what is underneath, and many would be
greatly surprised if they did. After all, the clapboard casing is a
disguise, and the people of New England are so thrifty and, as a rule,
have been so careful to keep their buildings in good condition that the
clapboards hide the traces of age that would otherwise be visible and
put the oldest buildings on a par with those of later date. The
clapboard casing masques different things beneath its surface. If we rip
it off many of the oldest buildings, we shall find behind it nothing
more nor less than an old English half-timber house, built precisely as
were the half-timber or “black and white” houses in the reigns of the
Tudors and Stuarts. The exigencies of climate soon made it evident that
such a mode of structure was not altogether suited to the rigorous
winters of New England and then, too, something must be attributed to
the desire on the part of subsequent owners to follow prevalent fashion
which prescribed the clapboard jackets. In houses of more recent date,
of course, the clapboard shell may be regarded as an integral part of
the structure but, in the earlier buildings, it is nothing but a masque,
put on at a later date, to protect the walls and give added warmth when
the first-adopted method of wall building was found insufficient, or in
some cases, perhaps, to comply with the dictates of a passing fancy.

Whenever this clapboarding is torn off for repairs, original conditions
become obvious and may readily be studied. The writer has seen such old
houses, when partly denuded of their clapboard casing, reveal typical
half-timber constructional methods, similar in every particular to the
methods pursued by the half-timber builders in England. The cills, the
studs, the diagonal timbers and all the other parts of the frame are
set and joined, tenoned and pinned, just as they were in England and the
spaces between the studs are “pugged” with rough brick or stones and
coarse clay stiffened with chopped straw, also in the time-honoured
English manner. It is quite possible that in some instances the spaces
between the studs may have been “pugged” with “wattle and dab”--thick
clay daubed on a loose mesh of interwoven wattles or withes--for the
tradition of this process certainly crossed the Atlantic and appeared in
some of the early clay chimneys of Connecticut.

So many people have expressed surprise when told of the unbroken
persistence of the half-timber tradition that it will be in order to
mention specific instances which, however, may be regarded as typical of
many other buildings of contemporary date. For much painstaking and
scholarly investigation in this field, and for much accurate
restoration, the public is indebted to Joseph Everett Chandler, of
Boston, whose restorations of numerous historic buildings have won him
well deserved esteem and confidence.[A]


Very early type with low eaves and central chimney.]


The long slope of roof on one side shows persistence of old English


Copyright, J. B. Lippincott Co.


An intact example of Pennsylvania Colonial, of Welsh workmanship.]


Copyright, J. B. Lippincott Co.


Pennsylvania Colonial type with German influence apparent.]

It was the writer’s privilege to see the old Bake House in Salem just
after it had been rescued by private generosity from impending
demolition and moved to its present site hard by the House of the Seven
Gables. In the course of making necessary repairs and restorations, the
clapboard casing had been entirely removed and it was possible to see
fully the whole structural scheme. The timbers and pugging were as just
noted. Although the windows were, at that time, of the sash type, with
small panes, the traces were clearly visible of alterations that had
been made at an earlier date, probably somewhere about 1720, when the
sash window rose into high favour and was generally substituted for the
leaded casement with small diamond-shaped panes. The timbers gave
unmistakable evidence that the window apertures in the sides of the
house had originally been wide enough to accommodate a range of
casements and that they had been neither so high nor so low as the sash
or double hung windows that took their places. In other words, the
timbers showed that the apertures had been narrowed to a considerable
extent and, at the same time, extended both upwards and downwards.

Inside the house, the heavy oak studs, when the laths and plaster were
torn off, showed chamfered corners, usually stopped at the ends with a
stop that was thoroughly mediæval in character and might be found
duplicated in the beams of trussed roofs in any old building in England
dating from the sixteenth century or earlier. The tops of the studs, in
some cases, showed a peculiar splay outward at the sides and rough
notching by way of ornament. Surely here were touches of mediæval
English workmanship that had been perpetuated in the new land by a
workman who had served his apprenticeship in an English village where
all the old joinery traditions were preserved intact.

The overhang on the second floor projecting some distance beyond the
walls of the first is another striking instance of the survival of
half-timber building traditions in not a few of the old houses. We see
it in the House of the Seven Gables, in the Bake House, in the Paul
Revere house in Boston, in more than one old house in Marblehead, and in
plenty of other ancient dwellings, some of them recently restored,
throughout the land, where restorations have been intelligently
undertaken and carried out. It has almost invariably proved the case
either that the pendants were intact beneath the clapboards, or that the
stumps of them were there, clearly showing the existence of the feature.
In not a few cases the overhang has disappeared because the clapboard
casing has been carried down flush with the outside of the upper storey.
This was the case with the House of the Seven Gables, and it was only
when the clapboard casing, in which it had been jacketed for many years,
was removed that the overhang once more came to light and the stumps of
the original pendants were forthwith restored. The finding of such
pendants and such overhangs coupled with the frequent occurrence of such
features as just noted in the case of the Bake House afford us
irrefutable evidence of the perpetuation of the English half-timber
building traditions. It has been fondly supposed by some that the
overhang was meant for purposes of defence. It may have been turned to
that use when occasion required, but defence was certainly not the
original idea, for in that case the projection would doubtless have been
carried all the way around the wall, as it was in the case of the block
houses, where, of course, this feature was meant primarily to facilitate
defence and cover the occupants as they dropped boiling oil, hot lead,
or other missiles on the heads of their assailants whenever they
approached near enough.

From the early New England houses, that embodied so many old English
architectural traditions, was gradually evolved, under stress of local
expediency, a type that met the needs of the colonists. That type was
not only intensely practical in its characteristics but its simplicity
and straightforwardness gave it a vital artistic interest that still
commends it to our favourable consideration.




From the very outset, Pennsylvania was the most polyglot and
conglomerate of all the English colonies or provinces in America. West
Jersey and Delaware, which latter State was originally a part of
Pennsylvania and known as “the three lower counties on Delaware,” in
some degree shared this miscellaneous character, and together the three
formed a practically distinct unit in the Middle Colonies, peculiar in
composition and without parallel elsewhere. The diversity in nationality
and speech among the early settlers was directly reflected in
architectural manifestations and the variant types were never wholly
welded together into one distinct style and, even long after the advent
and almost universal prevalence of the Georgian mode, they continued in
use concurrently. Just as similar phenomena were to be detected in the
several parts of New England, they displayed local peculiarities of
artisanship attributable to the different traditions obtaining in the
respective parts of the Old World from which the individual artisans had
come. The two most noticeable features in the early population of
Pennsylvania were the diversity of elements and the clannishness and
consequent isolation of the people who composed the several distinct
parts of the colony. These elements remained distinct from each other
both from preference and interest, and natural conditions favoured this

First of all in date of settlement on the shores of the Delaware were
the Swedes, whose successful efforts at colonisation began in 1638. The
Dutch, it is true, had previously made some slight attempts at
settlement. In 1616, in pursuit of the exploration essayed but abandoned
by Hudson in 1609, Captain Hendrickson, in the “Onrust” (“Restless”),
had sailed up the Delaware to the mouth of the Schuylkill and, in 1623,
under Captain Cornelius Mey, Fort Nassau was built at what is now
Gloucester Point, nearly opposite Philadelphia. In the main, however,
the Dutch preferred to stay down the bay and, in 1650, Fort Nassau was
abandoned. They were traders rather than settlers, so far as their
connexion with the Delaware was concerned, and the first real
settlements, therefore, are to be credited to the Swedes who were
home-loving, industrious farmers, proud of their homesteads and capable
in the management of their dairies but possessed of little inclination
towards commercial activity. The Swedish foundation was permanent and,
though the Swedish population was eventually absorbed by the more
numerous elements brought hither a few years later by Penn’s “holy
experiment,” it left an indelible and significant mark upon the
corporate composition of the colony and the traces of Swedish influence
are still distinct and unmistakable, not only in much of the local
architecture, in the names of places and persons, and in the strong
strain of Swedish blood in many Pennsylvania families but in humbler and
less obvious matters as well. As an instance of the latter may be
mentioned the common strain of red cattle to be seen everywhere on the
hills and in the valleys of eastern Pennsylvania. These same red cattle
are the descendants of the Swedish kine, brought hither nearly three
hundred years ago by the hardy colonists who planted their farmsteads
along the waters of the Delaware and its lower tributaries.

Attracted by the prospect of religious liberty, by the liberal
inducements offered them, and by the fatness of the land, a great
variety of settlers, following in the wake of Penn’s pioneers, flocked
to the colony on the Delaware and found there a safe and happy refuge
after the troublous existence many of them had led before their
departure from their old homes. Besides the English, who were almost
altogether Quakers, there were, in this second wave of immigration, both
Welsh and Germans. Later still, a small Dutch element was added and then
came the Scotch-Irish. Each of these elements naturally perpetuated its
own peculiar architectural traditions, and why those traditions
continued so long a time distinct in their expression we shall presently

While the English Quakers were numerically preponderant, counting the
neighbourhood of Philadelphia and West Jersey as a unit of population,
and were politically in supreme control until late in the eighteenth
century, the Welsh and Germans dwelt close beside them and were accorded
so large a measure of practical independence in the management of their
own affairs that their communities were virtually _imperia in imperio_.
For twenty or thirty years after the founding of Pennsylvania, “the
Welsh were the most numerous class of immigrants” and in place names, in
blood, in local history, and in architecture their enduring influence is
plainly discernible. Before they migrated from the land of their birth,
they had entered into an agreement with Penn by which he promised them
“a tract of forty thousand acres, where



Formerly in Letitia Court.]


Built for clergymen of Weceaco and Kingsessing parishes.]


Showing strong Swedish influence in contour of roof.]

they could have a little government of their own and live by
themselves.” Accordingly, upon their arrival, this tract was surveyed
for them in the high, rolling lands embraced chiefly within the present
bounds of Montgomery and Delaware Counties, a section that more nearly
resembled in character their beloved Wales than did any other part of
this new country of their adoption. The tract was called the Welsh
Barony for the sturdy, “red-haired, freckle-faced descendants of the
ancient Britons insisted that this territory, specially set apart for
them, was a barony or county palatine and, in very truth, it was a manor
with the right of court baron.” These Owens and Joneses, Evanses and
Wynnes, Powells and Pughs and all their kith and kin, managed their
affairs according to their own notions and, at first, dispensed with the
usual system of township and county organisation. Civil authority was
vested in the Quaker meetings until, in 1690, the three townships of
Merion, Haverford and Radnor were formed and the civil jurisdiction of
the meetings superseded. Welsh was the official language of the courts
and records and Welsh was the daily tongue of all the people in the
barony and very few of them understood English, so that when William
Penn preached at Haverford, in 1701, his hearers could not have been
much edified, so far as his words were concerned. Closely bound
together by the tie of language and separated by the same means from the
other colonists who spoke English, Swedish or German, these Welsh gentry
and yeomen held aloof from outside affairs, content with a mode of life
that was “unusual on a provincial frontier” for its “amount of enjoyment
and expenditure for dress and entertainment.” Local independence and
self-sufficiency were only broken down when the barony was thrown open
to outside settlers because the Welsh occupants refused to pay
quit-rents on more land than they actually used or held. Their strong
feeling of nationality, however, remained and nothing could have been
more natural than that the architecture for which they were responsible
should have had, as it did, a characteristic local flavour.

The earliest German community was Germantown and, though it is now a
part of Philadelphia, in 1683 and for more than a hundred years
afterward, Penn’s “greene country towne” and the village of the Germans
were separated by a long stretch of open country and the highroad
between the two was oftentimes so bad that it was an obstacle rather
than an aid to communication. The German settlers spoke their own
language, printed their own books, pursued their own industries,
worshipped in their own way, built their own schools and managed their
own affairs of internal organisation without either interference or
assistance from the powers in Philadelphia. As did the earliest settlers
in Germantown, so also did their countrymen, who continued to come to
America in ever-increasing numbers and travelled farther and farther
into the interior of the land where the richness of the soil and the
opportunity to follow their own inclinations without let or hindrance
from interfering or antagonistic neighbours invited them.

Besides keeping aloof, during most of the early period, from the
settlers of other nationality, the Germans were also subdivided among
themselves. There were the Pietists or Rosicrucians, who had their
settlement or community on the banks of the Wissahickon. Although they
maintained some intercourse with the other German settlers, they
nevertheless led a distinct existence. The people in Germantown,
likewise, formed a complete community in themselves and the industries
in which they engaged at an early date, namely, the operation of paper
and knitting mills, are still flourishing in the neighbourhood, in some
instances on the original sites. Again, the settlers in the Skippack
region were far removed from those in Germantown and developed
peculiarities of their own. The Moravians, in their turn, pushed still
farther into the northern part of the province and founded settlements
quite distinct from all other colonisation enterprises. Their ancient
buildings are deeply interesting and have preserved permanently the
traditions of the country whence the Moravians originally came. An
examination will clearly show a similarity in many points to the Suabian
modes of architectural expression, as one might expect from the close
ties of kinship.

The isolation of the several elements of population in the colony was
still further favoured by the fact that, at first, the Pennsylvania, New
Jersey and Delaware colonists who followed Penn resembled their Swedish
predecessors and were not commercial in their instincts like the Dutch,
who were aggressively mercantile with their fur trade. What they needed
for home consumption the early Pennsylvanians made for themselves, so
far as they could, and in every way were essentially agricultural and
diametrically opposed to the Dutch. For some years after the founding of
the colony, Swedes, English, Welsh, and Germans alike turned their eyes
inland. We might say that their policy of colonisation was introspective
rather than expansive.

This introspective policy of colonisation did not tend toward the
expansion or the prosperity of the colony and, while the colonists led
lives of comfort in their own preferred seclusion, it was not until
they turned their eyes to the sea and engaged in commerce that the
prosperity of Philadelphia, and of the colony generally, increased by
leaps and bounds. The roads, for the most part, were extremely bad and,
in the winter and spring, were hopelessly miry. Where the settlers did
not follow the course of the streams for the spread of their area of
colonisation, they followed the Indian trails, and most of the old roads
leading out from Philadelphia, the old arteries of traffic along which
the colonists made their homesteads, and from which they pushed farther
and farther into the interior, were originally the pathways worn by the
red men through the forest.

While the Swedes chose the streams to determine their course of
colonisation, the Germans usually stuck to the Indian trails which, in
time, became the highroads to their various communities. In the earliest
times, the German lads and lasses forded the streams and came on
horseback along these roads, carrying their goods for market in the city
in panniers. It was not long, however, before sufficient improvement was
made in the condition of the highways to allow the great four, six, and
eight horse wains to be driven to the city periodically from the more
remote settlements. In these wains were contained the products of the
six months’ or year’s labour on the farms and, with the money from what
they sold, the farmers bought materials which they took home to be
manufactured into the various articles of necessity or comfort required
by the different members of their households.

Not until they learned, in the course of time, to appreciate the
fundamental liberalism that characterised the principles of the colony
as established by the Founder, and not until the gradual development of
commercial industries tended to bring them more together had the
different groups of colonists any common ground upon which they might
meet without bringing their diversity of principles and prejudices into
conflict. In the meanwhile, the architectural course of the province had
fallen into several well-defined separate channels that are still easily
recognisable. That these divers phases of Colonial architecture should
retain their individuality side by side is not to be wondered at when we
consider the early diversity and isolation of the various racial
elements of the province, explained at length in the foregoing pages,
and when we consider, also, the tenacity with which the people clung to
their distinguishing racial peculiarities of every sort long after the
barriers of antagonism or isolation had been broken down.

It is always well to be explicit, and it is easier to make the basis of
contention clear when a


Built early in eighteenth century. Said to have been the place of
Evangeline’s death.]


From an old engraving.]


definite instance is cited. We shall, therefore, use certain specified
houses for the sake of example. The first of these to claim our
attention is Wynnestay, shown in one of the accompanying illustrations,
the ancient home of the Wynne family, on the borders of the Welsh
Barony. When built in 1689, it was in deep country; now it is surrounded
by a suburban growth. Practically the only alteration that Wynnestay has
ever undergone was raising the ridgepole of the roof, on the oldest
part, to the line of the 1700 addition at a time when it was found
necessary to make some repairs. Save this, and what has been built at
the back to meet increased domestic needs, Wynnestay remains to-day in
its pristine state and is, therefore, valuable as a well-preserved
example of Welsh Colonial work. Doors and windows are low, but of
generous breadth, and capped by heavy stone lintels made of thick,
oblong slabs that must have cost no ordinary exertion and energy to set
them in place. The two dormers have the same sharply-pointed peaks that
we shall see in another Colonial example. As might be expected, the
walls are thick and everything about the building is of the most solid

When Wynnestay was built, the colonists had had no time to evolve new
architectural forms, so we may be sure that in erecting their dwellings
they followed as closely as they were able all traditions and precedents
with which they had been familiar in the old country. That Wynnestay and
its contemporaries faithfully represent the farmhouses and small manor
houses of Wales and England we may feel the more certain because capable
artisans, both house carpenters and stone masons, accompanied the
earlier settlers and by this time had arrived in considerable numbers in
the colony, and of course were working by the principles instilled into
them in their apprentice days.

The masonry of the Pennsylvania Colonial type has been highly admired
time and time again by architects in all sections of the country. The
same sort of masonry work is being done by local stone masons today, and
so individual and characteristic is it that they are sometimes sent for
to erect walls at a great distance from their own locality, because no
other masons can be found to put quite the same touch into the face of
the wall or lay the stones in quite the same way. But the charm for
which their handiwork is justly famed is due to the fact that they are
merely following the tradition handed down to them by the old Welsh and
English masons who came over with the first settlers. The tradition has
been faithfully perpetuated ever since. We find it in strong evidence in
all the old houses of that type, in fact in all the old buildings. It
will be adverted to, in the chapter on old Colonial churches, in
connexion with St. David’s, Radnor. Again we see it in such a building
as Waynesborough, which, by the way, is particularly interesting as
marking the transition from the early Colonial type to the early

Although Waynesborough was not built until a few years after Graeme Park
or Hope Lodge, those striking examples of the first phase of the Middle
Colonies’ Georgian, it has, nevertheless, retained in certain features a
strong resemblance to the early Colonial Welsh type. The masonry is
precisely the same, but more noticeable even than this are the lintels
of the doors and windows, constructed of a number of stones vertically
set in a flattened or elliptical arch. This form is to be seen in much
of the early Welsh work concurrently with the great slabs noted at

In general character Wynnestay is similar to the other Welsh houses near
by, such as Pencoyd, at Bala, built in 1633, or Harriton, built a little
later, but it has suffered less change in the lapse of years than its
near neighbours in Lower Merion township or other sections in which the
Welsh influence was felt, and it is better fitted to represent the type.
The house is built of native grey fieldstone of varied sizes--some of
the stones were probably turned up in the course of clearing the fields
round about--lined with white mortar and presents an interesting feature
in the bold moulding of the cornices. A continuation of the cornice from
the eaves, following the same horizontal line, traverses the face of the
wall at each gable end, making, with the gable cornice, a complete
triangle. This arrangement of the cornice as a string course across the
gable ends gives the roof a downright, positive appearance. The cornice
in this arrangement is not dissimilar from the penthouse so often used
on structures of this date between the first and second floors.
Wynnestay was built at two different periods. The first part, built in
1689, has a penthouse along the front with a triangular hood; the later
addition, built in 1700, has the penthouse between the first and second
floors, but without the triangular hood above the door. Still another
feature showing the close connexion of Waynesborough with the early
Colonial type, as exemplified by Wynnestay, is the hood over the house
door. Although the penthouses have disappeared the hood has remained,
and indicates very plainly a certain line of descent.

Wynnestay and other old houses just like it were the forerunners of a
type of structure that has come to be known as the Pennsylvania Colonial
farmhouse type; very worthy the type is, truly comfortable, homelike
and sensible, and deserving the popularity accorded it, so long as it
sticks closely to its severe simplicity and avoids all attempt at
pretence. The very moment, however, we depart from time-honoured
tradition and attempt to begaud this sort of building with Georgian
embellishments and furbelows--a thing far too often done--it looks
unseemly and ludicrous. Before leaving the subject one should add that
the Pennsylvania Colonial farmhouse is found in roughcast as well as
stone, and that the buildings erected by the English settlers, though
similar, were apt to be somewhat higher than the old, squat dwellings of
the Welsh, whose natural predilection for “stumpiness” is well
exemplified by the towers of their churches.

Our next Colonial example is Wyck in Germantown, at the corner of Walnut
Lane and Germantown Road. Like Wynnestay, Wyck has undergone scarcely
any change since its staunch walls were reared. Furthermore, Wyck has
never been sold, but has passed from owner to owner by inheritance, and
as its possessors have always been careful to maintain everything in its
original condition, it can readily be seen that a more trustworthy
example of Pennsylvania Colonial architecture could not be chosen. Wyck
represents the German influence in Colonial architecture. The structure
is really two houses joined together. The first was built about 1690 or
earlier; the second, though built somewhat later, nevertheless dates
also from an early period. Through the first part of the connecting
portion, that links the two houses into one, ran a passage or waggon
way. This passage was afterward closed in and now forms a great hallway
from which open outwards big double doors almost as wide as barn doors,
with a long transom of little lights above them.

The whole long south front of the house is whitewashed. Trellises cover
the face of the wall, and the vines, with their masses of thick foliage,
stand out in sharp contrast to the gleaming brightness of their
background. At Wyck the windows are higher and not so wide in proportion
as at Wynnestay, and the same may be said of the dimensions of the
doors. The proportions are excellent and the measurements of sash-bars,
muntins, and panes have been duplicated by architects again and again,
with most satisfactory results. The dormerheads have the same sharp
angularity as those at Wynnestay. At Wyck, however, the cornice runs
only beneath the eaves, and does not extend across the wall at the gable
end. This extension of the cornice as a string course was more apt to
occur in houses of Welsh or English build, while the Germans, one of
whom built Wyck, usually left their gable ends unadorned. In fact,
there is no cornice at all at the gable ends of Wyck, and the junction
of wall and roof is marked only by plain barge-boards, beyond which the
roof edge scarcely projects. At Wyck the pitch of the roof is not so
steep as at Wynnestay, and it may be remarked that the flatter pitch was
generally found on Colonial houses built by the Germans, and also in the
later English Colonial houses.

Both Wynnestay and Wyck, different as they may be in national tradition,
are alike in their thoroughgoing staunchness, their straightforward
simplicity of expression and detail and their utter lack of all
conscious attempt at adornment. It is true, both houses have distinct
elements of charm and embellishment, arising from such details as the
trellises and long transoms with little lights at Wyck, or the hoods
above the doors and the extension of the cornice across the gable-end
walls at Wynnestay, but the effect is wholly fortuitous and not the
result of design. Both houses are thoroughly typical of most of the
contemporary dwellings, and because of their escape from damaging
alterations no part of their charm has been impaired. Both, too, well
exemplify architectural modes that have continued uninterruptedly in use
to our own day. In the portions of the country where the English
element predominates, the little peculiarities of English tradition are
still plainly observable in modern work, while in the parts of the
country where the Pennsylvania German element is most numerous, it is
easy to trace, even in small matters, the enduring influence of German
architectural tradition, introduced by the early German settlers.
Indeed, we may very properly compare the persistence of architectural
minutiæ to the persistence of family traits and features in the human
race. So much, then, for worthy specimens of Pennsylvania styles that
are truly Colonial. The instances given are by no means isolated, but
stand as representatives of a numerous class of buildings to be found
not only in Pennsylvania, but in Delaware and New Jersey.

Before leaving the subject it should be noted that the brick farmhouses
of New Jersey, while often following closely the type noted in
Pennsylvania, occasionally assumed, as the period wore on, much more
bulky proportions than the dwellings of the early settlers, the roof
rising to a considerable height, and the body of the structure assuming
great depth as well as breadth. Some of these great brick structures
date from a comparatively early period, and may be attributed to the
rapidly increasing prosperity of the West Jersey planters, who had the
advantage of the Pennsylvania settlers


Built by Welsh settlers, 1695.]


[Illustration: THE SAAL, EPHRATA, PA.

Strong German influence.]

through their considerably earlier settlement. The oldest houses were
usually built on points of land stretching out into the numerous creeks
by which a part of the country is intersected, so that their
communication by water was always assured when the roads were bad, as
they frequently were. In this respect they resembled many of the old
houses of Virginia and Maryland. The walls of some of these early Jersey
houses are made of thick planks, tightly grooved together with a sliding
tongue, and stand today as staunch and true as when they were first
built. Stone was not a popular building material in Jersey, but brick
was generally used instead, and for brick was sometimes substituted a
kind of adobe or large block of sun-baked marl.

It is interesting to note that the long narrow transom of small lights
which we so often find over house doors in the Colonial period and the
first phase of the Georgian, seems to be a remnant of Queen Anne
tradition that got into English architecture from Dutch sources,
probably in the reign of William and Mary when such a large importation
of Dutch ideas and Dutch practices came into England.

While noting foreign influences in Colonial architecture we must not
forget to include the tendency to steep pitch and also gambrel forms in
roofs shown by the Swedish colonists. Nor should we forget to chronicle
two exceedingly interesting specimens of wholly foreign appearance that
were erected in Pennsylvania at an early date. One is the Moravian
Sisters’ House, at Bethlehem, erected about 1748 and the other is the
Saal or great hall of the monastery at Ephrata, built by the Seventh Day
Baptists about the same time. The tiny dormers are exact replicas of the
dormers to be seen on the towering and seemingly boundless roofs of any
old German town while the small, irregularly placed windows and steeply
pitched, high roof of the Ephrata Saal make the building look as though
it might have been transplanted bodily from Nürnberg or Rothenburg.



A close student of the English language, thoroughly conversant with all
the local peculiarities that characterise the speech of the several
parts of our country comprised within the bounds of the original
Thirteen Colonies, knows that different words and expressions, retaining
their seventeenth or eighteenth century significance, have lingered in
different communities. The mountaineers of Kentucky still replenish
their pipes from “pokes” of tobacco; in Virginia and Maryland,
insufficiently baked bread is said not to have “soaked” long enough,
meaning that it has not stayed in the oven as long as it ought; in
Pennsylvania we still “fetch” things when we go for them and bring them
back with us; and the soles of outworn New England shoes are “tapped,”
though they may be “half-soled” in other parts of the country, and New
England nags are “baited” at inn stables. Now all these archaisms, if
one chooses so to call them, are of impeccable English derivation,
though many of them have long since fallen into disuse in England,
and they were of common and correct usage at the time of the
colonists’ emigration to the New World. The Colonies were always
conservative--provincial places usually are--and our very retention of
the virile forms of speech in ordinary use in the England of the Stuarts
and the House of Hanover has contributed not a little to the foundation
of our just boast that the English spoken today in Virginia, Maryland,
parts of the Carolinas, eastern Pennsylvania and New England is better
and purer than most of the English now spoken in England itself. The
only feature of this phenomenon of speech persistence not fully
explicable is the fact that certain parts of linguistic tradition have
been perpetuated in some parts of the country while others are to be
found only in localities far removed so that a Virginian’s allusion to
bread insufficiently “soaked” would be unintelligible in Massachusetts.

If the vitality of usage is so noticeable in a fluid and mutable thing
like language, it is not surprising that architecture, which is visible
and comparatively permanent in its manifestation, should exhibit in a
markedly obvious manner an adherence to traditional forms. Nor is it
surprising, considering the diversity of the speech forms singled out by
chance for perpetuation in different parts of the country, to find a
similar diversity in the retention of local architectural forms, though
all may be of purely English origin.

The greater part of the South, like New England, was wholly English in
blood and the small element of foreign extraction was not sufficient to
exert any appreciable influence upon architectural types. The South had
no numerous Welsh, Swedish or German contingent, such as there was in
Pennsylvania, and no Dutch majority, as in New York, either to create an
exotic bias and modify the expression of its architectural heritage or
to seek independent utterance in the same territory. It was English to
the core and so was the architecture. Only, as in the matter of speech,
we find that traditions somewhat different from those manifested in New
England were chosen for preservation. This was partly due, no doubt, as
has already been pointed out, to the preponderance of the Saxon strain
in the South while New England settlers could trace some of their
hereditary preferences to the fact that so many of them came from the
Danish parts of old England. The traditions transplanted to American
soil by the Southern settlers flourished not only during the period
antecedent to the advent of the Georgian mode but persisted concurrently
with it and their influence is plainly to be detected in houses erected
within the memory of people still living. They are so distinctly
individual and so different from the forms to be seen in the Northern or
the Middle States that they may be readily recognised at a superficial
glance from the windows of a speeding railway carriage. Judging from the
light thrown on the subject by recent research and restorations, it is
not at all improbable that the colonists of the South and the colonists
of New England adhered, at first, to not a few architectural practices
identically the same. As an instance we may refer to the chimney built
to its full height outside the house wall. This feature endured in the
South, while in New England it was practically discontinued at an early
period. The reason is not far to seek. The rigours of New England
winters demanded the conservation of all available heat and it was
simply common sense to enclose the chimney within the house walls, and
let none of the warmth, emanating from the heated stones or bricks of
the chimney breast and flue, escape into the outer air and be wasted.
The more moderate climate of the South did not require such careful
conservation and so the outside chimney retained its old form. So it
doubtless was, also, with other features so that the divergence in local
forms, apart from the matter of hereditary choice of materials and the
modes of craftsmanship thereby involved, already alluded to, soon
became pronounced and created a crystallised type. What were the
distinguishing characteristics of this type, we shall shortly learn. It
will, however, be helpful to our general understanding first to get a
glimpse of the social life of the period when the Southern Colonial
house was in process of evolution.

The earliest settlers in Virginia were, for the most part, gentle born.
They were, in some cases, brothers, nephews or younger sons of peers of
the realm. Such was George Percy, brother to the Earl of Northumberland.
More commonly they were drawn from the families of the lesser nobility
and from the untitled squirearchy of county families or else from the
prosperous mercantile or professional classes. Either they personally or
their relatives, who assisted in establishing them in their venture of
colonisation, were in comfortable circumstances so that they could count
upon having at least a reasonably advantageous start in the new land and
were, therefore, from the outset in a condition soon to improve their
estate by embracing the abundant opportunities fortune offered them.
Besides this politically preponderant class, there were numerous
indentured servants and artisans, many of whom, upon the expiration of
their bonds, acquired land and became prosperous planters. Last of all,
there were the negro slaves who were brought into the colony at an
early period and rapidly increased in numbers. Social distinctions were
quite as sharply defined and rigidly observed in Virginia and the other
Southern colonies as in England and social customs remained unchanged by
transference across the sea. The closest and most affectionate
intercourse that circumstances would permit was maintained with friends
and relatives in the Mother Country. In a word, Virginia was merely a
detached and expanded bit of England and life went on much as though the
Atlantic did not exist, save for the inevitable delay in communication.
As was life in early Virginia, so was it substantially, at least so far
as our present purpose is concerned, in the other Southern colonies, so
that we may regard Virginia conditions as typical.

For all the ease of life, the abundance of creature comforts, the
importation of personal and household luxuries and necessities by every
ship that entered the capes and the general prosperity made possible by
a kindly soil and climate in conjunction with favourable economic
conditions, the measure of affluence, even among the wealthiest, was not
sufficient during the first fifty or seventy-five years of Virginia’s
existence to justify reckless or lavish expenditure upon the fabric of
the dwelling house. The homes of the planters, therefore, though
comfortably and even luxuriously appointed, according to the standards
of the period, were modest in size and unpretentious in character. When
Nicholas Hayward determined to establish one of his children on a
plantation in Virginia and wrote to William Fitzhugh, one of the
wealthiest and most influential planters, desiring information and
advice, the latter replied, pointing out the course pursued by many of
the other planters, that the wisest plan would be to import indentured
bricklayers and carpenters from England who, in the course of the four
or five years for which they were bound, could erect a substantial
house, and, at the same time, by the performance of other labour for
which they might be hired out, earn enough to pay for the cost of
building materials and their keep as well. Fitzhugh also counselled
Hayward not to build a large dwelling and even questioned the
advisability of putting up “an English framed house of the ordinary
size” as the charges for skilled artisans were excessive. He added that
his own dwelling had cost thrice the sum a house of like size would have
cost in London and that it usually took three times as long to complete
the same amount of work as it did in England.

Notwithstanding his inherited preference for stone and brick as building
materials, the early Virginia colonist had perforce to make a virtue of
necessity and build his house of wood. Although, in the majority of
cases, the Virginia colonist took to brick and stone when circumstances
permitted--they were almost universally used so soon as the Georgian
influence began to be felt and the accumulation of wealth conduced
thereto--the necessary dependence upon wood at the outset created a
precedent and launched a Southern tradition that has subsisted to our
own day. In many parts of the Old Dominion there was practically no
stone to be had and it was a difficult matter to secure even enough for
chimneys. Often all dependence for this purpose had to be placed upon
brick and brick was none too easy to come by at first. Good brick clay,
to be sure, was abundant and the manufacture of bricks received
encouragement from the first but there were serious difficulties in the
way of transportation after the bricks were made and by the time these
difficulties were surmounted many of the older houses had been built and
it was hardly to be expected that the planters, after constructing
substantial and comfortable abodes of timber would demolish them and
replace them by others of brick, after brick was more plentiful, merely
to comply with the arbitrary directions issued by the authorities in
England when, in 1637, they instructed Governour Wyatt “to require every
landowner whose plantation was an hundred acres in extent to erect a
dwelling house of brick, to be twenty-four feet in length and sixteen
feet in breadth, with a cellar attached. In the cases where the area of
the grant exceeded five hundred acres, the size of the dwelling house
was to enlarge in proportion.”

The earliest Southern houses in Virginia and elsewhere, after the brief
log-cabin stage had been passed, we may feel assured were of wooden
construction with brick or sometimes stone chimneys. All about was the
greatest abundance of the finest pine, cypress, cedar, oak, chestnut,
hickory, elm and ash timber which fully answered for all structural
needs and the feather-edged plank or clapboard, nailed to the framing of
posts, studs, girts and cills was in common use for building purposes.
It was probably owing to the absence of stone and the comparative
scarcity of bricks at an early date that we do not find evidences of
attempted half-timber construction with clay and brick or clay and stone
pugging as we do in New England at the same period.

It was only at first, however, that there was a scarcity of bricks and
even then the difficulty in obtaining them was more a matter of
transportation than of supply. Brickmakers and bricklayers were among
the first artisans brought over and from the very infancy of the colony,
as just stated, brick-making was encouraged. Indeed, at an early date,
bricks became an important article of export to Bermuda, whence
limestone was fetched back in exchange. There was abundance of brick to
supply the home demand and the obstacle in the way of its wider use by
the first generation or two of planters was the difficulty of getting it
from the kilns to the sites where it was to be used and not, as some
suppose, the necessity of importing it from England. It is pointed out
in another chapter that the so-called “English brick” was merely brick
made according to English dimensions and so termed to distinguish it
from brick fashioned after the Dutch pattern. Very few of the old brick
buildings were constructed of imported material and, under ordinary
circumstances, it would have been the height of folly to send overseas
for it, even though it might come as ballast. In Virginia, bricks were
rated from eight to fifteen shillings a thousand while, in England,
between 1650 and 1700, their price was eighteen shillings and upward a
thousand. As the seventeenth century advanced bricks became increasingly
plentiful in the South. After Sir Thomas Dale’s arrival and the
establishment of his new enterprise at Henrico City, the first-floor
walls of the houses in that place were built of brick burned in the
kilns that were there set up, but when Secretary Kemp, in 1638, built a
brick house at Jamestown, it was probably the first dwelling entirely
constructed of brick in the South. After this, other brick houses were
erected in Jamestown and, subsequently, Governour Berkeley built himself
a brick house at Green Spring, about two miles distant. It was not
usual, however, to employ brick very extensively till towards the end of
the seventeenth century or the beginning of the eighteenth when ample
fortunes had accumulated and transportation possibilities had somewhat
improved. Even then, the use of brick was by no means universal but was
largely dependent upon local conditions, although there was
unquestionably a preference for it over wood when it could readily be
come by.

Whether wood was used or brick, the Southern houses of the seventeenth
century and the fore part of the eighteenth conformed pretty closely to
the same architectural type and even in the more ambitious dwellings,
erected by the very wealthy towards the end of this period, there was
generally no radical departure from the accustomed style. For the most
part, the homes of even the most affluent planters were simple in plan
and plain in appearance. The typical dwelling was an oblong structure
with the house door on one of the long fronts, a steeply-pitched roof, a
chimney at each end, and often had but one full floor with an attic
above it, although a more commodious second floor was by no means
uncommon. In 1679, Major Thomas Chamberlayne, a prominent citizen of
Henrico, contracted with one Gates, a carpenter of the same county, to
build him a frame house, forty feet long by twenty feet wide. The
outside walls were to be boarded and there was to be no cellar, but the
framework was to be supported on cills resting on the ground. Upper and
lower floors were each to be divided by wooden partitions into two
rooms. At each end there was to be a brick chimney. So many descriptions
of similar houses and specifications for their erection occur in
seventeenth-century documents that we are quite justified in regarding
them as typical of the period. The Adam Thoroughgood house, built of
brick in Princess Anne County, Virginia, between 1640 and 1650,
presented the same general contour. The roofs were customarily of
cypress shingles although tiles were subsequently employed to some
extent. The pitch of the roof closely resembled the pitch of some of the
earliest New England roofs but in both the South and North there is
observable, as the years go by, a general tendency to depart from
English precedent and flatten the pitch so far as conditions would
permit. In this connexion it must also be remembered that thatch was a
common roofing material in England and required a steep pitch in order
to shed the rain quickly while the use of shingles


Copyright, J. B. Lippincott Co.



Unusual example of overhang in Southern architecture.]

[Illustration: HOUSE AT YORKTOWN, VA.

With typical outside chimneys at ends.]


Of Southern Colonial type.]

permitted a less abrupt angle without impairing the water-shedding
qualities of the roof.

One of the most strongly characteristic features of these houses was
supplied by the outside chimneys at each end. They were of brick or of
stone, when by chance it could be secured, and occasionally, in some of
the later houses built according to this early tradition, they are of
brick and stone combined, the stone being used for the heavy base while
the stack is made of brick. Throughout their whole height, these
chimneys were built outside the house wall, whether the house was of
timber or brick, and were broad at the base narrowing down by successive
stages of sloped weatherings and offsets, in much the same manner as a
Gothic buttress, to the bottom of the stack which rises straight and
slim by comparison with its substructure. The chimney of the
Thoroughgood house is an excellent example of this method of chimney
treatment. The Southern exterior chimneys, in many cases, had the sloped
weatherings and offsets both at sides and back while the few early New
England chimneys of the same type were usually flat at the back and were
graded off only at the sides.

Another noticeable characteristic of the early Southern houses is to be
seen in the long dormers with sharp-peaked gables that often pierced the
roofs, quite in contrast to the comparative rarity of dormers in the
early New England houses of similar date. The same manner of introducing
a sharp-peaked dormer or small gable into the side of a pitch roof is to
be seen over the doors of some of the old Southern barns. The occurrence
of the gambrel is not nearly so frequent as in the North nor do we find
evidences of framing with the overhang. It may be that this last
mentioned point of difference between the South and North can in part be
accounted for on the ground that the overhang in England lingered
longest and met with most favour in towns while in the open country it
was less in evidence. As many of the New England colonists came from
towns while a great proportion of those in the South came from rural
surroundings, it was but natural that both should perpetuate the
features to which they were most accustomed. This hypothesis, of course,
is purely conjectural but it is by no means impossible since very slight
and trifling matters often serve to determine choice. In the smaller and
humbler dwellings of the South were to be found the same general method
of construction and the same features of contour as in their larger

It would be exceedingly difficult to lay down any specific
generalisations regarding the interior plan of the early Southern houses
inasmuch as they varied widely in different instances according to the
individual requirements of the occupants, the size of their families and
the manner in which they saw fit to make additions from time to time as
necessity dictated. We have seen that Major Thomas Chamberlayne’s house
had two rooms upstairs and two rooms down, divided by wooden partitions
which may or may not have been covered with tenacious clay stucco and
whitewashed. In this manner walls were sometimes finished, at others
they were wainscotted. The windows were glazed with small panes set in
lead. In the house of Governour Berkeley at Green Spring were six
apartments while that of William Fitzhugh, which however had undergone
sundry additions, numbered twelve or thirteen. The Stratton house in
Henrico had three chambers above stairs and one below along with a hall,
kitchen, and pantry. In York County we are told of houses that had only
a hall or dining room, a kitchen and a bedchamber which were probably
all on one floor. Then, again, there were houses with a hall and kitchen
on the lower floor and a chamber above, while some of the wealthier
people had commonly three or four rooms on each floor. In all events,
the houses followed the same general plan and where there were many
apartments they were apt to be in the nature of ells or extensions
clustered in a rambling manner about the central core which was of the
type common to the country.

Three features are deserving of particular attention in the plan of the
early Southern house, however varied its internal arrangements might
otherwise be, and the more so because they persisted and found a
recognised place in the plan of the Georgian house as it was developed
in the South. In the first place, the hall, which was also referred to
as the dining hall or parlour hall, was wide and afforded ample space
and circulation of air. It was the place where meals were commonly eaten
and where the family sat. The house door opened directly into it and it
exactly corresponded with and fulfilled the functions of the great hall
in the small manor houses of England. This interior disposition of the
house was suited to the climate and when the Georgian mode rose in the
ascendant the wide hallway, often extending the full depth of the
building and used more or less as a living room, was retained. It was
quite in contrast to the small entry or the narrow stair-hall of New
England houses which the rigours of New England winters made it
desirable to have as a protection for the rest of the house when the
house door was opened. In the second place, the Southern housewife often
found it convenient and desirable in the scheme of her domestic economy
to have the kitchen in a separate building somewhat removed from the
body of the house. There were servants enough to make this arrangement
practicable and the mild climate favoured it also. Besides, this plan
fitted in well with the practice of having the servants’ quarters
outside the house. This feature of detached kitchens was also
perpetuated in the Georgian era and not only was its influence felt in
the South but we find instances of it in Pennsylvania. Such was the
arrangement at Graeme Park, Horsham, near Philadelphia, built in 1722 by
Sir William Keith, whom we know was favourably impressed by the manner
of living in the South where he had visited prior to establishing
himself at Horsham. We also find the detached offices and servants’
quarters at Stenton, the home of James Logan; at Hope Lodge, Whitemarsh
and at Mount Pleasant, the home of that doughty and ingenious old sailor
man and merchant, Captain John Macpherson, afterwards the scene of much
lavish entertainment by Benedict Arnold and his bride when they occupied
it for a brief season. The same arrangement also obtained at Cliveden
and was not improbably suggested to Chief Justice Chew by the
recollection of a similar plan in the homes of his Southern kinsfolk.
This feature of the detached kitchen forms an interesting point of
connexion between the domestic Georgian architecture of the Middle
Colonies and that of the Southern. In the third place, the majority of
the Southern Colonial houses had one or more bedchambers on the ground
floor. This feature proved itself of practical convenience and, like the
other two just enumerated, was often perpetuated in the Georgian mode.
Indeed, the practice has continued in favour to our own day.

In his valuable “Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth
Century”, Philip Bruce gives a graphic pen picture of the ordinary
surroundings of the seventeenth-century Virginia planter’s house, a
picture that may equally well apply to the generality of houses in the
other Southern colonies at the same period. After noting the usual
plainness and simplicity of the environment, he goes on to say:--“The
yard, as it was called, consisted of open ground, overshadowed here and
there by trees. In the immediate vicinity of the house was situated the
garden, devoted partly to vegetables and partly to flowers, thyme,
marjoram and phlox being as abundant there as in England. Many of the
flowers and shrubs had only recently been brought from the mother
country. Byrd is discovered in 1684 writing to his brother in England,
and thanking him for the gooseberry and currant bushes which had just
been received; in the same year he expresses to a second correspondent
his appreciation of a gift of seeds and roots, which had been planted
and had safely flowered [iris, tulip, crocus and anemone]. The summer
houses, arbours and grottoes, which Beverley declares were to be found
near the residences, were doubtless generally situated in the garden,
and were erected to afford a cool place of retreat in the warmest hours
of the summer day; the garden itself was always protected by a paling to
keep out the hogs and cattle which were permitted to wander without
restraint. In the immediate vicinity of the dwellings of the wealthy
landowners, there were, as a rule, grouped the dovecot, stable, barn,
henhouse, cabins for the servants, kitchen and milk-house, the object of
this in the last instances being to remove from the mansion the
operations of cooking, washing and dairying. In many yards, a tall pole
with a toy house at the top was erected, in which the bee martin might
build its nest, this bird bravely attacking the hawk and crow, and thus
serving as a guardian of the poultry.” It would not be difficult to find
the counterpart of these conditions in many a place in the South today,
that is to say, in places patterned after the Colonial tradition, in
which the formal Georgian element has never played an important part nor
led to the laying out of great, symmetrically-planned gardens.

Of the more elegant and substantially built brick houses that
characterised the end of the period when the truly Colonial style still
prevailed, it will sufficiently serve our present purpose if we refer
specifically to two, one in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and the other
on the Cooper River in South Carolina. The first is Cedar Park, on the
shores of the Chesapeake, built about 1692. It consists of one full
floor above whose window-heads project the eaves of the steep-pitched
roof in which is contained a roomy attic or concealed second floor, if
that designation seems more agreeable, lighted by dormer windows. Its
exterior aspect coincides in all particulars with the features
previously noted as characteristic of the Southern Colonial type of
house whether constructed of brick or wood. It is in an excellent state
of preservation and the additions and wings that have been appended in
no wise obscure the contour and identity of the original type. There is
not one feature about the house to suggest Georgian influence or
Georgian formality. The internal arrangement, also, agrees with the plan
of the type common to other domestic structures erected in the South
during the seventeenth century. There is the great central hall into
which the house door opens, a hall through which one could readily drive
a coach and four if there were occasion and there are adjacent
bedchambers on the first floor. The other apartments are grouped about
as convenience has dictated their placing at the times when additions
were made. At the opposite end of the great hall from the house door a
flight of steps descends into an ancient hedged garden, bounded by the
waters of the bay.

The other house is Mulberry Castle, built in 1714. While obviously not
Georgian in its salient characteristics, Mulberry Castle certainly gives
evidence of more ambitious design than was usual at the precise period
of its erection. Certain details, it is true, such as the pillared porch
with its pediment, sheltering the house door, or the cornice beneath the
eaves, show a restrained classic influence which we are accustomed to
associate, quite properly, with the architectural manifestations of the
reign of Queen Anne or the first years of her Hanoverian successor, but
the general contour of the house savours strongly of the one-floor
Colonial type with its steeply-pitched roof. In the case of Mulberry
Castle the attic or second floor has been so expanded that the roof has
assumed approximately the appearance of a modern mansard or perhaps it
would be more logical and truthful to say that it has become a hipped
gambrel with a steep pitch. The internal plan, also, is sufficiently
irregular to warrant its classification with the Colonial type. In
certain interior details, such as the mantels and panelling, later
additions and alterations have evidently been made which add to its
Georgian semblance and emphasise its transitional aspect, but the
unalterable features of mass and arrangement recall us to the
contemplation of well known seventeenth-century peculiarities.

In the study of the great mass of all this truly Colonial architecture
of the South two points strike one forcibly. The first is that it is
wholly different from the typical later architecture of Georgian mode
and is fully entitled to be classified by itself. The second is that
there is much about it, especially in the case of such buildings as
Cedar Park and Mulberry Castle, to command our sincere admiration and
serve as a valuable model for modern emulation.



It is nearly always difficult and sometimes an ungracious task to
attempt to make sweeping distinctions and establish hard and fast
boundary lines. Fortunately for us, we meet with an exception to this
well-nigh invariable rule in the case of marking the division between
Colonial and Georgian architecture. The one point on which we may seize
to emphasise the distinction between these two modes of architectural
expression, each exceedingly vital in its own field, is the introduction
of the classic element in ornamental detail and the formal or balanced
element in plan, an element that implies both external symmetry in the
marshalling of mass and internal symmetry in determining arrangement.
The Colonial mode of expression as exemplified in the architecture of
early New England, New York, the Middle Colonies and the South, whatever
local differences it might exhibit, was traditional and, to a certain
extent, fortuitous. That is to say, it was informal and represented
forms which homely considerations of convenience and the process of
gradual cultural growth had dictated from time to time in the course of
centuries. It was also mediæval in its affinities and, for the most
part, unpretentious because it embodied only the essential features that
the great mass of the people, whether in England, Wales, Holland,
Sweden, or the German principalities had found requisite and desirable.
In short, it was a folk growth and was essentially domestic and simple.

Georgian architecture, on the other hand, echoed the spirit of the
Renaissance. Its whole fundamental principle afforded a direct
antithesis to the conceptions on which Colonial architecture was based.
It breathed the atmosphere of the well-ordered classicism that had
spread over the Continent and over England in the train of the New
Learning and had its outward concomitant in the stately creations
inspired by the masterpieces of Greek and Roman antiquity. However
modified by the successive media of its transference from the original
springs of inspiration, it still voiced the measured formality and easy
restraint inherent in the ancient models. It was essentially the
architecture of a well-to-do, polished and, if you will, somewhat
artificial state of society that demanded a medium of courtliness and



Of true Colonial Southern type.]

[Illustration: ROYALL HOUSE, MEDFORD, MASS. 1734.

New England Georgian, first phase.]

[Illustration: LEE HOUSE, MARBLEHEAD, MASS. 1768.

New England Georgian, second phase.]



[Illustration: LEE HOUSE. BANQUET ROOM.]

[Illustration: LEE HOUSE. STAIRWAY.]

circumstance of surroundings for its proper existence. The formal note
of classicism had come into English architecture in the reign of Henry
VIII, had flourished apace under Inigo Jones and Sir Christopher Wren,
and blossomed richly in domestic forms during the reigns of William and
Mary and Queen Anne. With the Queen Anne developments, however, we have
little direct concern in America. It was not until after the first
George had been some years on the throne that a marked change became
evident in the domestic architecture of the American Colonies.

By the end of the first quarter of the eighteenth century there had been
a marked increase in the wealth of the country. A reasonable security
from the wild alarums of Indian warfare and an orderly and uninterrupted
course of civil life left the well-to-do more time to pay to the
amenities of existence, and the general growth of material prosperity
provided the means to indulge the taste for larger, better and, in a
word, more pretentious domestic environment that accorded with the
affluence and important social position of the prominent citizens. When
the worthies of the early eighteenth century were thus minded and
encouraged to build anew for themselves and erect substantial and more
commodious homes for their own use and the enrichment of their
posterity, nothing was more natural than that they should turn to the
mother country for a suitable style and pattern to direct them in their
new undertaking. They were always most punctilious to follow the styles
of London in their clothing and prided themselves upon the accuracy with
which they kept pace with all the changing fashions in apparel on the
other side of the sea. In like manner, also, they looked to the current
architectural fashions in England for inspiration to guide them in so
momentous a matter as the establishment of a dwelling suited to their
estate and fit to be the domicile of succeeding generations of their

It is quite true that certain peculiarities characteristic of the
English architecture of Queen Anne’s time had occasionally made their
appearance in New England before this general efflorescence of the
earliest phase of the Georgian mode and even considerably afterwards
they were not wholly wanting--specific reference will be made to them in
a subsequent paragraph--but the prevailing architectural tone from 1720
or 1725 onward was unmistakably Georgian. Certain modifications were
made, to be sure, as expediency suggested or necessity demanded, but
despite all local adaptations, which will be pointed out as they occur
in the examination of sundry examples, the strong family resemblance to
the contemporary domestic structures of England could not be overlooked.

The most notable piece of local adaptation, to which not even the
uninterested or superficial observer can be blind, was the wholesale
grafting of the New England wooden or clapboard tradition, which by this
time had become ineradicably established, upon a mode of architectural
expression that had been hitherto almost invariably--and always in
England--interpreted in brick or stone, as it was elsewhere in the
American Colonies. Even when the fabric was virtually built of brick, as
in the case of the Royall house at Medford or the Lee house at
Marblehead, it was encased in an outer shell of wood, sometimes grooved,
bevelled, painted and sanded to present the appearance of cut stone.

Another marked peculiarity of the New England Georgian work, a
peculiarity perhaps invited and intensified by this almost universal
predilection for a wood casing, at least so far as domestic structures
were concerned, is the comparative plainness and absence of
architectural embellishment from a great many exteriors in strong
contrast with the wealth of elaborate carved and moulded detail to be
found within. In a way, they seem to have assimilated or, perhaps, it
would be truer and more accurate to say that they reflect the outward
reserve and restraint of New England character, a reserve, however, that
often melts into cordial geniality under the favouring auspices of a
closer acquaintance. Indeed, judging from the exterior of many a house,
one is wholly unprepared to find the exquisite and rich panelled and
carved adornments that confront the visitor, once the threshold is
passed. This shearing off or repression of outward architectural graces
makes it exceedingly difficult sometimes to tell at first glance whether
a house belongs in the Georgian category or not, especially when there
is nothing peculiarly distinctive about the contour of the mass to serve
as an indication. In this connexion, too, it must be explicitly stated
that not a few of these square, roomy old clapboarded houses, of a
general farmhouse type gradually evolved from the earlier and truly
Colonial mode, discussed in a previous chapter, assumed occasional
Georgian features in the way of a door or the setting of a window whose
promise was not borne out by any further evidence of architectural
pretension either inside or out.

In studying architectural history and examining the architectural
characteristics of a certain given territory, the mind is constantly
impelled to seek analogies and points of resemblance and relationship
with the contemporary

[Illustration: LEE HOUSE. FIREPLACE.]

[Illustration: LEE HOUSE. WALL PAPER.]



New England Georgian, first phase]

[Illustration: DUMMER MANSION, BYFIELD, MASS. _C._ 1715.

New England Georgian in first phase.]

architectural phenomena observable in other places. By systematically
scrutinising and comparing the Georgian work throughout the Colonies,
always keeping the historical background in view, one cannot escape the
conviction that there were three phases of Georgian manifestation and,
furthermore, that whatever minor local differences may have arisen,
there was a fairly close chronological correspondence between them and
the several phases that marked the evolution in England. Speaking
approximately, we may say that the first phase included the houses
erected prior to 1740 or 1745; the second phase endured from 1745 till
about 1775 or 1780, while the third phase, profoundly influenced by Adam
inspiration, lasted until the Greek or Classic Revival completely held
the field. In this last phase, be it remembered, must be reckoned some
of the best work performed by Charles Bulfinch and Samuel McIntire, work
that really marked the transition stage between the Georgian style and
the rejuvenated and direct importation of classicism that dominated
public taste in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. In order to
make this threefold division quite clear and trace the process of
evolution through its successive stages, it will be necessary to refer
to specific features found in well known examples typical of each

While the earliest Georgian type in Pennsylvania showed a tendency
toward extreme simplicity and, at the same time, some heaviness, the
first phase of New England Georgian often displayed a close resemblance
to the heavy but ornate treatment of Queen Anne’s day. The heaviness and
boldness of detail belonged to and were characteristic of the epoch and
were to be expected in any event. The restraint and simplicity in
Pennsylvania, in the cases of Stenton and Hope Lodge, were probably to
be attributed somewhat to Quaker predilection on the part of the owners.
In the case of Graeme Park, built for Sir William Keith, the lack of
more elaborate detail may have been due to the limitations of the
workmen’s skill. For the sake of concrete example, we may point to the
severely plain, rectangular doorways with straight transoms of small
lights at Stenton, Graeme Park and Hope Lodge, all of them thoroughly
representative of the Pennsylvania phase of Georgian at this date. In
New England, by way of sharp contrast, we find segmental pediments over
doorways and a wealth of elaborate adornment in the shape of pilasters,
intricately carved capitals and nicely hand wrought mouldings to dignify
them, all designed and executed in a manner strongly reminiscent of what
one may see in Queen Anne’s Gate or Grosvenor Road in Westminster. The
heaviness of proportion and boldness of line belonged to the period, as
just noted, and were common to both the New England and Pennsylvania
forms of expression. In New England, however, there were no Quaker
scruples and preferences to impose a restraining influence and, in
consequence, traces of Queen Anne elaboration lingered till about 1740.
Our first Georgian type in both New England and Pennsylvania shows the
straight transom of small square lights.

Excellent examples of the elaboration with Queen Anne affinities to be
found in the first Georgian type in New England, may be seen in the door
of the Dummer house at Byfield, Massachusetts, built in 1715; the door
of the Macphaedris-Warner house in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, finished
in 1723; the door of the Royall house at Medford, Massachusetts,
finished in its present form in 1737; the door of a house in Hatfield,
Massachusetts, built about 1735 or 1740; the door of a house in Hadley,
Massachusetts, dating from 1714 and, last of all, the door of the
“Parson Williams” house at Deerfield, Massachusetts, built in 1707. This
last, of course, is altogether within the Queen Anne period and is
thoroughly characteristic of the date but it is desirable to refer to it
here for purposes of comparison to show certain points of similarity
between it and the others enumerated before it. In every instance save
one there is some elaborate form of pediment, segmental or swan’s neck.
The mouldings are heavy and bold and the torus or cushion mould
frequently occurs as a frieze. There are flanking pilasters with
intricate capitals and sometimes imposts bearing up the entablature or
else there are vigorously carved panels in place of the pilasters and,
above them, richly wrought acanthus modillion brackets supporting the

In nearly all of this early work we find large, bevel flush panels and
the cornice mouldings in panelled rooms are strongly defined and robust
in contour. The overmantel panelling is made an important feature but
the mantel shelf itself is usually insignificant and, at times, hardly
more than rudimentary. In several of the houses just referred to,
especially the Dummer house and the Macphaedris-Warner house, we find
windows topped with a flattened arch or segmental lintel instead of
having a straight top and in some cases there is a slightly countersunk
tympanum between the bottom of this flat arch and the top of the wooden
window casing. In the Warner house, several of the windows are tall and
narrow in proportion to their height, the sashes being only two panes
wide. Both these window forms are typically early and disappear entirely
at a later date.

In the interiors of some of these houses are

[Illustration: DOORWAY, DUMMER HOUSE.]

[Illustration: THE LINDENS, STAIR AND HALL, _C._ 1770.

New England Georgian of second phase.]


New England true Colonial type.]

to be found round-headed arched doorways with double doors and the arch,
either round or flattened, appears in various forms from time to time
while the fluted or carved or turned key block, in sundry curious
varieties, appears at the centre of arches and also in other places. The
key block practically disappears in the second phase of Georgian. The
arch also loses its prominence and we find more straight lines. Indeed,
during the second or more distinctly Palladian phase of Georgian we
scarcely find the arch at all in domestic architecture except in the
middle member of the Palladian window or in the lights over house doors.
One might go on almost indefinitely tabulating characteristic details
that belong essentially to the first Georgian phase but enough has been
said to direct attention to the general aspect and to enable an
observant person to differentiate it from the others.

Of the second Georgian phase in New England we could not desire a better
or more thoroughly typical example than the Lee house in Marblehead,
erected in 1768. It is the embodiment of robust and yet agreeably
proportioned classicality. The mouldings and cornices have lost the
ponderosity of proportion that was observable in many of the houses of
earlier type. The placing of ornamental detail is far more carefully
considered and governed with a reasonable restraint. Interesting as
some of the earlier examples of door treatment were for their very
exuberance of fancy and their vigour, they were, nevertheless, a trifle
awkward when compared with a well designed and better balanced doorway
of a subsequent date. When acanthus leaves, rosettes or other decorative
_motifs_ are introduced, it is in a thoroughly well mannered way that
leaves nothing to be desired regarding proportion or propriety of
placing. The spiral baluster spindles on the staircase of the Lee house
are exceptionally fine and worthily represent the style of baluster
turning and carving that belongs especially to this middle period.

In the banquet hall the overmantel presents an unusually fine specimen
of the wood-carver’s art. The great panel, with dog-ear corners and
Flemish scroll supports, is flanked by two pendants of fruit, flowers
and leaves carved with all the delicacy and intricate finish of the
school of Grinling Gibbon. It is more elaborate, of course, than most of
the interior carving found in the second Georgian phase but it is
typical in that it is better disciplined than the earlier efforts in the
same direction which were often inclined to be crude. The interior
cornices are more refined in detail and not so bold in contour as
formerly. The egg and dart _motif_ becomes common and other ornamental
details are used in an understanding way and in their conventional
forms, whereas at an earlier period they were not always historically
correct, though often ingenious, nor were they invariably well placed.

The last phase of New England Georgian architecture was distinctly a
period of Adam inspiration as it was in other parts of the country, with
this difference, however. Elsewhere the third Georgian phase was
forsaken all too soon for the newer glamour of the Classic Revival for
which, in a manner, it prepared the way. In New England, under the
influence of such men as Charles Bulfinch and Samuel McIntire, the
delicate proportions and fascinatingly refined details brought into
English architecture by the Brothers Adam remained in favour until well
into the nineteenth century and exercised a beneficial effect that has
not yet lost its force. With excellent taste both Bulfinch and McIntire
employed the Adam heritage of urns, pendent husks, anthemia, ovals,
spandril fans and all the rest of the Pompeian refinements, and McIntire
unhesitatingly lengthened out the proportions of pillars and pilasters
until he had removed all suggestion of grossness from his design and
imparted a slender grace to all his work. Though he made various
innovations, McIntire really prolonged the Adam period in New England
and saved domestic architecture, wherever his influence was strong
enough, from the deplorable banality into which the more unconsidered
forms of the Classic Revival degenerated.

In the felicity of its local adaptations, in the dignity it imparted to
the visible side of public life, in its virile development manifested in
the churches and other public buildings, the Georgian architecture of
New England has given us numerous patterns worthy of emulation _in toto_
or in part and has left an indelible and beneficial impress upon the
nation’s artistic consciousness.



New York Georgian of second phase.]



Strange as it may seem, the territory comprised in the present state of
New York is not nearly so rich in Georgian remains as are the other
parts of our country contained within the boundaries of the original
Colonies. At first it may astonish the student of architectural history
to find one of the oldest, wealthiest and most important communities,
rich not only in material resources but in history, so devoid of the
Georgian landmarks that characterise the adjacent sections of the
country. New England is filled with well preserved memorials of the
eighteenth century. So likewise are New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware
and the South. How is it, then, that New York is, by comparison, so
deficient in this respect?

Several reasons may be assigned in answer to this question. In the first
place, the representative Georgian houses in all parts of the Colonies
were the homes of that part of the population that enjoyed affluent
circumstances; they were not the homes of the plainer folk nor of those
in humble circumstances. The majority of well-to-do citizens were to be
found in New York City and there, naturally, were most of the Georgian
houses. Even those that counted themselves as residents of other parts
of the Province, as a rule, had their town houses there. What befel the
Georgian country houses we shall shortly learn.

Unfortunately for the student of our architectural history, the
relentless tide of mercantile progress in New York City has ruthlessly
swept aside nearly all the landmarks of former generations and replaced
them with high office buildings, factories, flats or warehouses. Only in
the fabric of a few of the older churches or in some of the backwaters
left by the eddying currents of urban life have a few scattered remnants
of the city of the eighteenth century been preserved for us and even
these are rapidly disappearing.

In the second place, a large proportion of the Georgian country houses,
outside the territory now covered by the spread of New York City, have
suffered so sadly at the hands of nineteenth century “improvers”, whose
unintelligent alterations and additions have wrought architectural
havoc, that oftentimes nearly all traces of Georgian characteristics
have either been seriously marred or altogether destroyed. Instead of
stately Georgian dwellings of august mien and compelling interest, as
they once were, they have become mere commonplace and often repulsive
agglomerations of masonry like other structures erected during the
uninspired Victorian era. This is their plight outwardly and within they
have often been subjected to indignities quite as revolting. Such
systematic and calculating vandalism on the part of former owners cannot
be too severely condemned but condemnation will not undo the mischief,
and only the most conscientious process of restoration can in some
measure remedy the misdeeds of the “enlightened” nineteenth century

Another important reason for the paucity of Georgian domestic structures
within the territory of New York is that, in the Hudson region and in
the valleys abutting upon it, the majority of houses built during the
eighteenth century, houses belonging to those in moderate and
comfortable circumstances and also some belonging to people of great
wealth and social prominence, remained Dutch in type and in their later
architecture borrowed freely from Georgian and Classic Revival sources
and adapted such details as they saw fit to new uses with a considerable
degree of success. The Dutch colonial tradition was exceptionally
strong, virile and intensely characteristic and persisted in spite of
the introduction of the Georgian mode. Curiously enough, notwithstanding
the potent individuality of the Dutch style, none of its significant
peculiarities seems to have been grafted upon the Georgian stock in like
manner with the blending processes and modifications that took place in
New England or in the South.

Finally, a great many houses built about the beginning of the nineteenth
century or at the very end of the eighteenth in the western part of New
York showed a strong Classic Revival influence rather than any
essentially Georgian affinities.

Several of the finest examples of eighteenth century work, which for
lack of further special subdivision of our subject must be included in
the Georgian period, belong to the Queen Anne category under the
strictest classification. These are Fraunce’s Tavern and the Philipse
House in Yonkers. The former was erected during the reign of Queen Anne
and was originally the home of the Van Cortlandts and DeLanceys. It was
not until the middle part of the eighteenth century that it became a
hostelry. So many important events have been closely associated with the
venerable building, among them Washington’s affecting leave-taking of
his officers and troops, that it was both the privilege and duty of
patriotism and a proper national pride to rescue the fabric from neglect
and the

[Illustration: PHILIPSE MANOR HOUSE, YONKERS, N. Y. 1683.]


Copyright, by International News Service.


base uses to which it had fallen and restore it, so far as possible, to
its former appearance and condition after all the vicissitudes which
several generations of nineteenth century neglect and lack of
appreciation had imposed upon it. In its general proportions, in the
lines of its hipped roof and in many interior details, such as the
panelling, it is distinctly reminiscent of some of the best English work
of Queen Anne’s day although in several respects may also be traced the
architectural influences of a later era. The other building, even
earlier in date than Fraunce’s Tavern, has not suffered from the same
damaging chances of fortune and debasement and far fewer of its details
are conjectural. One might say that the carcase and contour of the
Philipse Manor House are of Queen Anne character but that beyond that it
is conglomerate since it embodies so many peculiarities and additions of
later times that it can scarcely be considered truly typical of any one
epoch. While much of the fabric is in its original condition, as erected
in the latter part of the seventeenth century, the addition of Georgian
details and adornments made by the lords of the manor during the
eighteenth century may readily be traced, and while they are all
interesting and admirable and not in any sense to be regarded as pieces
of vandalism, they prevent the structure from presenting an appearance
in strict chronological keeping with the date of its erection.

The Schuyler and Van Rensselaer houses have also undergone some
unfortunate modifications from time to time which have impaired their
typal value to the architectural student so that we are forced to
content ourselves, when considering the Georgian houses of New York that
are still really characteristic, with the Van Cortlandt house in Van
Cortlandt Park and the Jumel Mansion. These are, both of them,
interesting and worthy specimens belonging to the middle Georgian phase
or the phase that corresponds chronologically with the middle Georgian
phase elsewhere, but even here the hand of the “restorer” has recently
taken some liberties which one cannot help feeling were unnecessary. The
Van Cortlandt house--it is not to be confounded with the Van Cortlandt
Manor House which is of much earlier date and is situated at the mouth
of the Croton River many miles distant--was erected slightly before the
middle of the eighteenth century and is an admirable specimen of the
Georgian feeling of that particular day. One of the most striking
features of exterior detail is to be found in the procession of
grotesque heads or masques carved in high relief on the keystones of the
lintels above the windows. They are typical of the decorative trend of
the epoch, and although




Copyright, J. B. Lippincott Co.


Transition from Colonial to First Georgian phase.]


Copyright, J. B. Lippincott Co.


Middle Colonies Georgian, first phase.]

their employment is not common in American Georgian architecture, other
examples are to be found on the tower of the State House in
Philadelphia, the tower of Christ Church, in the same city, and in the
trims of some of the small circular windows in the gable ends of the Old
State House in Boston. The panelling and interior adornments of the Van
Cortlandt house display the disciplined proportion and judicious placing
usually observable in other representative houses of the middle of the
eighteenth century before the delicacy and decorative profusion of Adam
influence had replaced the simpler and more robust conceptions of the
school of Gibbs and his contemporaries. The Jumel Mansion with its
hipped roof terminating in a balustraded deck, its substantial
foursquare dimensions, its heavy quoins and its well proportioned
columns is also eminently characteristic of the same school of
architectural design.




The Georgian houses of Pennsylvania, West and South Jersey and Delaware
hold the attention of the observer and stimulate his imagination with
compelling force as do few other architectural remains in the
territories embraced within the boundaries of the original Colonies.
Architect and painter, antiquarian and historian, poet and fictionary,
the student and the dilettante dabbler--all alike come under the potent
spell of these stately old dwellings and all alike find something
therein to absorb their interest. When the Georgian period began--we may
set its beginning approximately for all the Colonies about 1720--the
affairs of the provincial governments had long since passed the
experimental stage. In Pennsylvania, the Jerseys and Delaware, a
consistent policy of peace with neighbours and careful domestic thrift,
along with the fertility of the


Copyright, J. B. Lippincott Co.



Copyright, J. B. Lippincott Co.


Middle Colonies Georgian, first phase.]


Copyright, J. B. Lippincott Co.



Copyright, J. B. Lippincott Co.


soil and the habitual industry of the people, had accumulated a
substantial volume of public and private wealth. Ripe conditions readily
begot the temptation to build more ambitiously and means were not
lacking to gratify the inclination to spend. From the beginning of the
Georgian period onward, houses were planned and built with an air of
amplitude and assured permanence that bespoke a comfortable
consciousness of firmly established and easy affluence which justified
the builders in planning broadly both for their own day and for future
generations. Town houses and country houses equally indicated the wealth
and estate of their owners and reflected the lavish and elegant mode of
life more truly than any of the other tangible memorials still remaining
from those days.

From the middle of the eighteenth century Philadelphia was the largest
and most important city in the American Colonies and one naturally
expects, therefore, to find country houses more representative and more
numerous in the neighbourhood than elsewhere. For that reason the
Georgian houses in the vicinity of Philadelphia will furnish the
examples used in the latter part of this chapter to illustrate the
variations of type characteristic of Pennsylvania, Delaware and the
Jerseys, in other words, the section of the country for which
Philadelphia was the natural centre of influence.

To some it may, perhaps, seem strange that houses which oftentimes
exhibit so much architectural elegance and elaboration of detail should
have been built in a community supposedly dominated by the principle of
outward simplicity professed by the Society of Friends. As a matter of
fact, however, the Quaker influence, though always a powerful factor in
every aspect of Philadelphia life, was offset and oftentimes strongly
opposed by the vigorous social and political activity of the “World’s
People”, that is to say, the members of the Church of England and the
adherents of the Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Dutch Reformed, Lutheran
and Baptist Churches, many of whom were the acknowledged leaders of
society and managed to impart no small degree of dash and gaiety to the
life of their day and generation. It should also be remembered that the
Friends were by no means uniform in their interpretation and practice of
the social discipline of their organisation. While some of the plain
Friends were exceedingly strait in their behaviour and dress and
eschewed all manner of frivolity, there were many who found it quite
compatible with their consciences to attend brilliant social functions,
attired in sumptuous and brave coloured clothes, dance, go to punch
drinkings and join heartily in the frequent fox hunts for which the
country about Philadelphia has always been famous.

In one particular both Friends and “World’s People” were precisely
alike. They all dearly loved good eating and were noted for openhanded
hospitality and frequent entertaining. At a later date, when John Adams
first came to Philadelphia, he notes in his diary with constant and
unabated surprise the “sinful feasts” in which Philadelphians habitually
indulged. Indeed, a slight acquaintance with the old diaries is enough
to convince one that the men, women and children, too, of eighteenth
century Philadelphia often “gormandised to the verge of gluttony.” The
following entry in the diary of Ann Warder is so characteristic of what
often took place that it is worth quoting at some length. She says:--

     “This morning most of the family were busy preparing for a great
     dinner, two green turtles having been sent to Johnnie--We concluded
     to dress them both together here and invited the whole family in.
     We had three tureens of soup, the two shells baked, besides several
     dishes of stew, with boned turkey, roast ducks, veal and beef.
     After these were removed the table was filled with two kinds of
     jellies and various kinds of pudding, pies, and preserves; and then
     almonds, raisins, nuts, apples and oranges. Twenty-four sat down at
     the table.” The next entry states that “My husband passed a
     restless night with gout.”

John Adams, recording his admiration for the town house and furniture of
Judge Chew of Cliveden, says of a dinner given by that gentleman:--

     “22 Thursday. Dined with Mr. Chew, Chief Justice of the Province,
     with all the gentlemen from Virginia, Dr. Shippen, Mr. Tilghman,
     and many others. We were shown into a grand entry and staircase and
     into an elegant and magnificent chamber until dinner. About 4
     O’clock we were called down to dinner. The furniture was all rich.
     Turtle and every other thing, flummery, jellies, sweetmeats, of 20
     sorts, trifles, whipped sillabubs, floating islands, fools, etc., &
     then a dessert of fruits, raisens, almonds, pears, peaches, wines
     most excellent & admirable. I drank Madeira at a great rate & found
     no inconvenience in it.”

Servants in considerable numbers were necessarily maintained in the
larger establishments and were made up of slaves, indentured bondsmen or
redemptioners, and free servitors who were paid what we should now
consider ridiculously small wages for their services.

Balls and routs were by no means infrequent and some of the larger
houses boasted sumptuously appointed ball rooms that would do credit to
many a large house of present day design. As one example of these we may
note the ball room of the Powel house in Third Street which occupied the
whole front of the second floor. “In this state apartment, the
overmantel was an exquisite piece of the wood carver’s art and
represented a hunting scene above which were wrought armorial bearings
in high relief. Delicately finished carving was also to be found in
other parts of the house.... The doors of the rooms are of solid
mahogany while a rich mahogany wainscotting runs all the way up the
staircase.... The front of the house is of unusual breadth and, as might
be expected, the rooms are of dimensions far beyond the ordinary.”

The courtly mode of life of the “World’s People” was reflected even in
their church going array. One diarist of the middle of the eighteenth
century, a stranger who had travelled extensively in the Colonies and
was therefore competent to judge, writes after attending Christ Church
on a Sunday morning, that he saw there a larger number of well dressed
people than he had ever seen together before. He continues:--“The
Episcopalians showed most grandeur of dress and costumes--next the
Presbyterians--the gentlemen of whom freely indulged in powdered and
frizzled hair.” “While Philadelphia was the seat of the Republican
Court, the grandeur of Christ Church congregation was increased. The
arrival of the worshippers in damasks and brocades, velvet breeches and
silk stockings, powdered hair and periwigs, was a sight to see. Some
came afoot, others drove in chairs or clattered up in cumbrous, awesome
coaches, with two or four horses, while Washington’s equipage, drawn by
six cream coloured steeds, added the final touch to the imposing
spectacle.” All this cavalcade seemed but an echo of the earlier days
when Sir William Keith, of Graeme Park, Horsham, one of the early
governours of the Province, was wont to drive to the churchyard gates
with his coach and four, with outriders in truly regal fashion, liveried
footmen on the post board and his arms blazoned on the panels of the
doors. Nor was Sir William alone in this gorgeous display, for there
were others who came with similar equipage and even today more than one
of these lumbering old coaches, with arm-blazoned doors, may be found
mouldering away in the coach houses of old country places.

     An inventory of Sir William Keith’s effects and chattels from his
     plantation of Horsham will give some notion of the luxury that
     prevailed there:--

     “...a silver punch bowl, ladle and strainer, 4 salvers, 3
     casters, and 33 spoons, 70 large pewter plates, 14 smaller plates,
     6 basins, 6 brass pots with covers; chinaware; 13 different sizes
     of bowls, 6 complete tea sets, 2 dozen chocolate cups, 20 dishes of
     various sizes, 4 dozen plates, 6 mugs, 1 dozen fine coffee cups ...
     delft stone and glass ware: 18 jars, 12 venison pots, 6 white stone
     tea sets, 12 mugs, 6 dozen plates and 12 fine wine decanters ... 24
     Holland sheets, 20 common sheets, 50 tablecloths, 12 dozen napkins,
     60 bedsteads, 144 chairs, 32 tables, 3 clocks, 15 looking glasses,
     10 dozen knives and forks-- ... 4 coach horses, 7 saddle horses, 6
     working horses, 2 mares, one colt; 4 oxen, 15 cows, 4 bulls, 6
     calves, 31 sheep and 20 hogs. A large glass coach, 2 chaises, 2
     waggons, 1 wain.”

Besides all these items there was a great quantity of household gear
that would take too much space to catalogue. Other inventories of the
time were comparable to the one just given.

It is no wonder that people who were able to live in the manner
indicated by such lists of personal effects wished to have houses in
keeping with their means and looked with favour upon architectural
designs of elegant proportions and details. Unlike many of the fine
Georgian houses of New England, which exhibited a comparatively plain
and simple exterior, the houses of the same date in Pennsylvania and the
Middle Colonies displayed a degree of outside elaboration to correspond
with the interior embellishments.

The materials used were ordinarily either brick or stone, the latter in
many cases being carefully cut and dressed, sometimes for the front
only, sometimes for the walls all the way round. This was quite in
accord with the tradition of the locality to which allusion has been
previously made. While much of the fine woodwork was executed on the
spot, a good deal of it was fetched from England by wealthy merchants
for their own use in their ships trading between Philadelphia and
English ports. The gardens were usually designed in a manner to comport
with the houses they surrounded and it is no unusual thing even now to
find well kept box borders and hedges that have been the pride of their
owners for generations.

Having noted the conditions that made the Georgian style of architecture
particularly acceptable to people of substance in the eighteenth century
it now remains to examine in detail the features constituting its
distinctive local character. The examples of Georgian domestic
architecture to be found in and about Philadelphia offer an unsurpassed
field for examination and comparison, and a study of their peculiarities
shows an interesting evolution through three distinct forms, all of
which, nevertheless, belong to the same generic classification.
“Georgian,” of course, in the narrowest sense of the word would indicate
the mode in vogue only during the reigns of the Georges, but Georgian
architecture is not to be limited by any such cramped or arbitrary
bounds. It was the style evolved by logical steps from the prevailing
type of preceding reigns and was, in short, an expression of Renaissance
Classicism, filtered through a medium of English interpretation and
adapted to local needs, on lines first marked out by the seventeenth
century architects headed by Inigo Jones and Sir Christopher


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Copyright, J. B. Lippincott Co.



Wren. The stateliness and formality of Georgian design satisfied the
cravings of prosperous Colonial gentry for the affluent pomp and
circumstance with which they chose to surround themselves.

The process of evolution in the several Georgian types of the
Philadelphia neighbourhood was slow in its working, perhaps, but
unmistakable as a comparison of examples will show. Indeed, a glance at
the illustrations accompanying this chapter will discover easily
distinguished differences of contour and detail corresponding to the
evolutionary stages. Fortunately, history comes to aid us, removing all
element of conjecture and giving us, instead, a comfortable certainty of
the ground we are treading on. It is, of course, impossible to set any
exact and unalterable dates for our three Georgian types; our purpose
will be best subserved by giving approximate dates between which certain
characteristics may be looked for and certain changes expected to take
place. We may, roughly speaking, say that the first type flourished
between 1720 and 1740, the second type from 1740 to 1770 and the third
type from 1770 to 1805. Several parts of these three type divisions were
marked by times of great building activity and others again by times of
comparative idleness. From 1720 to 1730 there was a great deal going on.
Then again, about 1760, we find a regular epidemic of house
construction breaking out. Just before, during and after the
Revolutionary War, as one would naturally assume, public stress, peril
and uncertainty discouraged the prosecution of new plans, although the
builders, even then, were not wholly idle. What has just been said
applies particularly to country seats, as we have fuller data concerning
them than we have about most of the town houses. What were once country
seats have been selected, too, because they are, for the most part,
intact, while comparatively few of the town houses remain in their
original interior state, being, as they chiefly are, in a part of the
city now given over to business or to the housing of the foreign

Philadelphia affords especially favourable opportunity for a careful
examination and study of the several types of Georgian expression.
Indeed, for purposes of comparison, the advantages it offers are
unsurpassed, owing to the available wealth of varied material of the
best sorts, and that, too, in a state of excellent preservation. At
times one is really troubled with an embarrassment of riches in this
respect and selection becomes difficult. From the early years of the
eighteenth century, Philadelphia advanced rapidly in commercial
prosperity. Ship building, textile industry and various sorts of
manufactures soon brought a bulk of trade second to none among the
seaports of the Colonies. Traffic with the East and West Indies, as well
as with Europe, poured gold into the coffers of her merchants and
brought affluence and culture at an early stage of her career. The chief
wealth of her most considerable citizens was almost invariably derived
from profitable shipping ventures. By 1750 Penn’s “greene country towne”
had become the greatest and most important city in the country, the
metropolis of the American colonies. “No other could boast of so many
streets, so many houses, so many people, so much renown. No other city
was so rich, so extravagant, so fashionable.” Among the features that
impressed visitors from distant lands was the fineness of the houses.
Men of such social distinction and substance as were many of
Philadelphia’s principal citizens would not be meanly housed, and it is
not surprising, therefore, that much of the best domestic Georgian
architecture in America is to be found in the city or in its immediate
neighbourhood, where town houses or country seats mirrored the estate
and consequence of their owners. As one instance--and there were
many--of a delightful and favourite suburb, now included in Fairmount
Park, but then well beyond the city boundaries, we may cite that portion
of the Schuylkill, of charm and loveliness unexcelled, where the river
winds among rolling highlands on whose summits spacious homes of comely
dignity sheltered some of the most distinguished citizens of the
metropolis whose society was gayer, more polished and wealthier than
anywhere else this side of the Atlantic. Here, too, the country seats
bespoke the urbanity and degree of their occupants, and here, today,
they still bear mute witness to an elegance long passed.

Notwithstanding all this architectural wealth and its perfect
accessibility, Philadelphia has hitherto received but scant justice at
the hands of many architectural writers. In an highly esteemed and well
known work, properly regarded as a valuable source of information anent
architecture in Colonial and Post-Colonial America, the writer of one
portion has greatly erred in his estimate and analysis of Philadelphia’s
Georgian remains, probably through insufficient acquaintance with that
part of his subject. After referring to Philadelphia as architecturally
“the embodiment of Philistinism,” he goes on to speak of the buildings
of Colonial days and says of them, “The details generally are hard and
crude and often inappropriate.” As a representative example of the
eighteenth century country place he instances the Bartram house and
writes, “The home of the Colonial botanist, John Bartram, at
Philadelphia, built in 1731, has two-storey semi-detached columns with
huge Ionic scrolls. The German rococo mouldings in the window frames,
too, are out of all scale with the humble dwelling.” Bartram’s house
ought not to be regarded as in any way representative of Philadelphia
domestic architecture, and, least of all, as representative of Georgian
buildings. It is in a class all by itself and represents nothing but
John Bartram’s home-made efforts in both plan--if it can be said to have
any plan--and execution of detail. Whatever its inconsistencies and
defects, there is undeniably the charm of beauty and interest about the
place, but it has no architectural affinities. The same writer goes on
glibly to assure his readers that “In Pennsylvania there were rarely any
verandas, porches or gardens,”--a mischievous and misleading statement.

The verandas and porches may take care of themselves for the nonce, but
the gardens need a passing word of vindication. In no place were there
more notable gardens than in Philadelphia. Leaving Bartram’s garden out
of the horticultural tale--the writer might cavil at it as a kind of
nursery--there was “The Woodlands” near by, whose gardens, from the
middle of the eighteenth century onward were as extensive and famous as
any in the land, and exquisitely planned and maintained. There was the
Grange, well known from early Colonial days, whose garden, even in its
decay, is wonderful and beautiful.... There was Ury House whose box
garden has been the pride of its owners and has delighted their guests
for more than a hundred and fifty years and is today maintained in all
its pristine trimness. There were the gardens at Grumblethorpe,
Netherfield, Cedar Grove, the Highlands, Belmont, Fair Hill, to name
only a few, while in the heart of the city the Bingham, Powel,
Blackwell, Willing, Morris, and Cadwalader houses, along with many
others, all had spacious gardens, well planted and tastefully arranged.
A writer who could ignore all this material, could scarcely be expected
to do justice to the houses. The examples now to be adduced will set the
matter in a fairer light.

It ought to be stated that most of the eighteenth century houses in
Philadelphia and its neighbourhood were not designed by professional
architects, but were planned by their owners and executed by skillful
carpenters and builders. Some architectural knowledge was held to be a
part of a gentleman’s education, and such men as Andrew Hamilton and
John Kearsley, though amateurs, displayed no contemptible ability. The
master carpenters of the city, in 1724, composed a guild large and
prosperous enough to be patterned after “The Worshipful Company of
Carpenters of London,” and, in 1736, became possessed of a choice
collection of architectural works devised to his fellow members by James
Portius whom William Penn had induced to come to his new city to “design
and execute his Proprietary buildings.” In the Ridgway branch of the
Philadelphia Library there is also a collection of seventeenth and
eighteenth century books, treating of architecture, carpentry, joinery
and various subjects connected with building, an examination of which
will show that the artisans of the Georgian period were well supplied
with guides devised to make the mysteries of their craft plain to the
“meanest understanding.”

The two houses chosen to exemplify the first Georgian type are Graeme
Park, Horsham, begun in 1721 and finished the following year by Sir
William Keith, sometime Lieutenant-Governour of the Province, and Hope
Lodge, in the Whitemarsh Valley, built in 1723. Graeme Park was then in
the heart of the wilderness and a special road had to be cut, still
called the Governour’s Road, to enable His Excellency to reach the Old
York Road whenever he chose to trundle to the city in his great begilt
and blazoned coach, drawn by four stout horses and attended with all the
panoply of state as befitted a person of his rank.

The house suited the manorial style of life maintained by the baronet.
To the rear of the main building were detached wings containing quarters
for the servants, the kitchens and the various domestic offices, thus
leaving the whole of the hall for the use of its occupants. The small
buildings disappeared years ago, and the whole place, long unoccupied,
is gradually falling into decay, a plight from which, however, it could
be easily rescued. The house is over 60 feet long, 25 feet in depth and
three storeys in height. The walls are of rich brown field stone,
carefully laid and fitted, and are more than 2 feet thick, while over
the doors and windows, whose dimensions are thoroughly characteristic of
the date of erection, selected stones are laid in flattened arches.

At the north end of the building is a great hall or parlour, 21 feet
square, with walls wainscotted and panelled from floor to ceiling, a
height of fourteen feet. The fireplace in the parlour is faced with dark
marble, brought from abroad, while in the other rooms Dutch tiles were
used for the same purpose. On each floor are three rooms. Stairs and
banisters are of heavy white oak, and all the other woodwork, of yellow
pine, is of unusual beauty, executed in simple and vigorous design. The
woodwork is worthy of special attention, for therein we may see embodied
some of the chief characteristics of the first Georgian type. The
detail of ornamentation is heavy and bold, though by no means
ungraceful. Mouldings and cornices are more pronounced in profile than
we find them at a later date and stand out with peculiarly insistent
relief, while certain forms quite vanished in subsequent types. The
close affinity with the moulding details of the distinctively Queen Anne
type is strongly noticeable. One feature worth mentioning is the mantel
shelf in the parlour. Such shelves were rarely found till a later date.

Hope Lodge, hard by St. Thomas’s Hill, in the Whitemarsh Valley, was
built in 1723, as previously stated. It is a great square brick
structure of two storeys in height with a hipped roof. As at Stenton
(built in 1728), the bricks are laid in Flemish bond and occasional
black headers appear. The doors and windows, like those of Graeme Park,
Stenton and other contemporary houses, belonging to the first Georgian
type, are higher and narrower in proportion than those of a later date.
Over the front windows are wedge-shaped lintels, flush with the wall
surface, formed of bricks set vertically in the centre and gradually
spreading fanwise toward the sides in diagonals convergent to the base.
Some of the windows at the sides and back show the flattened arches, to
be seen at Graeme Park and Stenton, over slightly countersunk tympana
above the frame tops. Over some of the doors are transoms of six or
seven square lights in a single row, while over the tall and very narrow
side door, just as at Stenton and as over the two narrow rear doors at
Graeme Park, there is a transom of eight square lights in two rows of
four each. A cornice at the eaves has a deep sweeping cove of plaster on
a lath backing, while the heavy moulding courses are of wood. Viewed
from the front, the roof is hipped, but from the side it presents a
curious combination of hip and gambrel.

Within, a hall of unusual width, far larger than most rooms nowadays,
traverses the full depth of the house and opens into spacious chambers
on each side. The chief rooms have round arched doorways and narrow
double doors, heavily panelled. All the panelling, in fact, is heavy.
The single doors of the first floor are surmounted by handsome
pediments. There are deep panelled window seats in the ground floor
rooms and the windows have exceptionally broad and heavy muntins. The
breadth of the fireplaces, faced with dark Scotch marble, and the
massiveness of the wainscotting correspond with the other features.
Throughout the house all the woodwork, which is said to have been
fetched from England, though handsomely wrought, is heavy and most
substantial. Midway back in the hall a flattened arch springs from
fluted pilasters with capitals of a peculiar design. The stairway,
which is remarkably good, and strongly suggests an old English
arrangement, ascends laterally from the rear hall. Back of the house a
wide, brick-paved porch connects with another building where were the
servants’ quarters and kitchens--an arrangement characteristic of the

Of the houses representative of the second Georgian type, Whitby Hall,
Kingsessing, West Philadelphia, comes first on the list. The western end
of Whitby Hall, the part with which we are here concerned, was added in
1754 by Colonel James Coultas, “merchant, ship owner, farmer, mill
owner, fox hunter, vestryman, soldier, judge, High Sheriff of
Philadelphia from 1755 to 1758, and enthusiastic promoter of all
philanthropic and public enterprises.” The gables of the high pitched
roof face north and south and are pierced with oval windows to light the
cock loft. The walls, not on one side only, as is often the case where a
special nicety of finish was sought, but all the way round, are built of
carefully squared and dressed native grey stone. On the south front is a
flag paved piazza, surmounted by a graceful spindled balustrade, while
around the western and northern sides runs a penthouse. The deeply coved
cornice beneath the eaves is carried in a continuous horizontal line as
a string course across the gable end or rather the gable _side_ walls.

A remarkable feature about Whitby is the arrangement of the roof. It is
the exact reverse of what is ordinarily found. The ridge pole, instead
of running parallel to the length of the structure, traverses its
breadth, thus making the peak higher, the slope longer, and allowing
space for a roomy third floor, all of which the view of the south front
clearly shows. This arrangement also avoids the need of dormers. “On the
north front is a tower-like projection in which the stairway ascends
with broad landings. The low doorway in this tower has always been used
on occasions of large gatherings at Whitby, whether grave or gay,
because it admits to the wide hall running through the western wing,
giving admittance to the large rooms on either side. The doorway and
windows in the tower are all surrounded by brick trims, which give both
variety and distinction against the grey stone walls--a treatment not
often met with near Philadelphia. In the top of the pediment with its
dentilled cornice, a bull’s eye light, also surrounded with brick trim,
is of particular interest because it was a porthole glass from one of
Colonel Coultas’s favourite ships, and was set there because of a
cherished sentiment. On peak and corners of the tower pediment three
urns add a note of state.

“All the woodwork and sundry embellishments


Copyright, J. B. Lippincott Co.


Middle Colonies Georgian, second phase.]


Middle Colonies Georgian, second phase.]


Copyright, J. B. Lippincott Co.


Middle Colonies Georgian, third phase.]

of the 1754 addition were fetched from England in Colonel Coultas’s
ships. The pilasters and cornices in the hall are exceptionally fine.
Rosettes are carved in the dog ears of the door trims and the cheeks and
soffits of the jambs are set with bevel-flush panels. In the parlour the
carving of the overmantel and the panelling are unsurpassed for either
execution or design. The central panel above the fireplace is three feet
high and nearly six feet wide, and not a joint can be discovered in it.
Below it is a band of exquisitely wrought floriated carving in high
relief. Although it is possible to find more elaborate woodwork, it is
rarely that one meets with a degree of elaboration tempered with such
dignified restraint and consummate good taste.”

Another house of the second Georgian type is Mount Pleasant, or Clunie,
as it was at first called, in Fairmount Park, built in 1761 by Captain
John Macpherson, and in later years the home of Benedict Arnold. Mount
Pleasant is a structure of almost baronial aspect, with east and west
fronts alike of imposing mien. An high foundation of carefully squared
stones is pierced by iron barred basement windows set in stone frames.
Above this massive, grisly base, the thick stone walls are coated with
yellow-grey roughcast. Heavy quoins of brick at the corners and, at the
north and south ends of the building, great quadruple chimneys joined
into one at the top by arches, create an air of more than usual
solidity. A broad flight of stone steps, their iron balustrades
overgrown with a bushy mass of honeysuckle, leads up to a doorway of
generous breadth. The pillars at each side of the door and the
superimposed pediment, the ornate Palladian window immediately above on
the second floor and, above that again, the cornice pediment springing
from the eaves, all contribute to set a stamp of courtly distinction
upon the pile.

Above the second floor the hipped roof springs, pierced east and west by
two graceful dormers and crowned by a well turned balustrade that
traverses nearly the whole distance between the chimneys. The fan light
over the door has remarkably heavy, fluted mullions and much of the
detail throughout the house, though highly wrought, is heavy. The two
flanking outbuildings, set 30 or 40 feet distant from the northeast and
southeast corners of the house, designed for servants’ quarters and
domestic offices, give Mount Pleasant a peculiarly striking appearance.
Without them it would be only an unusually handsome Georgian country
house, with them it at once takes on the manorial port of one of the old
Virginia mansions. The interior woodwork, both upstairs and down, is
rich in elaboration of detail, and the door frames, with their heavily
moulded pediments, are exceptionally fine.

Cliveden, the third member of the second group, was built in 1761 by
Chief Justice Chew. Its solid and heavy masonry is of carefully dressed
Germantown stone, and at the peaks of the gables and corners of the roof
are great stone urns. Back of the house are two wings, one semi-detached
and the other entirely so, used for servants’ quarters and domestic
offices. All the features and detail about Cliveden are thoroughly in
keeping with the same characteristics as in the other two houses already

The windows are broad and fill a great part of the wall space in the
façade, and the doorway is an essential feature that has been made the
most of by the architect. Both indoors and out the strongly classic
feeling has been emphasised in pillar and pediment, pilaster and
entablature. Triglyphs, guttæ and every other detail of classic
embellishment have been wrought with the nice precision due a worthy

Comparing Whitby, Mount Pleasant and Cliveden with the former houses of
the first Georgian type, certain differences at once strike us. The
whole aspect is changed by the greater breadth of windows and doors. The
houses look wider awake. This change in the size of the windows means,
of course, that the rooms within in most cases were lighter and more
cheerful than before. Then, too, the Palladian window has appeared. Both
Mount Pleasant and Cliveden afford good examples of it, Cliveden’s being
placed at the side while at Mount Pleasant it forms an important feature
in both the east and west fronts.

At Mount Pleasant and Cliveden we see, too, that the door has become a
subject for elaborate treatment, quite in contrast to the extremely
simple and unassuming manner of dealing with the same feature in the
earlier houses. At Mount Pleasant the severity of the roof line is
tempered by a balustrade and the effective management of the chimneys
while, at Whitby and Cliveden, urns embellish the peaks and corners.
Within we find that acanthus leaves and thistles have begun to grow, the
rose has blossomed, other conventional flowers and foliage have budded
and egg and dart mouldings have appeared. In other words, carving as a
mode of embellishment has attained an established vogue. The moulding
profiles have lost some of their trenchant boldness and, though the
ornamental detail, both indoors and out, is still vigorous, and at times
massive, there is generally visible an air of delicacy and refinement
not present before.

The Woodlands, the Highlands, and Upsala exemplify for us the third type
of Georgian. William Hamilton built the Woodlands about 1770. Anthony
Morris finished the Highlands in 1796, and Norton Johnson began Upsala
in 1798 and completed it three years later. Across the north front of
the Woodlands, at regular intervals, are six Ionic pilasters above whose
tops runs an elaborately ornamented entablature with pateræ and
flutings, the whole surmounted by a pediment. Before the house is a low
and broad paved terrace filling the space between the semi-circular bays
that project from the ends of the building. Between the two middle
pilasters, a round arched doorway with a fan light opens into the hall.
On the south or river front a flight of steps ascends to a lofty white
pillared portico from which a door opens directly into the oval shaped

In another respect the whole exterior aspect of the Woodlands is
different from the houses of the second type. Window treatment is always
a most important item in determining architectural character and it is
just here that a significant change is to be noted. The size of the
opening is, in some cases, the same, in others it is larger but, more
noticeable still, the muntins are far smaller and we lose the bold,
trenchant barring of white that emphasises the aspect of windows of the
earlier buildings.

The interior is finished with all the delicacy that one might expect
judging from the evidences of Adam influence without. One highly
significant feature of interior treatment in houses of the third type is
the change made in the arrangement of the mantels. We have seen that in
houses of the first type, such as Graeme Park and in houses of the
second type, such as Whitby Hall or Mount Pleasant, the overmantel
panelling and embellishment were accorded much care and elaboration. The
chimney breast often extended a considerable distance into the room and
the ornamental superstructure above the fireplace reached all the way to
the ceiling.

Although these ornate overmantels reaching to the ceiling had begun to
fall into disfavour in England a little after the middle of the
eighteenth century, when houses of the second Georgian type were being
erected in the Philadelphia neighbourhood, Colonial conservatism
disregarded the newer style and clung to the mode approved by
time-honoured precedent. The fireplace with its setting has always held
a position of such exalted honour as the centre of family life that the
following extract from Clouston’s Treatise on Chippendale is
particularly illuminating in this connexion. In speaking of the
influence exerted by Sir William Chambers on architecture as well as on
furniture, he says:--“When he returned to England in 1755, [from the
Continent] he was



Copyright, J. B. Lippincott Co.


Middle Colonies Georgian, third phase.]


Copyright, 1908, by Rogers & Manson


Southern Georgian, second phase in transition to third.]

accompanied by Wilton and Cipriani, afterwards so well known as an
artist and decorator. He also brought Italian sculptors to carve the
marble mantelpieces he introduced into English houses.

“These were made from his own designs, and the ornament of figures,
scrolls, and foliage was free in character. Strange to say, these
mantelpieces, designed and made by an architect, were yet the means of
taking away this important part of interior decoration from the hands of
the architect altogether and causing it to become quite a separate
production, made and sold along with the grates.

“In former times it had been an integrant portion of the room, reaching
from floor to ceiling, balanced and made part of the wall by having its
main lines carried round in panelling and enriched friezes. It was the
keynote of decoration and the master builder of the times grew fanciful
and exerted his utmost skill upon its carving and quaint imagery,
centralising the whole ornament of the room around the household shrine.

“Mantelpieces had gradually come down in height, though still retaining
much of their fine proportions and classic design. Many causes had
contributed to this, the chief being the disuse of wood panelling and
the preference given to hangings of damask, foreign leather and
wall-paper. In the reigns of Queen Anne and the Little Dutchman the
custom of panelling was partially kept up but the lining was only white
painted deal, after the fashion in Holland. At this time the upper part
of the chimney piece was still retained, but only reached about half way
up the wall. Gibbs, Kent and Ware kept the superstructure as much as
they could, but Sir William Chambers dealt it the most crushing blow it
had yet received by copying the later French and Italian styles and
giving minute detail more consideration than fine proportion. He
discarded the upper part altogether and helped to make ‘continued
chimney pieces’ things of the past.”

The much used Adam oval found expression even in the shapes of rooms,
and besides the oval ballroom at the Woodlands, we frequently find in
houses of the third type rounded or elliptical hallways and chambers.

At the Highlands, in the Whitemarsh Valley, we see the front of the
house adorned with tall Ionic pilasters rising from base course to
cornice, which is itself elaborately wrought. The woodwork inside is
excellent, but unfortunately the Adam mantels with their compo
decoration have been removed and now grace another house some miles
distant. At Upsala, in Germantown, however, we are in better luck, for
there the Adam mantels have remained untouched. The illustrations show
the rest of the house and make further specific comment unnecessary,
save to remark, regarding the windows, that here, as in other houses of
this latest type, larger panes of glass than in the two earlier types
are met with in not a few instances.

Before proceeding further in the course of comparison, a word ought to
be said about the colour of the paint used for interior woodwork of the
Georgian houses of all three types. For some reason there seems to be an
impression abroad that white was employed to the exclusion of everything
else. There was, it is true, a preponderance of white but its use was by
no means universal. A close examination of successive layers of paint on
some old woodwork reveals various shades of greys, blues, drabs,
brownish yellows and other hues beneath one or more coats of white. Grey
seems to have been one of the earliest variants from white and, in some
places, nothing else was ever used. At Graeme Park, for instance, the
first coat of paint was grey, and no other colour ever adorned its
panelling and door and window trims. At Stenton, on the other hand, the
taste of the occupants dictated a change of colour from time to time and
we find a good deal of variety in the successive coats. During the
prevalence of the second Georgian type white seems to have found more
general favour. With our last type, delicate colours again began to be

Contrasting the Woodlands, the Highlands and Upsala with the houses
illustrating the second Georgian type, we find still further evidences
of architectural evolution. During the prevalence of the second type
individual features were singled out for decorative emphasis, but in the
days of the third type the entire front of the house or sometimes the
whole exterior was regarded from a decorative point of view. At Cliveden
the treatment of the doorway and the urns on the roof are the features
relied upon for the embellishment of the façade. At Mount Pleasant the
doorways of the east and west fronts, the Palladian windows above them,
the balustrade on the roof and the treatment of the chimneys supply a
fuller and more ornate decorative effect. But when we reach the third
period we see that the architect has considered carefully the decorative
element in both the proportions and detail of the whole building. It
would be hard to believe that the designer of the Woodlands, in drawing
his plans, had not carefully aimed at the pleasing ensemble of the
masses. The effect of the rounded ends is agreeable and a marked
departure from the straightforward rectangularity of most of the houses
of preceding types. The lofty portico of the Woodlands south or river
front had no precedent in Philadelphia. Vaux Hill or Fatland, erected
about the same time, and Loudoun, a few years later, had the same
_motif_, and even John Bartram, in his last addition to his house,
adopted the same treatment. Neither was there a precedent for the method
of dealing with the north front, so we see that the Woodlands struck two
new notes in local architecture.

At the Woodlands and the Highlands we find pilasters carried the full
height of the walls--a new feature. The fenestration is arranged with
more regard to outward appearance and not solely from a utilitarian
point of view. We find that the high panelled overmantels, which
constituted an important architectural feature, had given place to the
low and elaborately adorned mantel that ought to be regarded rather as a
piece of furniture than as an architectural entity. Fireplaces had grown
smaller, fan lights above doors had become common and were enriched with
beautiful and sometimes intricate metal tracery. The comparison between
these later fan lights with their airy grace, and the earlier fan lights
of Mount Pleasant, with their ponderous mouldings, is instructive. In
the detail of all ornament heaviness has vanished and the polished
elegance of Adam influence has taken its place. Everywhere we find
pateræ, drops and swags, fluting and quilling, oval fans and dainty
urns and vases with delicate leaf and flower treatment.

Regarding the texture of stone walls, we ought also to note that in the
second and third types we find neatly squared and dressed stones used to
a considerable extent. At Cliveden, the Highlands and Upsala the fronts
alone are of cut stone while at Whitby Hall the walls on all sides are
treated with the same formal precision.

Briefly summing up, then, it is clear that three distinct types exist.
The first has Queen Anne affinities but is Georgian in time and much of
its feeling. Ornamental detail is simple and bold and at times a trifle
heavy. The profiles of mouldings are strong and in high relief.
Simplicity and strength, combined with grace, give the prevailing note
in every instance. The second type is lighter and more ornate, but with
characteristic conservatism and abhorrence of the new fangled whims of
Sir William Chambers and the Brothers Adam, Philadelphia adhered to the
modes in vogue in England from twenty to twenty-five years before and
kept Ware in countenance who, in 1750, was still crowning his buildings
with heavy Queen Anne urns.

Notwithstanding the staunch adherence to conservative architectural
principles, however, a new feeling is everywhere perceptible. Though
the overmantel decorations still extended all the way to the ceiling,
the character of the ornamentation employed was vastly more elaborate
and graceful than anything to be found in buildings of the first type.
If the profiles of mouldings were not so bold and insistent they were,
nevertheless, quite as graceful. With the advent of floriated and
foliated _motifs_ in the carving, we naturally find a closer care to
detail of all kinds. At the same time there is to be seen a more
punctilious heed to all the little niceties and characteristic
distinctions between the classic orders.

By the time our third Georgian type appears, Adam influence has become
paramount and put to flight all mid-Georgian ponderosity. Even in the
case of manifestly “carpenter built” houses of the period, where, quite
unlike the three excellent examples here chosen to represent their
particular classes, no especial architectural merit is to be looked for,
we find no heaviness of line, and the character of ornamentation
employed is distinctly either a copy or an echo of Adam _motifs_ and, in
not a few cases, has caught much of their spirit.

It must be understood that the houses used for illustration have been
chosen because they represent their many contemporaries in the same
neighbourhood, all of which display the same characteristics according
to the date at which they were built. The foregoing analysis does not
pretend to be complete--it would take far more space to trace all the
subtleties of the subject--but aims only to direct attention to certain
facts that may conduce to our clearer understanding of American Georgian
and its resources in supplying our present needs.

In considering the variations between the Georgian types of the
Philadelphia neighbourhood it must be borne in mind that they ought not
to be judged too straitly by contemporary work in England. Such
comparison would only be misleading and unfair for several reasons. In
the first place, at the beginning of the Georgian period, local
conditions forbade the lavish display of carved ornamentation that
marked so many houses of the same date in England. At that time there
were few craftsmen in the Colonies capable of executing the elaborate
carving in vogue on the other side of the Atlantic. The builders of
mansions, therefore, must perforce content themselves by a close
adherence to line and proportion and do without the highly wrought
carved embellishment. Then, too, besides this difficulty, many of the
builders of these early houses belonged to the Society of Friends, most
of whom from their religious principles were averse to a wealth of
ornament. In the second place, judging by contemporary English standards
would be misleading because at the time the second Philadelphia
Georgian type began to flourish, and the means and inclination for
elaborate ornament were both present, Colonial conservatism had become
an important factor in the dictation of style, and however closely
Philadelphians might copy the current modes of London in matters of
dress, in their manners and architecture they chose to cling to well
established precedent and had always remained thenceforward from twenty
to thirty years back of their British cousins in the method of their
architectural expression. Hence, for instance, the overmantels reaching
to the ceiling built as late as 1765. In all its phases, however,
Philadelphia Georgian, whatever minor differences there might have been,
was true to the traditions of the great English architects, and because
of its purity of style is worthy of close study today for the vital
inspiration it can supply.



If ever the architecture of a region or period truly reflected the
personality and manner of life of the people, it was surely the Georgian
architecture of the South in the eighteenth century. The planters of
that region were affluent and highly cultured and so eminently gifted
with the social instinct that the manor houses and mansions could not
fail to indicate by their material aspect the lavish hospitality and
splendid estate that it was the wont of their owners to maintain. The
great Georgian houses, surrounded by broad plantations, that dotted the
whole land, could have been erected only in a society possessed of
abundant wealth. And the South was opulent. Blessed by nature, as the
country was, with a genial climate and fruitful soil, and favoured by
exceptional economic conditions, great fortunes had accumulated which
permitted the existence of a large leisure class and encouraged a
profound regard for all the comforts and refinements of physical
environment. In New England we have seen that the architectural riches
of the Georgian style were chiefly reserved for interior embellishment,
while the majority of exteriors were allowed to go comparatively
unadorned, with a few notable exceptions. In the South, on the other
hand, the exuberance of nature and the seductive charm of the climate
invited the builder of a house to expand his plans and take full
advantage of impressive physical settings. Consequently we have the
amplitude of aspect so typical of the Southern mansion, an amplitude
that is also in some measure due to the extensive domestic entourage and
made possible by the abundant means of the occupants.

That the wealthy Southern planters should require surroundings of
domestic splendour that would have been impossible in most other parts
of the Colonies, either from lack of means or lack of inclination to
indulge in so lavish an expenditure, surroundings that had much in
common with the conditions obtaining on many of the baronial estates in
England, we may understand when we consider, by way of example, the
history of the Byrd family of Westover in Virginia. Colonel William
Byrd, the first of the family in America, came to Virginia in 1674. He
built the first house at Westover in 1690 and at his death left, as part
of his estate, a domain of 26,231 acres. His son, Colonel William Byrd
2nd, succeeding to this great wealth and further increasing his fortune
by his second marriage, began the erection of the present house about
1727 and completed it some time prior to 1735. When this second William
Byrd, “William the Great of Westover, died in 1744, the acres of the
noble estate numbered 179,440, about 281 square miles, a veritable
principality indeed.” It has been said of him that “his path through
life was a path of roses. He had wealth, culture, the best private
library in America, social consideration, and hosts of friends; and when
he went to sleep under the monument in the garden at Westover, he left
behind him not only the reputation of a good citizen, but that of the
great Virginia wit and author of the century.” His epitaph, after
calling attention to the educational advantages he had enjoyed and his
close friendships with many of the greatest men of his day in England,
goes on to relate that “he was called to the bar in the Middle Temple,
studied for some time in the Low Countries, visited the Court of France,
and was chosen Fellow of the Royal Society. Thus eminently fitted for
the service and ornament of his country, he was made Receiver general of
his Majesty’s revenues here, was thrice appointed publick agent to the
Court and ministry of England, and being thirty-seven years a member, at
last became President of the Council of this Colony. To all this were
added a great elegancy and taste of life, the well bred gentleman and
polite companion.”

It is scarcely to be wondered at that a man so endowed by nature,
education and the possession of vast wealth should build in a manner
suited to his condition. In fact it would have been strange if he had
not. But William Byrd was not alone in his enjoyment of unusual
advantages. Although the incidents of his history were not duplicated,
his case was nearly paralleled by other men of his century in the South.
Almost without exception these favoured children of good breeding, to
which was joined the convenience of ample affluence, manifested an
elegant taste and an active personal interest in the building of their
homes and it is to this interest on their part that we of to-day are
indebted for much of what is best in the execution of American Georgian
work. Not a few of the Southern planters were themselves competent
architects but, as representatives of their class in this particular, it
will be sufficient to mention two of them, persons no less illustrious
than George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Washington always
manifested a deep interest in architecture, is believed to have designed
Pohick Church, had some hand in the plans of Christ Church, Alexandria,
supervised building on his own estates, exercised a directing influence
over the destinies of the public buildings planned or begun during his
lifetime in the Federal City and left an example of his capacity as a
decorative designer in the plastic ornaments of the famous mantel at
Kenmore. How deeply Jefferson was concerned with architectural matters,
both public and private, and how he maintained a lifelong interest in
everything pertaining thereto, an interest that began in early youth and
became stronger with advancing years, we well know. Pressure of onerous
public duties never abated his desire for architectural betterment
throughout the country nor diverted him from using all possible efforts
to secure the realisation of ideals. “Architecture,” he once wrote, “is
worth great attention--the most important of the arts, since it shows so
much.” At another time he penned the following:--“To give buildings
symmetry and taste would not increase their cost, it would only change
the arrangement of the materials, form and combination of members. This
would cost less than the burden of ornament with which these public
buildings are often charged. But the very first principles of the art
are unknown.” These views might find some application not inappropriate
at the present day. Jefferson did not confine his architectural
interests to matters theoretical nor to designing. He was

[Illustration: HARWOOD, ANNAPOLIS, 1774.

Southern Georgian, second phase.]

[Illustration: BRICE HOUSE, ANNAPOLIS, 1740.

Southern Georgian, second phase.]

[Illustration: SHIRLEY, JAMES RIVER, VA.

Southern Georgian, second phase.]


Southern Georgian, first phase.]

often to be found in the actual rôle of workman. When he began the
operations at Monticello, about 1770, that left it in its present form,
he not only planned and supervised the work, “but was personally
responsible for such practical phases as heating, ventilation, plumbing
and drainage. He planned the farm buildings and the laying out of all
the roads and bridle paths about the place. In addition, he trained all
his own workmen and even made experts of several of his slaves, whom he
later set free to earn their living at the trades he had taught them.”

In the South, as in New England and the Middle Colonies, we may without
much difficulty discern three phases of the Georgian modes of
expression, all of them with characteristics more or less clearly
defined. In view of the extended analysis of those phases made in the
chapter devoted to the Georgian period in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and
Delaware, it will be unnecessary to dwell at length upon the
corresponding characteristics to be found in the domestic architecture
of the South, a course that would merely involve bootless repetition. As
occasion arises, therefore, in considering typical examples of Southern
building, attention will be directed chiefly to points of divergence and
local peculiarities and modifications. The practices of building
kitchens and offices in structures apart from the body of the house; of
planning bedchambers on the ground floor and of making the hall of ample
enough proportions to be used as a living-room, when so desired, have
already been adverted to in the chapter on the Southern Colonial style.
All three practices were developed during the seventeenth century and by
practical usage proved their excellence so that they were retained when
a new and more elegant architectural mode supplanted the fashion of an
earlier day.

In several instances, such as Tuckahoe, erected about 1707, Belvoir in
Anne Arundel County, Maryland, built about the same date, and Gunston
Hall, finished after the middle of the eighteenth century, we may trace
a transitional form, retained from seventeenth century precedents. The
general contour of these houses exhibits strong affinities with the
truly Southern Colonial type of dwelling but in the manner of execution
and the employment of ornamental detail we are on the Georgian side of
the boundary.

For the first Georgian phase, we cannot do better than study such houses
as Carter’s Grove on the James River, built about 1737, and Westover,
finished several years prior to that date. In both places we find many
of the characteristics that we should be disposed to look for after a
careful perusal of the notes on the earliest type of Georgian houses
given in Chapter VIII. In general contour and the treatment of the roof,
Carter’s Grove is not unlike Stenton. In addition, however, to the
particulars alluded to in Chapter VIII, we find at Carter’s Grove the
exceptionally broad hallway peculiar to the South, twenty-eight feet
wide. It is to be noted also that there and at other places, too, in the
South, are to be seen richly wrought baluster spindles, spiral turned or
carved, just as in some of the finer houses in New England. In this
connexion it is important to remember that at Tuckahoe, in addition to
the spiral turned balusters, there is some unusually fine carving on the
staircase executed in a more expansive and flowing style than the
carving of the middle or end of the century. The rich pilasters and
pediment of the doorway at Westover also show kinship to an earlier
tradition just as do some of the adornments of contemporary doorways in
New England.

Tulip Hill at West River, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, offers an
excellent example of the Southern Georgian house erected about the
middle of the eighteenth century. In point of detail it has the usual
earmarks of the date of its erection which it is unnecessary to revert
to. Several other points, however, are to be noted. Decorative panels in
relief at each side of the circular window in the front gable and a
decorative device in the pediment of the portico are touches of
embellishment of a kind not frequently found in the North and they have
their counterpart in many similar ornaments to be found on other
Southern houses built about this period. It is to be noted, too, that
the portico or porch is beginning to have a recognised architectural
place in the South. A few years later it assumed more imposing
proportions in the shape of the great white pillars, two storeys in
height, supporting a massive pediment carried forward as an integral
part of the roof. While speaking of porches it must not be forgotten
that credit is due the South Carolina type of Georgian house for the
double-decked or two storey porch so frequently met with in that state.

The necessity or desirability of developing the porch feature may have
hastened the welcome of the Classic Revival in the South because of the
opportunity it gave of constructing that architectural adjunct in an
imposing and thoroughly well-mannered and congruous method. At all
events, the Classic Revival seems to have met with earlier favour in the
South than elsewhere and its vogue was practically synchronous with the
third or Adam type of Georgian expression. As a case in point, there is
Monticello but it should be observed that Jefferson’s conception of the
Classic Revival

[Illustration: CARTER’S GROVE, VA. 1728.

Southern Georgian, first phase.]


Classic Revival.]


Classic Revival.]

mode, if Monticello is to be regarded as a specimen of Classic Revival
work, had a dignity, honesty and sincerity about it that was afterwards
often lost sight of when employed by other men.

One cannot quit the task of reviewing the Georgian architecture of the
South without feeling deeply impressed with the great dignity and
breadth manifested in all its forms. It was a sincere expression of the
architectural needs of an important social condition and while it was
founded on time-honoured precedent, at the same time its application was
thoroughly American and full of vitality.



After the close of the Revolutionary War came a period of comparatively
rapid evolution in architecture. This phase of post-Colonial evolution
reached its culminating point in the signal successes and almost
ludicrous failures of the Greek or Classic Revival, successes and
failures that occurred simultaneously, strange as it may seem, though
caused by the same influences, and are still to be seen in the older
cities of our land, oftentimes standing in close proximity.

Historically considered, this process of swift evolution is attributable
to several causes of which the chief were the rapidly increasing
affluence and prosperity of the new republic and the general approval
with which French influences and fashions were regarded. In the era of
vigorous mercantile and industrial reaction after the stress and strain
of a long and exhausting war, it was but natural that not only
merchants, manufacturers and other men of substance, but also whole
communities as well, should seek to express in structures domestic and
public the proper pride and confidence of their new-found political
importance and freedom. New social and civic demands were to be met and
architecture was quick to reflect the spirit of growth and progress. In
a measure, too, there were the ravages of shot, shell and fire and the
decay incident to a long financial depression to be repaired. With an
access of material prosperity came also an access of economic elegancies
and men of means and position demanded that their domestic surroundings
should measure up to new standards of luxury. When they found themselves
in circumstances to build anew, as they not infrequently did, their
houses, while usually following much the old arrangement of plan and
number of rooms, displayed new influences of ornamental detail and the
alteration or addition of features in conformity to the new mode.
Furthermore--and this was by no means the least factor affecting the new
conditions--in the general social overturn, wrought by the event of war,
the Loyalists, who represented a large portion of the wealth and
refinement of the Colonial period, had been ruined, dispossessed of
their estates, driven from the country or had withdrawn to England or
some of the other Colonies and their places had oftentimes been taken
by persons who had hitherto held a humbler state of life. These men of
new wealth and standing, who owed their advancement to their warm
espousal of the American cause, built themselves houses to accord with
their recently acquired rank and sought by the fineness of their
dwellings, as is the wont of _parvenus_, to make up for lack of birth
and breeding. It was but natural, too, in all these cases just
mentioned, that popular taste should incline toward an architectural
vogue that was French in its immediate inspiration rather than toward
any style whose precedents were to be found in the Mother Country whose
recent political domination was still held in bitter remembrance.

Architecturally considered, this evolution that culminated in the full
fruition of the Classic Revival shows three influences that are to be
reckoned in any attempt at its analysis. In the first place, there was
the Adam phase of the Georgian mode which had begun to find pronounced
expression in the American Colonies from about 1770 onward. The greater
refinements of this type, as analysed in preceding chapters, were
strongly in evidence up to 1800 or shortly afterward and their Adam
provenance was clearly distinguishable. In the second place, there were
the carpenter-designed and built houses of plainly defined Georgian
ancestry. During the eighteenth century, the public mind had become so
thoroughly imbued with the Georgian spirit of architectural classicism,
tempered and modified, to be sure, by conveyance through a British
medium, but classicism all the same, that even the most unpretentious
little houses gave evidence of the prevailing influence in one form or
another. It might be a house door with pilasters and pediment or it
might be a mantel. The pilasters flanking the doorway might have lost
all traces of near kinship to any of the classic orders, so far as their
details were concerned, and so might the pediment also, but the mere
fact that they were there showed plainly the source whence they were
derived. These carpenter-designed-and-built houses of the end of the
eighteenth century may be regarded as a residuum of the architectural
spirit of the epoch. Last of all, there was the pure classic influence,
the circumstances of whose transplanting to America we shall examine in

Both the architecture of the Georgian period and the architecture of the
Classic Revival were essentially classic in spirit but there was a vast
difference between their several manifestations of classicality and it
is most important that we should grasp that fundamental difference. The
classicism of Georgian architecture was free in its spirit and
interpretation and was elastic in its adaptability to the requirements
of domestic or public edifices. The architects who applied it were
blessed with common sense and while they incorporated a distinct element
of formal order in their work, they were not trammelled by so narrow a
conventionalism that they feared to make such adaptations as their own
original genius prompted, provided they were consistent with the source
of general inspiration. In other words, the classicism of Georgian
architecture was classicism humanised and rationalised by transmission
through the channels of the Renaissance or the labours of such
discriminating students of antiquity as the Brothers Adam. It was
elastic and suited alike to public edifices and abodes of both high and
low degree. It was also direct and simple and had the dignity and
vitality that art unaffected and ingenuous always shows. For this very
reason it was so convincing and so long retained its hold upon popular

The classicism of the Classic Revival, on the other hand, was
essentially and unalterably rigid in its adherence to the forms of
antiquity and the archæological manner of applying those forms. It was
not an adaptation, it was, in very truth, a _revival_ of the modes of
two thousand years ago, a gigantic exhibition of architectural
archæology. The strength of Georgian architecture lay in the freedom and
elasticity of its classicism and its ready flexibility to adaptation.
The weakness of the architecture of the Classic Revival was in its
rigidity and inflexible resistance to efforts to adapt it to varied
modern requirements. In the South, it is true, it showed a few traces of
freer interpretation, perhaps because in some cases the artisans were
incapable of rendering the accurate reproductions executed by better
skilled Northern mechanics but, even with this slight allowance, the
stamp of rigidity remained indelible.

Despite a degree of stiffness and pedantry, however, the architecture of
the Classic Revival, in its more felicitous manifestations, displayed
not a little real excellence, stateliness and grace. Many truly
important structures were built during the period of classic ascendancy
and to-day, after years of vicissitude in popular taste, their charm of
grace and quiet dignity is still fresh and enduring and constantly
reminds us of the courtliness of the generation that wisely planned and
achieved them. In its less regulated forms, on the contrary, probably
due to the ambitious contractor rather than to even an inferior
architect, the architecture of the Classic Revival was often unsuitable
in its application, uncomfortable and sometimes ridiculous. In the fore
part of the nineteenth century, classicism became an obsession among
builders whose sole aim seems to have been to transform each city in
the land into a second Athens or Rome. Everywhere could be seen
buildings that, if not planned on classic lines in their interior
divisions or their side elevations, were at least adorned with Greek and
Roman orders. This church or bank was embellished with a portico of
Corinthian columns, that one across the street had a corresponding
portico of severest Doric character while another, perhaps, around the
corner rejoiced in graceful Ionic pillars and, doubtless, just beyond
was a house whose owner took a proper pride in the impeccable purity of
his Tuscan piazza. Sometimes all the orders got inextricably jumbled
together on the same edifice and overrun with a veritable forest of
acanthus leaves and anthemia, and yet the effect was not wholly bad,
however much it might distress a purist, because the builders, in the
exuberance and freshness of their vigour, could not help producing some
vitality, although they were trying to be scrupulously accurate while
expressing themselves in a medium they did not fully understand. These
unseemly mix-ups of architectural botany or botanical architecture,
whichever one prefers to call it, were not of common occurrence it is
pleasant to record. They were the exception, and served to lend point to
the really excellent and creditable things that were achieved at a time
when a decorous formality went hand in hand with cultivated taste and
not a little vigour of thought.

The mutation of architectural style from the Georgian mode to that of
the Classic Revival was virtually synchronous and correspondent with the
sway of the Empire styles in furniture, the decorative arts and personal
attire. The Classic Revival style is altogether post-Colonial in date
and its exotic impetus and inspiration, derived from the France of the
First Napoleon and grafted upon a Georgian stock, cannot be regarded as
essentially a part of the logical process of architectural evolution
which had hitherto progressed by gradual and, for the most part, well
nigh imperceptible steps from one traditional form to another.

The vigorous classicism of the Georgian period, thanks to its filtration
through Renaissance channels, was elastic and appropriate in its
application. Even the elegancies and refinements of the Adam school of
Georgian expression, though drawn direct from the store of classic
antiquity, were judiciously adapted to current needs by masters of the
art of discrimination. But the type of classicism exemplified in the
Classic Revival was deliberately transplanted bodily and _de novo_ from
the ancient world by Napoleonic fiat, in like manner with the designs
for furniture and the patterns to dominate the products of the other
decorative arts. The transplanters sometimes showed a predilection for
heavy Roman forms rather than for the delicacy of Greek refinements, and
the transplanting was occasionally done in a clumsy way with little
apparent regard for fitness or the principles of sane adaptation. With
all the wealth of antiquity to draw from, it would have been strange
indeed if the fautors of revived classicism had not produced much that
was both exceedingly worthy and beautiful. As pointed out before,
whatever defect or weakness characterised the expression of the Classic
Revival style, viewed in the aggregate, is not to be attributed to the
forms employed but to the manner in which those forms were sometimes
misapplied and forced into uses or combinations to which they were ill

This neo-classic inspiration of Napoleonic French contrivance found
favour in America, thanks to the strong Francophile sentiment prevailing
in the latter part of the eighteenth century and at the beginning of the
nineteenth, which even dictated the colour and design of ladies’ gowns
and their method of coiffure. In the able hands of such men as Charles
Bulfinch, the neo-classic manifestation well merited all the popular
approval accorded it. It is scarcely fair, however, to put Bulfinch
forth, at least in his earlier period, as a typical exponent of Classic
Revival architecture. He was, it is true, imbued with the new
influences but he had too much creative instinct and too much sense of
fitness ever to descend to mere copying or wholesale borrowing. Besides,
he was, one might say, by date of birth and training, a product of the
Adam age and, by native bias, in full sympathy with its delicate and
refined methods of expression. Indeed, we may properly regard Bulfinch
as marking the transition from the Adam or last phase of Georgian
architecture to the modes of the Classic Revival for he combined in his
work many of the best features of both. He knew how and when to employ
Adam delicacy and refinement of detail or Adam exuberance of
embellishment without falling into a surfeit of finicky and saccharine
over-elaboration; he knew also when and where to use classic boldness
and vigour and even classic austerity without sinking from classic grace
into any of the heavy Roman forms of brutal vulgarity and military
bombast that sometimes marred the work of later exponents of Classic
Revival inspiration.

Bulfinch was possessed of consummate good taste, a fine sense of
proportion and a genius for judicious adaptation. He was educated while
the Adam influence was at its height, had broadened his field by
observation and foreign travel and began to practise just before the
first fresh impetus of direct classicism was launched. It was,
therefore, quite natural that, with his trained perception and happy
faculty of selection and combination, he should have picked out the best
in each school, and peculiarly appropriate that his work should
exemplify the transitional stage by which one was merged into the other
for, in the evolutionary process, already alluded to, the purest form of
neo-classic design found its analogue in the earlier Adam practice.

Along with Bulfinch, as a representative of the transition stage, must
be classed Samuel McIntire, of Salem, whose work both public and
domestic has always been justly esteemed. He, too, retained a large
share of Adam elegance and wealth of detail which he successfully
incorporated with motifs and methods of treatment inspired by the more
recent impetus of classicism. To McIntire’s influence may be attributed
much of the slender delicacy of proportion and the attenuation of
pillars and pilasters--this attenuation had a counterpart in some of the
contemporary New York Dutch design--so noticeable in a great deal of New
England architecture of this period. He eliminated all grossness and
pared down the dimensions of columns while he drew out their length to a
degree that had no precedent in ancient practice and would have shocked
the French purists under whose auspices the new movement


Transition to Classic Revival.]



Photograph by C. V. Buck, from Underwood & Underwood, N. Y.


Classic Revival.]


Classic Revival.]

had been inaugurated. Despite these departures from architectural and
archæological orthodoxy, however, McIntire’s work is replete with
exquisite charm and is justified by applying to it the touchstone of
good taste.

Latrobe, McComb, in his later work, L’Enfant, Hoban, Dr. Thornton,
Thomas Jefferson, Strickland and other noted architects of the last
years of the eighteenth century and the fore part of the nineteenth
followed classic precedent somewhat more closely in the practice of
their profession and may, therefore, be considered the most faithful and
typical exponents of Classic Revival principles. Much of their work is
noble in conception and peculiarly suited to the monumental character of
the buildings they designed.

The influence of the Classic Revival was to be noted earliest in public
edifices such as the Boston State House on Beacon Hill, the New Theatre
or the Bank of the United States in Philadelphia or, most of all, in the
Capitol at Washington in the design, erection and restoration or
rebuilding of which so many of the most eminent architects of the day
had a share. There the classic orders were reproduced with faithful
accuracy in combinations that displayed their chaste beauty and noble
proportions in the most dignified and impressive manner. Capitals of
impeccable exactitude and fidelity to their prototypes, pediments and
entablatures of due proportion, triglyphs, mutules, modillion brackets,
acanthus leaves, egg and dart mouldings, dentils, anthemia and all the
other structural and ornamental features characteristic of either Greek
or Roman architecture became familiar objects to the public gaze and
exercised their subtle but powerful agency in the education of a
disciplined and elegant sense of architectural propriety.

The architecture of the Classic Revival was undoubtedly at its best in
public edifices or in large and imposing mansions which afforded
sufficient opportunity to display its ample characteristics. Such
structures, moreover, did not require any great stretch of ingenuity in
making adaptations. While columns might have to be lengthened out or
features foreign to classic conception added, the task of accommodation
rarely offered serious difficulties to be overcome. In the hands of such
men as Bulfinch or McIntire, at the outset, or of Latrobe, Hoban,
Strickland and their various able contemporaries, the Classic Revival
gave us many truly admirable structures instinct with dignity and grace.
In the hands of the too confident and insufficiently educated mechanic
who ventured to try his hand at designing, it was a very different thing
indeed and its remaining examples of this inferior type can scarcely be
viewed with pleasure.

If one may trace an analogy between the Adam mode and the best
manifestations of the Classic Revival with its stately structures full
of breadth, dignity and repose, so may one also trace with ease an
analogy between the carpenter-designed-and-built houses of the end of
the Georgian period and much of the insignificant domestic work of the
Classic Revival. In other words, the elegant Adam creations bore
virtually the same relation to the contemporary carpenter-designed
houses as did the larger and serenely chaste compositions of the Classic
Revival to the small and inexpensive attempts on the part of ambitious
builders to apply the same style to little, cramped structures for which
it was manifestly unfit. There was this difference, however. The
carpenter-architects of the end of the Georgian period were far superior
in discrimination and taste to their successors, who tried to make up
for their lack of knowledge by ill-judged essays that succeeded only in
being ridiculous. Their tiny, temple-fronted houses were not domestic
and were as unreal and architecturally unsatisfying as stage settings
viewed from the rear. They were bombastic and pompous--one feels almost
like saying “pompious”--and displayed no real merit or refinement to
back up their preposterous pretensions to a dignity and state not at all
in keeping with their true purpose. The so-called “carpenters’ classic”
mode, which was really a chastened and restrained form of the debased
Classic Revival style, was infinitely preferable because it was simple
and did not pretend to be something it was not.

Among the thoroughly striking and important buildings erected in this
era that ought to be mentioned, besides those already referred to, are
the Sub-Treasury in New York, Girard College in Philadelphia, the
Philadelphia Custom House, and the Cathedral in Baltimore. These are
typical buildings and, for that reason, worthy of being kept in mind,
but the list of creditable examples might be added to almost

As a direct result of the Classic Revival influence there was a certain
amount of modest and agreeable adaptation which created a pleasant
domestic episode in the annals of American architecture. Examples of
this modified classic school are unpretentious and, for the reason that
they mark no ambitious flights, commendable in their own field. For want
of a better name we have been accustomed to call this architectural
species “Carpenters’ Classic.” Whatever its shortcomings--and not much
can be expected of it for it makes no pretence--it was infinitely better
than much that followed it.

In contemplating the story of the Classic Revival one can find much to
be thankful for.


Classic Revival.]


Classic Revival.]



Let its failures be what they may, it was in large measure due to the
work done during the period of its ascendancy that we owe a certain
tradition and precedent in public work that has wrought for good and is
still working in our own day.



The architecture of Colonial America, exclusive of the churches, was
almost altogether domestic in its scope and yielded but comparatively
few examples of impressive public edifices in proportion to the area of
the territory embraced. There were, however, enough secular public
buildings scattered through the length and breadth of the Colonies to
make a striking representation when grouped together and what the
aggregate collection of such structures lacked in point of numbers was
amply made up in point of individual excellence or historic interest, or
both, on the part of the several units. In the space of one chapter it
would be manifestly impossible to discuss fully all the secular public
buildings of the Colonies but enough of them can be considered to convey
a comprehensive idea of the civic architectural setting of Colonial

If the houses and churches of the Colonial period in America reflect
the social and religious life of our forefathers, no less truly do the
public buildings reflect the civic and political side of their
existence. To be sure, the public buildings are not without their
interest and power to shed light on the social and economic conditions,
but it is especially in their civic and political capacity that their
appeal to us is strongest. Then, too, we may truly say that they form
much of the setting for the dramatic side of our history and, therefore,
the picturesque association is potent. With the State House in
Philadelphia (Independence Hall, as it has been called in later years),
we cannot fail to associate the Declaration of Independence and the
framing of our national constitution, eleven years afterward. Neither
can we fail to associate with Faneuil Hall or the Old State House in
Boston the stirring events that preceded the outbreak of the War for

Of all the public buildings in the Colonies, the State House in
Philadelphia, as the birthplace of our national existence, claims the
place of first attention and highest honour in the esteem of all loyal
Americans. Architecturally speaking, all the public buildings chosen for
consideration in this chapter represent more or less faithfully the
local characteristics of the places in which they were built. We
naturally expect, therefore, to find in the State House at Philadelphia
an example of the Middle Colonies Georgian at its best, nor are we
disappointed. From an architectural point of view, the State House was a
notable and imposing structure when it was erected in 1733 and, from the
same point of view, it would be equally notable and imposing had it been
built only yesterday. The scale is so broad and impressive that it
dwarfs other buildings of far greater size and loftier structure in the
vicinity. In this respect it is comparable to a small person of large
presence and much dignity, the scant measure of whose inches is not
accounted in the impression created among his fellows. We have all seen
such. Though the actual area covered by the State House is
inconsiderable--it is only one hundred feet long by forty-four feet in
depth, with a tower, on the south side or rear, measuring thirty-two
feet by thirty-four--there is such amplitude of proportion in the rooms,
in the size of all the central features and in the detail of
ornamentation, that the visitor instinctively feels himself in one of
the great buildings of the country, altogether irrespective of the brave
memories by which its walls are hallowed.

Seen from without, the State House is a most satisfying piece of
Georgian work. The north front, pierced by a single door and eight broad
windows on the lower floor and an unbroken range of nine windows on the
upper, has a convincing charm of combined dignity and simplicity. The
doorway is severely plain and of proportions characteristic of the date
at which the edifice was built. The wide muntins of the small paned
windows, the well spaced string courses, and the oblong panels of blue
marble beneath the windows of the upper floor, diversify the surface and
impart a grace that quite prevents the impression of dumpy stodginess
that less carefully managed Georgian façades sometimes give. A white
balustrade, running the length of the building and set where the pitch
of the roof breaks into a much flattened gambrel to form a deck, affords
an additional note of grace and lightness comporting well with the
triple chimneys with arch-joined tops at each gable end.

The contrast between the deep red brickwork of the tower, carried one
stage above the cornice of the body of the hall, and the white wooden
superstructure for the clock, surmounted by an open cupola over the
bell, is striking and particularly effective viewed from the south on a
sunny morning in winter or early spring, when everything is fretted with
a laced pattern from the bare branches of the surrounding trees. In the
second stage of the south side of the tower, immediately above the door,
is a Palladian window that has always compelled admiration. The crushed
capitals of the pilasters and dividing pillars, though perhaps rude in
line and execution, are delightfully suggestive of the weight and
solidity of the tower above them. Grotesque heads and faces as ornaments
for keystones were not very extensively used in our Colonial Georgian
architecture, but over the windows on three sides of the uppermost brick
stage of the tower are faces that for pathos of expression can quite
match those on the tower of Christ Church that lift their seemingly
sightless eyes alike to sun and snow and blinding rain. Though noticed
by few among the thousands that daily pass by, they are worthy of
attention. Masques or grotesque heads are also used in one or two other
places, such as the over-door carving in the interior of the building.

The warm tone of the walls is especially pleasing. Years and weather,
yes, and dirt, have imparted an exceedingly mellow tinge to the hard
burned brick laid in courses of Flemish bond, and although the glazed
black headers, found in so many old houses, are of rare occurrence, the
hue of the Colonial bricks is peculiarly rich. Relieved as the masonry
is by trimmings of native bluish marble and pencilled by weathered
mortar joints, the walls have a wonderful quality of texture and colour.

Although the triple-arched arcades and low, hip-roofed buildings on
either side of the State House are new, they are restorations and
conform to the provisions of the original plan. That plan called for
such structures, and they were begun several years subsequent to the
commencement of work on the main portion of the State House, but gave
place at a later date to the hideous barracks, devised to meet the
exigencies of public business, which endured till the last wave of
restoration happily removed them.

The State House was designed to accommodate the legislative and
executive branches of the Provincial government. The great east room, to
the left of the door on entering, was intended for the use of the
Assembly. In this room the Declaration of Independence was signed and in
this room, also, eleven years later, the Constitutional Convention sat
and framed the Constitution of the United States. Whether the west room,
across the corridor, and communicating with it by three large open
arches, was originally meant for the Supreme Court of the Province is
uncertain, but, at any rate, it was in time appropriated to that
purpose. The second floor has a long gallery running the full length of
the building along the north side facing Chestnut street, and this
apartment has been variously designated as “The Long Room,” “The
Banqueting Hall” and by sundry other titles. Facing the south are two
smaller rooms, separated by a spacious hallway or lobby, which also
opens into the Long Room. One of these lesser rooms seems to have been
intended for the use of the Governour’s Council.

Although the date of the building of the State House was 1733, its
completion was not accomplished till eight years later. This fact
probably accounts in some measure for the affinities of detail in the
interior woodwork with the second Georgian type, alluded to in the
chapter on Georgian architecture in Philadelphia and the neighbourhood.
The doorway on the Chestnut street front, both by its proportions and
its severe simplicity, belongs rather to the first type of Georgian as
exemplified by Stenton, Hope Lodge and Graeme Park. Inside the building,
however, we find the egg and dart moulding, modillion brackets carved
with acanthus leaves, ornate cornices with triglyphs, dentils and
mutules, fluted pillars and pilasters with ornate Roman capitals,
rosettes, elaborately wrought modillion brackets under the treads of the
stair, deeply panelled soffits and jambs, ornate pediments above doors
and overmantels, and all the other details characteristic of the second
Georgian period. In addition to being exceedingly elaborate, the
woodwork of the State House is executed in a masterly manner and marked
both by boldness and an unusual degree of grace.

At the extreme east and west ends of the

[Illustration: FANEUIL HALL, BOSTON, 1741.]


[Illustration: OLD STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, 1728.]

State House group, the two buildings projecting farther toward the
street than the rest, are decent in appearance but quite unpretentious.
Of exterior architectural embellishments, such as the State House can
boast, they are innocent, save the cupolas, which are good. Inside, the
woodwork detail is pleasing. The western building, Congress Hall, was
erected in 1788; here Washington’s second inauguration took place and
here John Adams was inducted into office as President. The eastern
building, intended for the City Hall, was built in 1791. While
Philadelphia was the seat of national government it was turned over to
the Supreme Court of the United States and here presided Chief Justices
John Jay, John Rutledge and Oliver Ellsworth.

In New England, the most impressive secular public buildings are the Old
State House in Boston, built in 1728, Faneuil Hall, built in 1741, and
the Bulfinch State House, on the summit of Beacon Hill, built in 1795.

The Old State House, a structure of peculiarly pleasing proportions and
admirable poise, is thoroughly representative of the best Georgian
feeling of the period of its erection both in manner of construction and
detail. Its square lantern of three stages is particularly interesting
as are also the stepped gables at each end, with the carved figures of
the British lion and unicorn apparently stationed as heraldic
supporters of the ornate apex with the clock. On account of these
stepped gables the criticism has sometimes been advanced that the Old
State House shows traces of Dutch influence in its design. While it is
quite true that stepped gables are characteristic of many Dutch
buildings, the attribution of Dutch influence in the treatment of the
Old State House can scarcely be justified for there is nowhere else
observable any suggestion of Dutch tendencies and the precedent for
stepped gables in unmistakably English work of an earlier date is by no
means wanting. Rich in historic memories, of which, perhaps, the Boston
Massacre stands forth most vividly, it is deservedly cherished with
civic pride as the ancient centre of Provincial life and it is
gratifying to see how punctiliously and accurately it has been restored
to its pristine condition under the able direction of Joseph Everett
Chandler, to whose enthusiasm are due many other faithful restorations
of seventeenth and eighteenth century New England architectural

Faneuil Hall, hard by, also worthily upholds the Georgian traditions of
the mid-eighteenth century in its storeyed façades, its gracefully
proportioned and detailed cupola and the excellence of its interior
cornices, pillars and carved capitals. This “cradle of American liberty”
is a truly noble building and a worthy setting for the stirring
historic episodes that have been enacted beneath its roof or under the
shadow of its walls.

The Bulfinch State House, a “model of classicality” as someone has not
inappropriately called it, is an exceptionally impressive precursor of
the Greek or Classic Revival. Designed at a time when the graceful
interpretation of the Georgian style, introduced by the Brothers Adam,
was still dominant, it combines the characteristic elegance of its epoch
with the bold vigour of classic inspiration, drawn direct from the font
of antiquity, that distinguished the best public architecture of the
early nineteenth century. Despite the alterations and additions to which
it has been subjected, its strong individuality still dominates the
structure, of which the original fabric is now but a small part, and
breathes abroad the ample spirit of post-Colonial dignity.

The original buildings of Harvard, or rather the worthy successors of
the first buildings, none of which remain, exhibit, in their plan,
proportions and general treatment, many admirable features quite
comparable to those of the best contemporary large Georgian buildings in
England and their substantial dignity, thoroughly in keeping with their
purpose, reflects the greatest credit upon the Colonial officers and
benefactors of the University.

Of the other Colonial or post-Colonial secular public buildings in New
England deserving of admiration and close study, all of which it would
be a congenial task to write about at length, did space permit, three
especially must be mentioned before passing on to discuss those in
another part of the country. They are the Custom House in Salem, which
will always be associated with the fanciful melancholy of Hawthorne’s
literary genius; the Town House or State House at Newport, built in 1743
from the designs of Richard Munday and, last of all, the Market or City
Hall, in the same place, built in 1760 after the plans of Peter
Harrison, sometime an assistant to Sir John Vanbrugh, whose close
connexion with that eminent English architect and subsequent removal to
the American Colonies throw an interesting side light upon the bonds
linking Colonial architectural developments with their source of

New York could boast the stately old building of King’s College;
Fraunce’s Tavern, whose festive board, upon the occasion of balls and
receptions, groaning with toothsome viands, caused the feasters to groan
with gout the next day; the City Hall, begun in 1803, whose chaste
classic elegance, surrounded by huge modern structures, still bears
eloquent witness to the civic good taste of the period when it was
erected. Henry James was greatly impressed with its “perfect taste and
finish, the reduced, yet ample, scale, the harmony of the parts, the
just proportions, the modest classic grace, the living look of the type
aimed at.” On looking at such noble examples of the architecture of a
past generation, one cannot but regret that the ruthless sweep of
commercial progress has brushed aside and demolished so many monuments
of the New York of Colonial days.

In Colonial cities and towns the town hall and market, usually found
close together if not actually occupying the same building, according to
old English custom, were so representative of the visible course of
civic life that some account must be taken of their presence though few
of them now remain. The old Provincial Hall or Court House in
Philadelphia, erected in 1707, was so thoroughly typical of these
combined judicial and mercantile structures that, although torn down
many years ago, it deserves some notice in this place. It stood in the
middle of Market street at the corner of Second and back of it the
market sheds or shambles stretched away towards the west, occupying the
whole middle of the street, and increasing in extent year by year as the
city grew and more accommodations for the farmers became necessary. It
was a substantial brick structure, built on arches, and was similar in
character and appearance to the town halls of that day in many English
county towns. “It was,” wrote a local antiquary, in one of his sketches,
“an important place. Monarchs on their accessions were there proclaimed;
wars were thence declared; and peace, when it came to bless the people,
there found a voice to utter it. New governours addressed the people
over whom they were appointed to rule, from its balcony; the emblems of
sovereignty, the royal arms of England, were there displayed.” There
centred all the official, legislative and administrative life of the
Province, there the Provincial Council sat, there the elections were
held and there were the gaol and those much dreaded but effective
instruments of correction, the pillory, the stocks and the whipping
post. The stocks, standing as they did in such close proximity to the
market, the rougher sort drew not a little amusement from pelting
culprits there confined with overripe vegetables and we are told, in the
reminiscent notes of one who was a boy at the time of the Revolution,
that “the whipping-post and pillory display was always on a market
day--then the price of eggs went up much.” Such was the old Philadelphia
Court House and very like it were the town houses and markets in the
other Colonial cities. One good example of this type of building, still
standing, is the brick portion of the market at Second and Pine streets,
Philadelphia, which

[Illustration: BULFINCH STATE HOUSE, BOSTON. 1795.]


Copyright, by International News Service.


Classic Revival.]



nearly resembles the Georgian town houses that may yet be seen in quiet
little English market towns. Very similar to this bit of Georgian
excellence are the old Town Hall in Chester, Pennsylvania, and the Town
Hall in Newcastle, Delaware.

In trying to form an adequate mental picture of the civic life of
Colonial times, in relation to its architectural setting, we must not
overlook the hostelries, theatres, schools and hospitals. The eighteenth
century ordinary came into contact with the social and civic life of the
period at every conceivable point. Thither came the most substantial
citizens, there matters of public concern were discussed, meetings were
held, entertainments were given, distinguished strangers were fêted and
travellers found welcome hospitality. If one has a taste for poking
about and nosing into out of the way nooks and corners, a voyage of
discovery in some of our older cities will often be richly rewarded. On
north Second street, in Philadelphia, one may still dive under arch-ways
and find inn yards surrounded partly by balconied back buildings that
stretch away in a string of offices and kitchens, partly by stables and
waggon sheds. One almost feels that these inns have been transplanted
bodily from old London, so like are they to their English prototypes
and, we may incidentally add, in a much completer state of
preservation. Just such inn yards as these served for theatres in
Shakespeare’s day. It was from such inn yards, too, in the old staging
days, that the mail coaches set out with cracking whip and blast of
horn. The petty itinerant shows, that used to come occasionally to
divert our Colonial forebears by the sight of a real live lion or bear
or electric eel or any unusual creature that the showman had been able
to acquire, availed themselves of the inn yards for exhibitions. In
1763, Elizabeth Drinker, then at Frankford, notes in her diary: “A
lioness passed this road in ye morning. Paid 2_d._ for seeing her--a
large ugly animal.” No doubt the “large ugly animal” had been previously
exhibited in some of the inn yards on Second street, for out that
thoroughfare passed all the traffic for New York and every place to the

Coffee houses, also, were favourite gathering places for conversation
and refreshment and one of the most famous in Philadelphia--they were
much the same in all the cities--was the London Coffee House or
Bradford’s Coffee House, at the corner of Front and Market streets. It
was built in 1702 and presented an interesting example of truly Colonial
architecture in its striking brickwork, its penthouses and its
jerkin-headed, gabled roof. It should be noted that the jerkin-head roof
treatment, the plain survival of an English tradition, was to be found
on a number of other early Pennsylvania buildings but the practice of
building in this manner was soon discontinued. Watson in his “Annals”
tells us that “at this Coffee House--the Governour and other persons of
note ordinarily went at set hours to sip their coffee from the hissing
urn, and some of these stated visitors had their known stalls. It was
long the focus which attracted all manner of genteel strangers; the
general parade was outside of the house under a shed of but common
construction, extending from the house to the gutter way, both on the
Front street and High street sides. It was to this, as the most public
place, they brought all vendues of horses, carriages, groceries, &c.,
and above all, here Philadelphians once sold negro men, women and
children as slaves.”

It is to be sincerely regretted that the London Coffee House, like its
near neighbour the Provincial Hall, was torn down many years ago for,
quite apart from its architectural interest, its historic associations
were important and intimately connected not only with local events but
with events that had a bearing upon the affairs of the whole country.
One of these was the beginning of the opposition to the Tea Act which
started in Philadelphia and not in Boston as is popularly supposed.
“When the tax on tea was reduced to three pence per pound there seemed
to be a general disposition to pay it. At this juncture, when the
arrival of a fresh consignment from the East India Company was expected,
William Bradford gathered at the Coffee House several citizens, whom he
knew to be heartily opposed to the measures of the British Government,
and together they drew up a set of spirited resolutions anent the tea
question. On the following Saturday, October 16, 1773, a ‘large and
respectable town-meeting,’ presided over by Doctor Thomas Cadwalader,
was held at the State House and the resolutions were adopted
enthusiastically. The same resolutions were almost immediately
afterwards adopted, nearly word for word, by a town-meeting in Boston
(November 5, 1773), where a disposition to receive the tea had become
general, from an idea that an opposition to it would not be seconded or
supported by any of the other Colonies.”

Until the middle of the eighteenth century, the American public had been
without any organised effort to present dramatic performances and,
consequently, there were no theatres to be numbered among public
buildings before that time. Just after the middle of the century,
however, a stock company came over from England and started upon a round
of engagements in the different cities of the Colonies. By a portion of
the people they were heartily welcomed but for the most part they met
with an indifferent if not actively hostile reception. Nevertheless,
despite all opposition, they persevered, and in time won an established
position in the social life of the day. At first they made shift to get
along with quarters improvised in storehouses or other buildings that
might be temporarily adapted to their purpose but eventually it became
necessary to have structures designed especially to meet their needs. In
1759 a small wooden theatre was built in South or Cedar street,
Southwark, Philadelphia, but was used for only a brief period. Its place
was soon taken by a second structure, substantially built of brick,
farther up South street, above Fourth. This brick theatre was opened
November 21, 1766, “and was the first permanent building used for
theatrical purposes in America.” Both this building and its wooden
predecessor were on the _south_ side of South street and hence in
Southwark, as the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia city authorities
ended on the _north_ side of that thoroughfare. There was more liberty
of action in Southwark and both the first and second theatres were
located there to escape the violent opposition of the powerful Quaker
element which frowned upon dramatic performances and urged that “the
practise of play-acting would be ‘attended by mischievous effects, such
as the encouragement of idleness and drawing great sums of money from
weak and inconsiderate persons.’”

To this Southwark theatre repaired all the wealth, beauty and fashion of
Philadelphia, at that time the metropolis of the Colonies. There, until
1773, the “American Company” had its regular season and, despite Quaker
hostility, Philadelphia was the most important theatrical centre of all
the Colonial cities. During the acute troubles with the Mother Country
prior to the outbreak of the Revolution and while that struggle was in
progress the old stock company was driven from Philadelphia as most of
its members were loyal British subjects. While the British occupation of
Philadelphia lasted, Lord Howe’s officers gave amateur performances in
the Southwark theatre, devoting the proceeds to the benefit of the
“widows and orphans of the army.” The unfortunate Major André took an
active part in these dramatic efforts, and not only acted but assisted
in painting the scenery, and one drop curtain, bearing his name as
artist, was used until it was destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1821.
This circumstance and the fact that General Washington during his
residence in Philadelphia, as President of the United States, frequently
attended the performances, occupying one of the stage boxes above which
the arms of the United States had replaced those of Great Britain, have
lent an unusual interest to this first permanent American theatre. It
was a rectangular building with a low pitched gable end towards the
street front and devoid of any architectural pretension save three round
headed windows above the door and a modest cupola on the ridge of the
roof. Only the north wall of the old building still stands and is
incorporated in the fabric of a distillery which occupies the site of
the theatre.

In 1793, Charles Bulfinch built the first theatre in Boston and, in
1794, the “New Theatre” was opened in Philadelphia, at Sixth and
Chestnut streets. It was designed in a far more pretentious and stately
manner than the old Southwark theatre and showed the coming influence of
the Classic Revival. In front was a long, pillared portico or arcade and
the whole façade displayed a good deal of architectural enrichment of a
formal kind. It may be regarded as thoroughly typical of the new
architectural tendencies and representative of the best sort of
play-houses that were erected for a number of years thereafter.

The Pennsylvania Hospital was the most notable eighteenth century
structure of its kind and its sterling architectural excellence becomes
ever increasingly apparent with the flight of years. The only attempts
at embellishment are upon the central pavilion and are both
well-considered and restrained. All the rest of the building was carried
out with the extreme simplicity of the eastern wing which was the first
portion to be built and was erected in 1753. One could not find anywhere
a more striking example of the transforming power of a string course of
contrasting colour upon a severely plain wall. The white string course,
standing out in strong relief against the deep red brick walls and
passing between the row of window heads on the ground floor and the
window cills of the storey above it, communicates to an extremely plain
exterior a charm and dignity of aspect that redeem it from the bald
austerity of a factory or barracks. Save this string course and the
cupola atop the roof, this oldest portion of the hospital and the
corresponding west wing are devoid of architectural adornment but their
just proportions and easy amplitude of dimensions are particularly
satisfying to the eye.

Among the public buildings of the Colonial period, noteworthy both for
their architectural character and for historic association, Carpenters’
Hall in Philadelphia, where the sessions of the first Continental
Congress were held, demands the consideration of all patriotic
Americans. Quite apart from its historic importance, Carpenters’ Hall
challenges the admiration of every lover of Georgian architecture in its
sturdiest manifestation. The State House in Annapolis, the Court House
in Williamsburg, the Custom House in Charleston and other public
edifices of similar character imparted to civic life in Colonial and
post-Colonial days an element of dignity and poise.

The Classic Revival had one of its early significant manifestations in
the buildings of the University of Virginia, a group for which we have
to thank no less a person than Thomas Jefferson. The plan embodied the
most comprehensive building scheme that had yet been essayed. To
Jefferson’s discriminating architectural taste and conscientious
devotion to his self-imposed task as architect and supervisor of the
work we owe it that the University buildings worthily represent one of
the best phases of revived classicism in America. There is a dignity and
honesty in Jefferson’s conception of revived classicism and a thorough
sincerity that often failed to appear in later work of the same school.
The result achieved commands our respect and when we remember that the
parts of plans and sections of details were jotted down on scraps of
paper and the backs of scribbled memoranda we cannot help wondering what
would have happened if the same seemingly careless and unsystematic
course were pursued in our own day. It was doubtless the enthusiastic
devotion of the architect and his constant supervision along with the
conscientious efforts and pride of every artisan that saved the day as
it did in so many other cases.






It is a far cry from the first place of worship contrived at Jamestown,
in 1607, to the stately fanes erected in the eighteenth century in all
the Colonies. Through each successive stage of development, however,
runs a thread of continuity corresponding to the material circumstances
of the colonists. Everywhere in the Colonies, the church building was an
exceedingly important structure and no one building or set of buildings,
in each community, more faithfully reflected the social and political as
well as the religious conditions of the colonists. Setting aside the
civic and defensive uses to which church edifices were often put,
especially in the earliest period, and confining ourselves to the purely
ecclesiastical side of their existence, we shall find them an invaluable
index to the varied aspects of the life of the times.

For the sake of contrast, both historical and architectural, it will not
be amiss to quote Captain John Smith’s account of the first Virginia
place of worship so that we may fully realise the strides of progress
made from the feeble Jamestown beginning in 1607. He says: “This was our
church till we built a homely thing like a barne, set upon cratchets,
covered with rafts, sedge and earth; so was the walls. The best of our
houses [were] of like curiosity; but the most part far much worse
workmanship, that neither could well defend [from] wind nor raine. Yet
we had daily Common Prayer, morning and evening; every Sunday two
sermons; and every three months the Holy Communion, till our minister
died; but our prayers daily with an Homily on Sundaies we continued two
or three years after till our preachers came.” The words “till our
preachers came” mean, of course, the successors of the Rev. Mr. Hunt who
had accompanied the expedition.

In tracing the history of the older parishes and congregations, it is
the rule rather than the exception to find two or three successive
houses of worship erected, as the means and growing numbers of the
people made it possible or expedient, to replace former structures of
meaner fabric which seem to have been regarded from the outset as merely
temporary gathering places, meant to serve only until worthy edifices
could be undertaken. Some of the earliest churches were merely block
houses or forts, occasionally surrounded by stockades, proclaiming the
ready physical as well as spiritual militancy of the worshippers within
their walls, but these were abandoned so soon as the increasing
prosperity and a greater sense of security from attacks by hostile
savages warranted a more peaceful and comfortable type of building for
religious purposes.

Of course, in the several parts of the Colonies, the character of the
buildings erected for religious uses indicated the prevailing local
ecclesiastical organisation. In the South, especially in Virginia and
Maryland, where the Church of England was the recognised dominant body
and Church and State were closely allied, we find the churches
conforming to English ecclesiastical traditions. In the Middle Colonies,
where religious liberty was freely permitted, we find a greater variety
including the structures peculiarly adapted to the worship of the Church
of England, Quaker meeting houses and the buildings designed to
accommodate the different German sects. In theocratic New England, while
Church of England edifices were to be met with now and again, the simple
meeting house type, agreeable to the congregational form of worship,
everywhere prevailed.

And now let us glance for a moment at the manner of people who
frequented these churches Sunday after Sunday. We shall find among them
the extremes of both worldly pomp and ostentation, on the one hand, and
humble simplicity, on the other, as they went to the weekly discharge of
their religious duties. Our Colonial forebears, however democratic some
of them may have been in religious principle or however much some of
them may have decried set ceremonial forms, were, almost without
exception, great respecters of persons and in no way did they more fully
display this common failing--it is just as prevalent in kindred forms at
the present day--than in their methods of seating the congregations
according to the accepted worth or dignity of the individual members.

In the South, the lords of the manors or the squires, just as in
England, had their great square pews in the chancel or, perhaps, a whole
transept would be reserved to their exclusive use for their family,
dependants or tenants as was the case, for example, in Christ Church,
Lancaster County, Virginia, where Robert (“King”) Carter, at whose
charge the edifice was built, made such a reservation. The “King’s” own
high panelled family pew, just before the pulpit, had a brass rail
around the top from which hung damask curtains on all sides except that
opposite the pulpit. This screened the occupants, when standing up, from
the gaze of the rudely inquisitive.

Upon the removal of the seat of the Virginia government from Jamestown
to Williamsburg, in 1699, Bruton Parish Church became the “court church”
of the Colony and “official distinction was recognised and emphasized”
in the order of seating. The historian of the parish, writing of the
present building, which was completed in 1715, says: “To His Excellency
the Governour and His Council of State was assigned a pew elevated from
the floor, overhung with a red velvet canopy, around which his name was
emblasoned in letters of gold, the name being changed as Spotswood,
Drysdale, Gooch, Dinwiddie, Fauquier, Lord Botetourt and Lord Dunmore
succeeded to office. In the square pews of the transepts sat the members
of the House of Burgesses, the pews in the choir being assigned to the
Surveyor General and the Parish Rector, while in the overhanging
galleries in the transept and along the side walls of the church sat the
Speaker of the House of Burgesses and other persons of wealth and
distinction, to whom the privilege of erecting these private galleries
was accorded from time to time.”

In city churches, because of the greater number of important folk,
questions of precedence in seating were more perplexing than in the
country. At Annapolis in St. Anne’s, in Christ Church at Philadelphia
and also in the “court churches” in New York and Boston the Royal
Governours’ pews were marked by appropriate symbols of the majesty of
state, the royal arms carved in walnut that once hung above the
Lieutenant Governour’s seat being still preserved at Christ Church in
Philadelphia. The lesser dignitaries sat in due order becoming their

In New England it seems to have been the general custom in the earlier
period for the men to sit on one side of the church and the women on the
other. Afterwards, families sat together. In order to avoid bickering
and contention about the order of precedence it was not an unusual thing
to appoint a committee to “dignify the meeting.” The members of these
committees were changed from time to time “in order to obviate any of
the effects of partiality through kinship, friendship, personal esteem
or debt.” A second committee was appointed to seat the members of the
first committee according to their proper rank. In her charming book,
“The Sabbath in Puritan New England,” Alice Morse Earle says:--

     “Sometimes a row of square pews was built on three sides of the
     ground floor, and each pew occupied by separate families, while the
     pulpit was on the fourth side. If any man wished such a private pew
     for himself and family, he obtained permission from the church and
     town, and built it at his own expense. Immediately in front of the
     pulpit was either a long seat or a square enclosed pew for

[Illustration: OLD SOUTH CHURCH, BOSTON. 1730.]

[Illustration: KING’S CHAPEL, BOSTON.]

[Illustration: CHRIST CHURCH, PHILADELPHIA. 1727.]

[Illustration: ST. PETER’S CHURCH, PHILADELPHIA. 1761.]

     the deacons, who sat facing the congregation. This was usually a
     foot or two above the level of the other pews, and was reached by
     two or three steep, narrow steps. On a still higher plane was a pew
     for the ruling elders, when ruling elders there were. The
     magistrates also had a pew for their special use. What we now deem
     the best seats, those in the middle of the church, were in olden
     times, the free seats.”

     “In front, on either side of the pulpit (or very rarely in the
     foremost row in the gallery), was a seat of highest dignity, known
     as the ‘fore seat,’ in which only the persons of greatest
     importance in the community sat.”

Not only in New England, but in the other Colonies as well, seats and
pews in the galleries seem to have been preferred as the most desirable
by persons of quality and consideration in the community next to the
specially exalted seats belowstairs.

In many places, particularly in the Middle and Southern Colonies, the
churches were regarded as the most dignified places of sepulture for
persons of consequence, and their gravestones, with the armorial
bearings and inscriptions almost effaced by the treading feet of
generations of worshippers, are to be seen in the aisles and chancel
pavements. The chancel was esteemed the most honourable place of burial
and as an instance of this may be mentioned the grave of General Forbes,
the hero of Fort Duquesne, in the chancel of Christ Church,
Philadelphia. John Penn, one of the Proprietaries, is buried at the
foot of the chancel steps. It is interesting in this connexion to note,
by way of exception, that Judge Moore of Moore Hall, the stout old
Pennsylvania Loyalist, and the person of greatest consequence in the
parish of St. David, Radnor, directed that he and his wife, the Lady
Williamina Wemyss, should be buried at the threshold of the church.
Emblazoned hatchments were frequently used at the time of funerals and
some of them are still preserved in our old churches. As in England,
during much of the eighteenth century, it was the fashion in the
Colonies to bury persons of note at night by the light of torches.

In not a few of the early churches there was an utter lack of uniformity
in the style of the seats or pews employed and permission was often
granted to influential persons to buy space within the churches and
erect pews of their own, suited to their personal fancy. The space not
occupied by these privately owned pews was sometimes filled with movable
benches, stools, or chairs, and it was not an unusual thing for the
humbler members of the congregation to bring their seats with them and
put them wherever they could find room. We find ample evidence of this
condition of things in places as widely apart as the simple country
parish of St. David’s, Radnor, in the Welsh Barony, and King’s Chapel
in Boston. In early days the members of St. David’s congregation fetched
thither nondescript seats as they listed and it was not until well into
the eighteenth century that rough benches were furnished and “rented for
the support of the Church.” Not till the middle of the eighteenth
century do the parish records show the existence of pews and the custom
seems to have then prevailed of “selling a piece of ground within the
Church on which the purchaser had the privilege of building such a pew
as he desired.” With this system, or rather lack of system, in seating,
it appears that squabbles occasionally arose as we may judge from the
following minute in the old register:--

     “October ye 26th, 1747. Whereas a Difference hath arisen between
     Francis Wayne and his Brother Isaac Wayne [the father of General
     Anthony Wayne] about their Right in the pugh Late Anthony Wayne and
     John Hunter, and it appearing to the Vestry that ye sd. Francis and
     Isaac have purchased the Ground of a Pugh and the sd. Isaac having
     Built upon a part of the Ground the Vestry Do agree that the sd.
     Francis have the ground for half a pugh joining of the west side to
     Richard Hughes and Wm. Owen’s Pugh.”

So late as 1763 the “Vestry granted to Robert Jones the privilege to
build a Pew on a piece of ground in St. David’s Church, adjoining
Wayne’s and Hunter’s pew, he paying for the ground £4 10_s._” In King’s
chapel in Boston the vestry “stipulated that each member should pay the
cost of building his own pew; this was accordingly done, but without any
uniformity, so that the interior of the old church must have presented
an amusing diversity of work.... The walls were decorated with banners,
escutcheons, and coats of arms of the King of England, of the nobility
and gentry of the congregation, and of the Governour of the province,
and the interior was considered so magnificent and so luxurious as to be
a blot upon the religion of Massachusetts.”

As might be expected, when so much was made of assigning each member of
the congregation a seat befitting his dignity, the question of suitable
clothing loomed large in the minds of our forebears and from one end of
the Colonies to the other they gave way to the temptation to appear
before their neighbours in their best frills and furbelows so that the
church service on Sunday was often a clothes show as well. To such an
extent was this passion for display carried that it led to a custom in
some country parishes of New England to which Alice Morse Earle refers.
She says:--

     “One very pleasing diversion of the attention of the congregation
     from the parson was caused by an innocent custom that prevailed in
     many a country community. Just fancy the flurry on a June sabbath
     in Killingly, in 1785, when Joseph Gay, clad in velvet coat, lace
     frilled shirt, and white broadcloth knee breeches, with his fair
     bride of a few days, gorgeous in a peach coloured silk gown and a
     bonnet trimmed ‘with sixteen yards of white ribbon,’ rose in the
     middle of the sermon, in their front seat in the gallery and stood
     for several minutes, slowly turning around in order to show from
     every point of view their bridal finery to the eagerly gazing
     congregation of friends and neighbours. Such was the really
     delightful and thoughtful custom, in those fashion-plateless days,
     among persons of wealth in that and other churches; it was, in
     fact, part of the wedding celebration. Even in midwinter, in the
     icy church, the blushing bride would throw aside her broadcloth
     cape or camblet roquelo and stand up clad in a sprigged India
     muslin gown with only a thin lace tucker over her neck, warm with
     pride in her pretty gown, her white bonnet with ostrich feathers
     and embroidered veil, and in her new husband.”

If the same custom did not prevail in other parts of the country,
doubtless the members of the congregation had ample opportunity, and
made the best of it too, to scrutinise the apparel of their fellow
worshippers. It is to be feared, however, that their brave attire
sometimes suffered damage from insufficiently dusted seats for we read
that the sexton of Christ Church, Philadelphia, probably the wealthiest
and most splendid church in the Colonies, having applied in 1761 for an
increase of salary, it was agreed to give him “£20 a year on a condition
that he was ‘to wash the church twice a year and sand it at Easter and
September; and also to sweep the church _once every two weeks_.’”

The music was of an exceedingly indifferent character from an artistic
point of view and was not always edifying and whole hearted on the part
of the congregation. In New England, musical instruments were only
introduced after a storm of bitter opposition and general repugnance to
the “boxes of whistles,” as organs were contemptuously called. Even in
the Middle and Southern Colonies, where a prejudice against instruments
did not exist, the music must often have been of a distressing nature.
Referring once more to Christ Church we read that “the singer then
called the Clerk, was Joseph Fry--a small man with a great voice, who,
standing in the organ gallery, was wont to make the whole church resound
with his strong, deep and grave tones.” When there was a ripple of
improvement in the general musical situation, after the Revolution, “the
efforts of church musicians to raise the standard were apparently not
looked upon with favour. Joseph Fry, or his successors, did not ‘make a
cheerful noise before the Lord’ to the taste of the congregation, for in
1785 the vestry passed a resolution ‘that the clerks be desired to sing
such tunes only as are plain and familiar to the congregation; the
singing of other tunes, and frequent changing of tunes, being to the
certain knowledge of this vestry, generally disagreeable and

Although early New England settlers were at first summoned to meeting
“by drum, horn and shell,” bells were soon introduced and in the Middle
and Southern Colonies great store was set by them and more than one fine
peal was brought hither from England. The bells of Christ Church,
Philadelphia, were particularly famous and were always being pealed so
that the German traveller, Dr. Schoepf, said that you would think you
were in a papal or imperial city--there was always something to be rung.
“From the time that ‘the ring of bells’--the first in the Colonies--was
first hung, their metal throats were busy proclaiming all sorts of
things from the anniversaries of King Charles’s Restoration, Guy
Fawkes’s Day, and the King’s Birthday, down to semi-weekly markets or
the arrival in the Delaware of the ‘Myrtilla,’ Captain Budden’s ship, in
which the peal had been brought out from London.”

In a previous chapter reference has been made to the splendid equipage
in which wealthy people of the Northern and Middle Colonies came to
church. A word must be added, to complete the picture, of the way in
which Southern congregations arrived. While a few of the very wealthy
drove to church in their state coaches, the great majority came on
horseback for the distances were too great to traverse afoot. Horses
were tethered in groups to the trees about the churches and it was the
recognised custom that the congregation should gather in the church yard
before and after service and they gladly embraced the opportunity thus
afforded for social intercourse. In country districts of the South the
same condition prevails to-day, and saddle horses and buggies may be
found in groups under all the trees near the church building or in the
sheds, where such are provided.

And now we pass to a consideration of the architectural features of the
church buildings in the several Colonies. We shall begin with those in
Virginia as they were the earliest. Only two of the seventeenth century
structures in the Old Dominion remain but they are sufficiently
distinctive to give us a very definite idea of the architectural ideals
that actuated the Virginia colonists. These are St. Luke’s at
Smithfield, built in 1632, and St. Peter’s, New Kent County, built at
the very beginning of the eighteenth century, but so closely following
the type of the first mentioned building that it may be reckoned as a
seventeenth century structure. Besides these two, there is the tower of
the old church at Jamestown to which has been added, in the way of
restoration, a body designed upon the lines of St. Luke’s, Smithfield.

St. Luke’s is a staunchly built rectangular brick structure with a steep
pitched roof and a heavy, square tower, of three stages, at the western
end. The coping of the eastern gable is curiously stepped in a way that
suggests Dutch or Flemish influence. The general appearance is that of a
rural English village church that might have been transplanted to its
new environment. There is little in its contour, proportions or detail
that savours of Renaissance inspiration, then dominant in England, but
rather does it smack of the old English Gothic feeling that
characterised many of the sixteenth century structures, when the Gothic
spirit was really decadent but still strong enough to retain certain
well defined traditional features. The side walls are strengthened and
divided into bays by buttresses and the pointed arch is retained above
the twin lancet windows. The mullions of these windows and of the east
window, with its unusual combination of round arch and pointed arch
sections, are substantially constructed of bricks. The one particular in
which Renaissance influence is visible is the use of quoins instead of
buttresses to stiffen the tower corners. The round arched door is almost
Norman in character. Within, the walls are plastered above the wainscot
and the ceiling is a single barrel vault.

St. Peter’s, New Kent County, presents the same general contour so that
a family resemblance is unmistakable but it is less felicitous in all
its details. The tower is pierced by such large arched openings in front
and at the sides that it appears to stand on legs and to have no
particular connexion with the ground. There are no buttresses to support
the walls, the windows are rectangular with flat-arched lintels and are
filled with sashes. While venerable and interesting, St. Peter’s can
scarcely be regarded as in any way architecturally so satisfying as St.
Luke’s is. How much of this lack of charm is due to so-called
“restoration” and “improvements,” it would be hard to say, for want of
sufficiently specific data.

One of the earliest structures to show a distinctly Renaissance feeling,
a suggestive precursor of the Georgian buildings that soon followed, was
Bruton Parish Church at Williamsburg, completed in 1715. Here for the
first time may be seen the cruciform plan, often met with in other
Virginia churches, sometimes of Latin, sometimes of Greek outline. It is
curious that this feature, which belongs peculiarly to edifices of
Gothic provenance, should make its first appearance in a structure of
Renaissance inspiration. The pitch of the roof is steep and this fact,
along with the cruciform plan, gives the contour a partly Gothic
character. All else is of Renaissance affinities.


[Illustration: ST. LUKE’S CHURCH, SMITHFIELD, VA. 1632.]



There are no buttresses, the tall windows with round or compass heads
contain sashes with broad muntins and the sturdy, square tower, of three
stages, at the western end, is surmounted by an octagonal wooden spire
which, although severely simple and devoid of architectural ornament,
suggests in structural treatment the methods of Wren and his
contemporaries. Circular windows pierce the end walls of the transept
and chancel and these were originally filled with panes of plain glass
set in broad muntins. The brick is laid in Flemish bond and the cornice
is exceedingly simple and far less prominent than in later buildings of
purely Georgian character.

For examples of the typically Georgian churches of the South we may
instance Christ Church, Lancaster County, Virginia, “Old Pohick Church,”
Fairfax County, Virginia, with the building of which Washington was
intimately concerned and of which he was a vestryman, and Christ Church,
Alexandria, where Washington was also a vestryman and frequent
attendant. The last named building was designed by James Wren, a
descendant, it is said, of the great Sir Christopher. Other churches
just as typical might have been selected but these three will fully
answer the purpose.

Christ Church, Lancaster County, was built in 1732 at the charge of
Robert (“King”) Carter as before stated. The ground plan is in the form
of a Greek cross, all the arms being of equal length. The shingle roof
is hipped and of steep pitch, the cornice is bold and vigorously
proportioned, the walls are of brick laid in Flemish bond with black
headers. The windows are round-or compass-headed and the brick surrounds
project slightly from the face of the wall, meeting at the top in a
white keystone. The muntins of the sashes are heavy and the panes small.
The door is set between heavy pilasters and surmounted by a straight
pediment. Above the pediment, and just below the cornice, is a small
elliptical window. Within, the aisles are paved with stone, the pews are
high and straight backed, the pulpit is an imposing structure and the
plastered ceiling is vaulted. All the details, both inside and out, are
characteristic of the Georgian mode.

“Old Pohick Church,” the parish church of Mount Vernon, was built in
1769 and shows evidence of later Georgian feeling in several of its
details. The cornice, notably, has become more refined in the proportion
and contour of its mouldings and the muntins are of less buxom
dimensions. The building is taller than Christ Church, Lancaster County,
and the walls are pierced by two tiers of windows, those in the lower
tier being rectangular while those in the upper tier are round headed.
Both upper and lower windows have surrounds of one-coloured brick, not
projecting as at Christ Church but set flush with the surface of the
wall. The building is practically square in plan, the corners being
stiffened by white stone quoins, and the roof is hipped. Inside, the
aisles are paved with stone, the communion table, surrounded by a
railing, stands at one end of the church and the wall back of it is
panelled and embellished with a broken pediment resting on four Ionic
pilasters, in the panels between which are painted the Lord’s Prayer,
the Creed and the Ten Commandments. Against one of the side walls is
built a high, wine-glass pulpit with a great sounding board above it
and, just below it, the clerk’s desk. At the angle of the walls and
ceiling is an unusually heavy and elaborate wooden cornice. All the
minutiæ of the interior woodwork show the increasing refinement of
proportion and detail characteristic of this part of the Georgian

Christ Church, Alexandria, built slightly later than Pohick Church, is
substantially the same in plan, the main points of difference being the
Palladian window at one end of the building and the tower and portico at
the other, the latter embellishment being a later addition. Inside, the
chief point of difference consists in the placing of the pulpit
immediately in front of the central member of the Palladian window, the
panelled spaces on each side of the window being devoted to the Creed,
the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments, according to a common
custom. Christ Church, Alexandria, further differs from Pohick Church in
having galleries around three sides, supported on slender Tuscan
columns. The coved cornice at the angle of walls and ceiling, while
exceedingly graceful, is not so beautiful as the wooden cornice in
Pohick Church.

From considerations of date and geography, our attention is next claimed
by the group of small churches in the Middle Colonies which may be
represented by the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes), Philadelphia, St. David’s,
Radnor, and Trinity, Oxford. The present structure of the Gloria Dei was
built in 1700 to replace the old block house, built in 1665, which had
afforded a place of worship for the congregation since 1677. Seen from
the exterior, the church is cruciform in plan with an apsidal east end.
At the west end is a small, sharp pointed belfry surmounting a
projection in front of the church which is carried up to the peak of the
roof somewhat in the manner of a tower, the lower part forming a
vestibule. The roof is exceedingly steep in pitch and, by the same
token, thereby exhibits the Swedish origin of its plan. The apsidal east
end also indicates its Swedish origin for both the steep pitched roof
and the apse were thoroughly characteristic of the Scandinavian
ecclesiastical edifices. The brick is laid in Flemish bond, the headers,
which seem to have been the arch bricks in the kiln, being covered with
a vitreous blue black glaze. At several places an interesting diaper
pattern is worked in the walls by the ingenious use of these glazed
headers. The great square windows are filled with heavy muntined sashes
and small panes of glass. It was found at an early date that the side
walls were being pushed over by the thrust of the roof and to brace them
the transepts, which do not appear in the interior plan, were built
about 1703, giving the building its cruciform appearance. The south
transept is a vestibule or porch while the north transept is used as a
sacristy. The ceiling is vaulted. North and south galleries date from an
early period but were built somewhat later than the rest of the
structure. The details of panelling and woodwork are of distinctly
pre-Georgian affinities.

St. David’s, Radnor, was built in 1714 and seems to have been the result
of the efforts of local artisans without much attempt at architectural
direction or planning. It is extremely simple in every way. In plan it
is rectangular with a later addition at one side to accommodate the
vestry room. The organ gallery is at one end and is reached by an
outside enclosed stone stairway. The roof is of steep pitch and the
cornices are severely plain. The round headed windows are now filled
with small panes set in broad muntins but, if we may believe tradition,
they were originally filled with diamond paned leaded casements. Perhaps
the most interesting architectural feature of St. David’s is the texture
of the stone work in its rubble walls which are built of random sized
native field stone and pointed with white mortar. This masonry is
thoroughly representative of the traditional manner of building stone
walls which the Welsh artisans seem to have brought with them from their
Cambrian home and which has left such a strong impress upon the stone
work of so many of the old houses in Pennsylvania. It is one of the
clearest instances of the survival in America of methods of
craftsmanship brought from specific localities in the old world.

Trinity Church, Oxford, was built in 1711 and is mentioned here chiefly
because it exhibits a more ambitious plan in its original design, having
transepts in the interior which greatly add to its seating capacity and
carry out the cruciform idea both within and without. Its details of
design, masonry and woodwork display an affinity with the earliest phase
of Georgian work.

Christ Church, Philadelphia, to which we now come, stands for all that
is best in church architecture of the Colonial period in America. The
present building was erected in 1727 from plans prepared by Dr. John
Kearsley who seems to have drawn his inspiration largely from St.
Martin’s-in-the-Fields, London. From whatever source his inspiration
came, Christ Church is a peculiarly beautiful and graceful structure,
well meriting all the praise that has been bestowed upon it and
incidentally affording a striking instance of what might be achieved by
the amateur architects of the eighteenth century who believed that a
knowledge of architecture was an essential part of every gentleman’s
education and who were willing to put aside their own professional
vocations for a time in order to plan and superintend the erection of
some public structure as a kind of public duty.

In every respect the building is thoroughly representative of the best
Georgian traditions. In outline the plan is rectangular with nave and
aisles. The round headed windows of the lower stage are separated from
each other by pilasters whose capitals support the projecting
cornice-like string course. Superimposed above this member are the bases
of other pilasters separating the windows of the upper tier and while
their capitals come immediately below the wooden frieze of the cornice,
the roof is surrounded by a heavily carved balustrade whose posts are
capped by well proportioned urns. At the eastern end of the church, a
great Palladian window lights the chancel. The tower, at the western
end, is a massive structure of brick and is surmounted by a wooden spire
of singularly graceful proportions and beautiful detail, inspired by
some of the masterly creations of Sir Christopher Wren. For all the
proportions are massive, the structure presents a light and graceful
appearance, attributable in large measure to the manner in which the
side walls are pierced with many windows and the wall spaces broken by
graceful architectural adornments such as the pilasters and string
courses. In this general lightening effect the triglyphs of the cornice
frieze and the spindles of the surmounting balustrade must not be

Within, the woodwork is thoroughly typical of the best Georgian
traditions with its fluted pillars, its carefully carved triglyphs and
guttæ and the nicety of the panelling. The aisles are now paved with
tile but fortunately the ancient tombstones fill most of the aisle space
so that the modern tiling is not obstrusive. The ancient pews have been
replaced by modern seats but historic locations are carefully noted by
small brass tablets.

St. Peter’s Church, Philadelphia, built in 1761, is peculiarly
interesting because it has never undergone profanation at the hands of
improvers or restorers. The old pews remain in their original condition
as does also the paving of small, square blocks of stone in the north
and south aisles. The exterior of St. Peter’s is less ornate than the
exterior of Christ Church but it preserves the same interesting feature
of having doors approximately at the four corners, the tower in both
cases either serving or having served at one time or another as a vestry
room. St. Peter’s exhibits at its eastern end a large Palladian window
of more expansive dimensions than that of Christ Church which, however,
was fully in accordance with the tendency of the times as Palladian
windows seem to have expanded their dimensions as the Georgian period
progressed. The pediments over the four doors are peculiarly interesting
at St. Peter’s and the cornice shows considerable refinement.

The galleries within are supported on Tuscan pillars and the other
woodwork, while of excellent proportions, is exceedingly simple and
dignified. It is of interest to note that the pulpit is accessible only
by climbing up through the tower; the clerks’ seats are immediately
beneath it. The organ gallery is built above the chancel which is at the
east end of the church while the pulpit and the clerks’ desk are at the
west end so that frequent processions of the clergy during the course
of the service are sometimes necessary.

In the same class with Christ Church and St. Peter’s must be mentioned
St. Michael’s Church, Charleston, S.C., and St. Paul’s Chapel, New York
City. St. Michael’s was built in 1742 from plans, it is believed,
furnished by James Gibbs, the famous English architect, while St. Paul’s
is of native American design. Both churches show the strong influence of
Wren feeling which persisted in the ecclesiastical architecture of the
Georgian era.

While speaking of ecclesiastical architecture of the Middle Colonies we
must not omit to mention the Quaker meeting houses which were ordinarily
of brick or stone and sometimes covered with a coating of roughcast.
They are rectangular in form with pitch roofs and usually display two
rows of square windows. The cornices are simple and severe and all the
woodwork is extremely plain. As a rule there are four doors, two on each
of the longer sides. The woodwork within is not infrequently devoid of
paint and has acquired a wonderfully rich colour from age. In many of
the meeting houses there are galleries although the gallery is by no
means a universal feature. The smaller and older meeting houses are
generally of one storey in height but those of later date are frequently
of two storeys and in that case ordinarily have galleries. All the
details of woodwork are so exceedingly simple that one can scarcely say
they show a marked affinity with Georgian models although they belong,
for the most part, to the Georgian period.

Nor must we forget the meeting houses erected to accommodate the various
German sects. These buildings generally displayed architectural
affinities of Teutonic character. As an example of this we might mention
the old Trappe Meeting House on the Perkiomen, or some of the Moravian
churches and Reformed churches in the interior of Pennsylvania.

It will be unnecessary to make any further mention of the Georgian
churches of New York as they are, in the main, similar to those that
have been mentioned in an earlier part of this chapter. Some note,
however, should be made of the little Dutch churches one occasionally
finds such as that at Tarrytown-on-the-Hudson. Here we see the same
persistence of Dutch ecclesiastical traditions as was noted in
Pennsylvania in the case of German traditions exemplified in the
structures like the Trappe Meeting House. The general form of the
building and the method of its execution might readily be paralleled in

We now come to the New England Meeting House as the next type demanding
examination and for this we can find no more fitting example than the
Old Ship Meeting-house at Hingham, Massachusetts. This building was
erected in 1680 and it is said to have been framed by ship’s carpenters.
It is a spacious square building of extreme severity of line. The roof
is hipped, or would be a perfectly hipped roof were it not truncated at
the top and finished with a balustrade and a belfry with a small pointed
spire. The exterior is so devoid of all architectural amenity that one
can scarcely speak of the structure as having any architecture at all.
The walls are clapboarded and the cornice is of the simplest contour.
The interior is plain and, owing to modernisation, has been made
unattractive and prosaic. For our purpose this building is valuable as
marking the four-square type of meeting house so often met with.

Where the older meetings have not fallen victims of modern improvement,
their interiors, though severe and rigid, possess a degree of charm with
their ancient high backed pews, tall pulpits, and seats for the elders
of the meeting immediately below them. Their excessive plainness is, of
course, proverbial, but although there was a dearth of architectural
amenity in their construction, it must be admitted that many of them
possessed the charm of unobtrusive simplicity.

The Old South Meeting-house, erected in 1730, is a fair representative
of similar structures where more attention was paid to and more
allowance made for architectural endeavour. The wonted plan of having
the pulpit on one of the long sides was adhered to and the gallery
stretched around on the other sides. The double rows of windows are
round arched and form the chief point of interest both on the exterior
and in the interior. The brick is laid in Flemish bond and there is a
slightly projecting base course several feet from the ground. Cornices
are plain and the expansive roof is rather flat in pitch. The tower,
while graceful enough in proportion, is severely plain. Nevertheless it
must be confessed that the attenuated proportions of the spire with the
little arcade around its base have a certain charm of their own which it
is extremely difficult to analyse.

Of wholly different type is King’s Chapel. Here we find ample evidence
of attention to architectural opportunity and enrichment. While the
rectangular plan is adhered to, the interior is divided into nave and
aisles by the columns which fulfil the double function of supporting the
roof and upholding the galleries. The windows in the lower row,
underneath the gallery, are of smaller dimensions than those in the
upper row which throw their light down over the galleries into the
middle of the nave. The windows of the lower row have flat arched tops
while those above are round arched. The masonry is of carefully dressed
stone and, while there are no buttresses, the front of the building is
adorned by pilasters at the corners and by a pillared arcade forming a
porch around the square tower. The roof is hipped. Inside the building,
far more play is given to architectural elaboration than outside. Here
we find the pairs of columns supporting the roof and galleries are
fluted from top to bottom and surmounted by elaborately carved
Corinthian capitals upon which are imposed sections of frieze and
cornice from which again spring the arches of the roof vaulting. While
the effect is agreeable enough, it cannot be denied that the arrangement
and general method of execution are illogical and capricious.

The old North and Trinity Churches, Newport, also exhibit a somewhat
similar and illogical arrangement of the ceiling and its method of
support. Trinity, Newport, and the old North are mentioned in addition
to King’s Chapel because they all represent the New England type of
ecclesiastical edifice erected during the Georgian period which affords
an antithesis to the auditorium type represented by the Old South which
may be regarded as a logical development of the type exemplified by the
Old Ship Meeting-house at Hingham.

It would be an unpardonable oversight to bring this chapter to a close
without mentioning buildings like the Park Street Church in Boston with
its graceful spire and other buildings of similar type, erected about
the same period, whose inspiration we owe partly to former
ecclesiastical traditions and partly to the new spirit of the Classic
Revival. In Boston, and elsewhere throughout New England, may be found
many such churches which illuminate the era in which that master of
architectural refinement, Samuel McIntire, wrought so successfully.

The foregoing pages, cursory as the review of ecclesiastical
architecture has necessarily been, will show the diversity of styles
that prevailed in the Colonies from North to South and incidentally the
reader will be enabled to compare the modes of architectural expression
with the ideals and habits of the people inhabiting the several sections
of the country.



The materials of which any structure is built and the way in which those
materials are manipulated have quite as much to do with the general
aspect as mass or contour. It is of the utmost importance, therefore,
that we pay due heed to the material resources at the disposal of
builders in the Colonial period. Furthermore, it must be borne in mind
that materials to some extent influenced architectural forms while, on
the other hand, tradition and hereditary preferences, as we have seen,
exerted a powerful influence upon the choice of materials and affected
the way in which they were employed.

A very great number of the settlers of New England, as stated in a
previous chapter, came from the Danish parts of England where the timber
tradition was especially strong. Consequently, despite the abundance of
stone in the new land, which they might readily have used, they
preferred, in the majority of instances, to build their houses of wood.
Of course, some allowance, too, in this respect, must be made for ease
and expedition of working and for climatic conditions. In the Middle
Colonies and the South, most of the settlers came from the Saxon
portions of England where stone and brick traditions had always
prevailed and, although there was abundance of good timber and
occasionally some lack of other materials, there was a general
preference for brick or stone walls notwithstanding any inconvenience
incidental to procuring them. The artisans in each section preferred to
work with the materials with which they were most familiar and
householders also seem to have concurred in the popular choice. It is to
be noted that the lack of requisite material--marble or suitable
stone--had not a little to do with the common use of white-painted wood
for trims and external ornamental features in Georgian buildings whose
English prototypes, in many cases, were embellished with pillars,
pediments and cornices of the more durable substance.

It now behooves us to see what use was made of the several materials in
the various portions of the Colonies. We shall, of course, find brick
and stone structures in New England, and frame buildings in the Middle
Colonies and the South, but the preponderance numerically displayed the
characteristics just mentioned.

If “pigs is pigs”, doubtless, by the same token, “bricks is bricks” and
also “mortar is mortar.” Notwithstanding the profundity of this truism,
it is just as well to remember that there are bricks and bricks and that
there is mortar and mortar, too, and that both, when brought together in
a wall, mutually interact and are susceptible of large diversity of
treatment. This very possibility of different combination afforded the
Colonial builder a field for the exercise of not a little ingenuity.

For the benefit of readers not accustomed to technical terms it will,
perhaps, be well to explain exactly what is meant by the words “bond”
and “texture” which are necessarily used in speaking of brick masonry.

The term “bond” simply means the way of laying or the manner of binding
and denotes the position in which the bricks are laid in their courses
and the appearance created by the relative position of the units. In the
walls of the houses built during the Colonial and post-Colonial periods,
four varieties of bond are found, two bonds sometimes being used in
conjunction for the sake of variety. They are English or Liverpool bond,
Flemish bond, Dutch cross bond and running bond. English or Liverpool
bond has alternate rows of stretchers (bricks so laid that the long side
is exposed to view) and headers (bricks so laid that only the ends
appear). The courses are arranged so that headers and stretchers break
joints. Flemish bond consists of alternate headers and stretchers in
every course, all joints being broken. It is the strongest and
best-locked of all bonds. Dutch cross bond, like English bond, consists
of alternate courses of headers and stretchers but with this difference:
in English bond, the headers and stretchers in alternate layers are
placed directly one above the other while, in Dutch cross bond, they
break joints. Running bond consists entirely of stretchers and is a kind
of degenerate Dutch cross bond with all the headers left out or
introduced only at intervals of seven or eight courses to tie the face
of the wall together. English or Liverpool, Flemish and running bonds
were all in the common heritage of English building tradition.

For the sake of historical accuracy it is important to correct a popular
error occasioned by the terms “English” and “Dutch” brick. It is
commonly stated of many old buildings that they were built of brick
fetched overseas from England or Holland. No doubt some few were but
most of them were not. George Cary Eggleston set forth the whole matter
in a very clear light when he wrote that “nearly all these bricks,
whether English or Dutch, were made in America, as later scholarly
research has conclusively proved. The only difference between English
and Dutch bricks was one of dimensions. The small bricks, moulded upon
a Dutch model, were known as Holland bricks. The much larger ones,
moulded upon an English model, were called English bricks. The very
learned and scholarly historian of South Carolina, Mr. McCrady, has
conclusively proved that the so-called English bricks used in the
construction of Carolina houses could not have been imported from
England. By simple arithmetical calculation he has shown that all the
ships landing in the Carolinas during the seventeenth century--even if
all of them had been loaded exclusively with bricks--could not have
brought in enough bricks to build one half or one fourth the ‘English
brick’ houses of that part of the country.” There was abundant clay in
the Colonies and the colonists, usually so resourceful and
self-dependent, were scarcely likely to ignore an opportunity under
their very noses and depend upon an imported commodity, even though they
could have afforded the cost. Indeed, bricks were _exported_ from some
of the Colonies.

To be sure, one record shows that ten thousand bricks were imported into
Massachusetts Bay in 1628, and we know that some bricks were imported
into the New Haven Colony at an early date and likewise that, during the
demolition of some very old Connecticut houses, bricks were found with
the name “London” impressed upon them. Then, too, several instances can
be cited in both the Middle and Southern Colonies, where bricks were
imported and used for certain specified buildings and there are a few
well authenticated cases of brick importation from Holland. But against
this meagre certitude of a few cargoes of bricks from overseas there is
the abundant evidence of extensive brick-making in the Colonies from a
very early date. There is one reference in official records to a brick
kiln in Connecticut in 1635 and there were doubtless other brick kilns
in operation both there and elsewhere at the same time or even prior to
that year.

The bricks in early Colonial use were of various sizes. As a rule, the
older the bricks the larger they are. They afterwards became smaller and
now, in our own time, they are large again. Some of the bricks were four
inches by eight and a quarter and two and five eighths inches thick,
others were two and a half by four inches and eight inches long. The
“Dutch” bricks were thinner than the “English.” Most of the seventeenth
and eighteenth century bricks were roughly moulded and not a few were
underburned while others were extremely hard burned and had much
pleasing variation of colour. The ends of arch bricks in the kiln were
often burned till they acquired a bluish black and almost vitreous
glaze. These were used for headers and to them is due much of the
colour and pattern interest of old walls. The large bricks used for
“pugging” the openings between the timbers in the early timber built
houses are scarcely more than sun-dried and readily crumble and go to
pieces upon exposure to the weather.

In speaking of the “texture” of a wall, we must take into consideration
the kind of bricks used, their shape and size, their colour, their bond
devised to give a distinctive pattern to the wall face, the mortar
joints and, finally, the kind of mortar used. It need scarcely be said
that the results possible with the old brick of slightly irregular shape
and varied colour in English or Flemish bond--Flemish bond was
exceedingly popular among eighteenth century builders--were infinitely
more satisfactory than any that could be attained through the use of the
later “faultily faultless” pressed brick of monotonously uniform shape
and size, with a surface “like cut cheese and a colour like a
firecracker” and a great deal of the charm of the old work is due to
agreeable texture. While there is some exceedingly pleasing brickwork in
New England and especially in the Connecticut Valley, brick excellence
is much more common in the Middle States and the South where brick
building was always more in vogue. Occasionally in New England, and very
frequently farther south, a goodly degree of interest was achieved by
the combination of different bonds, by herring-bone panels, by
projecting courses on wall faces, at cornices or about chimney tops and
by diaper patterns, dates and initials wrought in blue headers on end
walls and in gables. Specially moulded capping bricks for base courses
and for the tops of walls were used to good effect.

Both field stone and local quarried stone were used in New England and
masonry was usually of the rubble type although occasionally the stones
were carefully squared and dressed. The same may be said of stone work
in New York. Sometimes the walls were of stone with brick door and
window trims, as at the Manor House at Croton-on-Hudson. In the Dutch
part of northern New Jersey the native reddish brown stone was employed
with excellent effect both in rubble masonry and for cut work. In both
cases it was often pointed with white mortar joints which gave a
peculiar and striking contrast.

In Pennsylvania we find masonry of singular excellence and beauty where,
again, both field stone and quarried stone were made use of. The
Pennsylvania rubble masonry, laid by workmen who were merely
perpetuating the traditions they had brought with them from England and
Wales, has always commanded admiration and, in the vicinity of
Philadelphia, the same inherited masonry traditions are still
flourishing vigorously. These rubble walls were sometimes laid with
stones of random sizes, sometimes with stones of comparatively uniform
dimensions. In a few instances, notably in the neighbourhood of
Kingsessing, Philadelphia, and in the walls of Belmont, Fairmount Park,
Philadelphia, once the home of the witty Judge Peters of Revolutionary
fame, the old English custom of galleting the wide, white mortar joints
with little spawls was practised. It was not infrequently the case that
houses would have walls of dressed and squared stone in front with
rubble walls at the sides and rear. Some few, such as Cliveden in
Germantown, Philadelphia, and Whitby Hall, Kingsessing, Philadelphia,
were built of cut stone all the way about. Whitby Hall and a few other
houses also furnish interesting examples of brick door and window trims
that project slightly beyond the face of the stone wall. This
Pennsylvania stone work displayed practically no attempts at carving and
the one instance where it has been carved is found in the window trims
and Ionic capitals of the river front of the Bartram house, Kingsessing,

In connexion with Colonial stonework must be mentioned the coating of
walls with stucco and roughcast which were either allowed to remain
their natural colour or whitewashed, as at Wyck, Germantown,
Philadelphia. The very early houses were not stuccoed at first and the
stucco seems to have been added later as a protection, partly, against
the weather where porous stone had been used for the walls, such as some
of the grey stone quarried in the neighbourhood of the Whitemarsh
Valley. The mica stone, so abundant in Pennsylvania, after a few years’
exposure, becomes impervious to moisture and never needs stucco
protection. Oftentimes stucco or roughcast were applied from choice and
not from necessity, especially among the German colonists who seem to
have been chiefly responsible for the introduction of the practice. For
the sake of finish, contrast and cleanly appearance the stucco or
roughcast coat was often whitewashed or yellow washed.

Much of the mortar in the early Colonial period was of poor quality and
rapidly disintegrated. Lime, however, was soon to be had. In some cases
it was imported, in others it was burned wherever limestone or oyster
shells were to be had and the quality of the mortar was very generally
improved throughout the Colonies. Some of it was exceptionally fine and
to-day is as hard as the bricks or stone it binds together.

The oaken timbers for the framing of houses were riven and hewn into
shape and dressed down with an adz. Rafters and joists were sometimes
treated thus and in other cases were sawn. The great summer beams and
oftentimes the studs, too, were finished with stopped chamfers along the
edges. The spaces between the studs, as noted in Chapter III, were at
first filled with “pugging” of stone or brick and clay mixed with
chopped straw and then plastered over in the manner of the “black and
white” or half timber work in England. Whether the wall spaces between
the studs were ever stopped with “wattle and dab”--an old English
filling of clay, plastered over a kind of loose basketwork of interwoven
wattles or withes--the writer is unable to say with certainty. It is not
at all improbable that the stud spaces were sometimes so filled and it
is quite certain that some of the early Connecticut chimneys were
constructed in this manner. The survival of “wattle and dab” work in New
England in any form is an interesting instance of the persistence and
continuity of craft traditions.

Clapboards were made chiefly of oak or pine and were nailed horizontally
to the outside of the studs. They were usually feather edged and lapped,
the upper over the lower. Although it is not impossible that there was
some precedent in England for the use of clapboards nailed horizontally
on the outside of the studding, it is highly probable that the practice
of applying them in this manner in New England was first dictated by
climatic necessity as a remedy and afterwards became incorporated as an
essential part of frame construction. In some parts of New England,
especially in Rhode Island and portions of Connecticut, studs between
the posts were dispensed with and vertical boarding of oak or pine,
usually more than an inch thick, was nailed to the cills and girts. This
vertical boarding, for which, also, there seems to have been an English
precedent, was generally, though not invariably, covered outside either
with horizontal clapboards or with long shingles.

Shingles of pine were made both in the sizes common to-day and also of
much larger dimensions, the latter being used for the outer sheathing of
walls that had first been boarded. Roof shingles were sometimes laid on
boarding, sometimes on “lathing” or small strips, nailed like purlins on
the rafters. Shingles afforded the usual roofing material not only in
New England but throughout the Colonies, although slate was not unknown
and on some of the larger buildings copper and lead were occasionally
used. In dry weather the danger to shingle roofs from sparking chimneys
and the additional source of danger, at all times, from defective or
uncleaned flues, led our forebears to adopt some rather curious and
interesting methods of fire prevention. In early New England there were
the chimney viewers whose duty it was to inspect the chimneys and compel
the householders, by fines or other means, to keep their chimneys in
repair and have them swept with sufficient frequency. This was a
precaution of the utmost importance in communities where most of the
houses were built of wood.

In Philadelphia, in Colonial times, the sight of a blazing chimney was
enough to throw the whole community into an uproar and blazing chimneys
were the subject of legislation by the Provincial Assembly of 1775,
which enacted that “Every person whose Chimney shall take Fire and blaze
out at the Top, not having been swept within one Calendar Month, shall
forfeit and pay the sum of Twenty Shillings; but if swept within that
Time and taking Fire and blazing out at the Top, the Person who swept
the same, either by himself, his Servants or Negroes, shall forfeit and
pay Twenty Shillings.”

Glass for windows in the beginning of the Colonial period was a luxury
enjoyed by only a few of the more well-to-do settlers and even oiled
paper was not always easy to come by so that oftentimes the humbler
houses had only shutters to close window apertures and afford protection
from the weather. Window glass, however, was imported at an early date
and at an early date, also, glass in small panes was manufactured in
the Colonies.

The earliest windows were filled with small diamond shaped panes leaded
into the casements and the casement window was universally used. In the
fore part of the eighteenth century, double or single hung sash windows
became the fashion and were very generally substituted for the older
casements by alterations made in the manner alluded to in Chapter III,
although, quite frequently, particularly in the Middle and Southern
Colonies, no change in the shape or dimensions of the window openings
was considered desirable or necessary. The lights for the sashes were
universally small and it was not until the end of the eighteenth century
that they increased appreciably in size. It should be remembered that a
great deal of the charm and individuality of fenestration during both
the early Colonial and Georgian periods was due to the manifold
divisions of the lights--with lead in the first instance and with heavy
muntins in the second. A good many of the old leaded casements that had
endured, despite the favour of the new styles, till the outbreak of the
Revolutionary War disappeared at that time, the lead being melted to
make bullets. This is said to have been the fate of the original windows
in the Church of St. David at Radnor.

Paint, in the first years of colonisation during the seventeenth
century, though not unknown, was not in common use and it must be
admitted that the old woodwork, whether oak or pine, took on a
delightful tone in the course of a few years from the combined agency of
the atmosphere and the smoke of wood fires. In Pennsylvania and the
neighbourhood, paint both inside and out seems to have been used from
the first. It should be remembered, particularly in this connexion, that
paint for either exterior or interior use in the Colonial and Georgian
periods was not invariably white. Colours were frequently used and
specific reference has been made in Chapter VIII to the employment of
paint of various colours for panelling and other interior woodwork.

The panelling in many of the old Colonial houses, and for that matter
the same thing may be said with perfect truth of much of the panelling
to be found in houses of the Georgian type, exhibits marked
irregularities. Although the almost mediæval methods of the early
craftsmen were gradually supplanted by other ways of treating the
material, there was always a delightful personal element of originality
and lack of symmetry in the panelling and woodwork generally. It is this
very originality that gives it its charm and interest. It is precisely
like the features of the human face. If all the features of any human
face were absolutely symmetrical and regular, so that both sides were
precisely alike in every measurement, the countenance would be truly
imbecile in expression. It is the irregularity which causes the outward
indications of character and gives whatever beauty or the opposite
quality there may be. The early craftsmen had no compunction in making
one panel deeper than another, being governed therein by expediency, the
width of the piece they were using, or the distance to be covered. It
was not that they did not do their work well and in a workmanlike
manner, but they saw no reason why they should be tied down by a slavish
exactitude in the exercise of their craft, and they accordingly took
liberties for which we in our slavishly mechanical days may be truly
thankful, and from which we may learn a valuable lesson if we will only
use our eyes and not be afraid to act with a little independence.



Who lived in our old houses and what manner of men they were, we
fortunately know. At any rate it is an easy matter to find out. Who
planned and built those houses we do not, as a rule, know nor will the
most careful search and enquiry always bring to light even the name of
the architect or, if they do succeed in doing so much, the information
gained is generally so meagre that it does but whet the appetite for
more. However, regardless of what we may or may not be able to learn of
the designer of this or that house or public building, we shall be quite
safe in attributing the design of early American structures to the
agency of one or the other of three classes of men. This triple division
consisted, first, of amateur architects; second, of carpenter architects
and, last of all, of professional architects. In this grouping, the
professional architect is given the last place because he was least
frequently represented. The first and second classes were by far the
most numerous and some of our best eighteenth century buildings, houses,
churches and other public structures alike, are the results of
collaboration between them.

We shall not be far wrong in ascribing seventeenth century buildings,
almost without exception, to the capable and resourceful craftsman who
not only preserved conscientiously the traditions he had learned as an
apprentice or journeyman in the Mother Country and faithfully
perpetuated them by his practice as a master carpenter or joiner in a
new land but also showed himself possessed of ready wit and keen
perceptive faculties by the alacrity with which he modified and adapted
traditional methods and precedents to new conditions and requirements of
climate and environment. So far as he could consistently do so, he held
by preference to tradition in plan, methods of construction and choice
of materials. When necessity or common sense, however, dictated a
departure from established usage he was quick enough to follow the
promptings of expediency and devise satisfactory substitutes for the
deficiencies of past practice. Hence were originated local types without
any conscious attempt on the part of the agents to be original.

The methods followed by the seventeenth century American builder showed
a close relationship with the practices of mediæval joiners and masons.
Furthermore, these early workmen showed an all-round mastery of their
own craft, an intelligent understanding of related crafts and a thorough
knowledge of the properties and uses of materials that their modern
successors would do well to emulate. They respected their calling and
took a proper pride in the excellence of their craftsmanship. Hence the
work of their hands, however plain and simple, still possesses a dignity
and honest beauty that plainly proclaim how they put their hearts into
what they were doing and, at the same time, command our reverence and
admiration. The old buildings have lasted so well and assumed such an
atmosphere of grace because the artisans acted upon the principle that
what was worth doing at all was worth doing well and set much store by
honest workmanship instead of regarding their occupation as a job to be
got through with at a maximum of wage for a minimum of time spent in
labour. They got the best out of their materials because they knew and
respected the peculiar qualities of their materials. Whether English or
Dutch, Welsh or Swedish, the handiwork of these seventeenth century
builders, wholly without pretence as it was, expressed faithfully the
aggregate of the contemporary phases of the domestic architecture in the
countries whence they came and also evidences both the beginnings and
development of our own several vernacular manifestations, all of which,
to a certain degree, were obscured and discounted by the expansion and
increasing popularity of eighteenth century Georgian modes. To the
carpenter-architects of the seventeenth century we owe a great debt of
gratitude for their faithful preservation of time-honoured tradition in
plan and manner of building so that we may easily trace our
architectural lineage, for the intrinsic excellence of the structures
they erected and the lessons they can still teach us in craftsmanship
but, most of all, for the honesty and sincerity of the vernacular forms
they developed, forms created by ready ingenuity in response to local
needs and void of all pretence and hollow affectation. These forms, one
and all, are full of vitality. Their very fitness for the conditions
they were designed to meet in the neighbourhoods where they were evolved
and the successful event of their application to modern demands for
characteristic and informal domestic architecture drive home the extent
of our present debt to the forgotten and nameless architect-carpenters
of a by-gone generation.

With the dawn of the eighteenth century it becomes easier to connect
buildings and the names and personalities of those that designed them.
When we are not able to say with certainty that such a structure was
designed by such a man, we know, at least, that there were then living
in the different cities men of acknowledged architectural attainments,
that their work is to be seen in this house or that church as a matter
of indubitable record and that there is a strong presumption that their
influence is to be traced in the design of houses or public edifices
where there is no documentary evidence to support attribution to an
individual architect.

One of the earliest personalities known to us in a distinctly
architectural connexion is James Portius “whom William Penn induced to
come to his new city to ‘design and execute his Proprietary buildings.’”
He was “among the most active of the Carpenters’ Company and, at his
death, in 1736, gave his choice collection of architectural works to his
fellow members, thus laying the foundation of their present valuable
library.” This Carpenters’ Company of Philadelphia was the organisation
that, at a later date, erected its gild house, known as Carpenters’
Hall, where the Continental Congress for a time held its sessions. It is
still in an excellent state of preservation and still houses the
collection alluded to. The skill of the resident artisans of early
Philadelphia was of no mean order, as their handiwork amply attests
to-day, and, in 1724, the master carpenters of the city “composed a
gild large and prosperous enough to be patterned after ‘The Worshipful
Company of Carpenters of London,’” an organisation founded in 1477.
Unfortunately we cannot with certainty ascribe any buildings now
standing to the plans of James Portius. We can only make conjectures. It
is highly probable that Penn’s house, which originally stood in Letitia
Court until its removal to a site in Fairmount Park, was designed and
erected by the Proprietary’s architect. The Manor House at Pennsbury was
also, in all likelihood, designed by him or at least carried out under
his superintendence. It is a source of never ending regret that it was
allowed to fall into a state of utter decay and was then demolished. Had
it been preserved, we should now have an invaluable addition to the
architectural treasures of our country and an interesting commentary
upon the work of one of the earliest architects known to have practised
his profession in the Colonies.

It is most important to remember that some considerable degree of
architectural knowledge or, at the very least, some substantial
cultivation of architectural taste and discrimination seems to have been
considered an indispensable part of every gentleman’s education in the
eighteenth century. Consequently it is not surprising to find that some
of our native amateur architects possessed knowledge and ability by no
means contemptible. Architectural appreciation was favoured by the fact
that not a few of the sons of the wealthy and well-to-do were sent to
England to complete their education and usually spent some time
afterwards in travel on the Continent. Such broadening influences
naturally tended to stimulate and aid the development of architectural
taste and, as a certain amount of dexterity in drawing was highly
esteemed and practised as a polite masculine accomplishment, a
considerable number of men were fitted, to a far greater degree than the
majority of so-called well educated people nowadays, to translate their
architectural preferences into a form sufficiently intelligible for the
master-carpenter to work from in putting an idea into a tangible shape.

It is not to be inferred from the foregoing that a large number of men
of substance and leisure for the cultivation of polite accomplishments
were capable of producing a set of measured drawings, such as
professional architects prepare, to turn over to a contractor for
execution. They were not. But the division of functions was altogether
different. The client, as he would now be termed, showed a more
intelligent and constructive appreciation of architectural principles in
a proportionately larger number of cases than he does at the present
day. He formed a definite conception of what he wished and was capable
of conveying his desires lucidly by means of drawings or rough sketches
to the head workman charged with the actual task of construction. As the
average client was better informed and thought more clearly upon matters
architectural than the client of later times, so, on the other hand, the
master-carpenter of the eighteenth century was infinitely more capable
than the average artisan of like rank to-day. He was not only a skilled
master-mechanic, competent to translate rough draughts and sketches into
carefully prepared working drawings, but he was also a person of some
architectural education and taste and endowed with a nice perception and
valuation of architectural merits and proprieties. He was materially
aided in his work by a number of valuable and explicit architectural
books with measured drawings of whose assistance he did not hesitate
freely to avail himself. Furthermore, he still retained a sympathetic
respect for his materials and a conscientious appreciation of worthy
craftsmanship, inherited by tradition from his mediæval predecessors and
wholly apart from modern commercialism. Pride in his calling impelled
him to the closest personal supervision and painstaking interest. He
would be content with nothing short of the best.

The amateur architects were no mere dabbling dilettanti, flirting with
a polite and amiable penchant for architectural amenities. The best of
them, and those that left the most impressive memorials of their talent
and skill, were, as we shall presently see, busy men of large affairs
and serious interests. They, as well as the master-carpenters, were
thoroughly conversant with the best architectural books of the period
and often had a fair showing of them on the shelves of their own
libraries. More than one of them left standing orders with their London
booksellers to send them, upon publication, such volumes as were most
worth while. Another factor of their fitness is also to be reckoned. It
was not unusual for them to possess training and experience as
surveyors. Indeed, it was almost imperatively necessary for large
landowners to have a knowledge of surveying in order to look properly
after their interests. This training gave them an insight into the
practice of making accurate measurements and draughting and the effect
of such practical and exact education was not without its weight when
they addressed themselves to designing buildings.

One of the most striking and eminent figures among the eighteenth
century amateur architects was the Honourable Andrew Hamilton, “the
day-star of the American Revolution,” as Gouverneur Morris styled him,
sometime Attorney-General of the Province of Pennsylvania, Provincial
Councillor, Speaker of the Provincial Assembly from 1729 and for a
number of successive years afterward and, above all, illustrious jurist
and pleader, whose defence of Peter Zenger, the New York printer, in
1735, redounded to his fame both in England and throughout the Colonies.
He was a man of exceptional and varied attainments, of catholic
cultivation and outlook and endowed with remarkable elegancy of taste.
Amid all the distractions and pressing concerns of an exacting legal and
public career and the many demands involved in the successful management
of a large private estate, he nevertheless found time to devote a good
measure of attention to architectural diversions and left an enduring
monument to his talents in that direction in the State House in

The history of the plan for the State House is peculiarly interesting
for the light it sheds on contemporary conditions. Determined to erect
the State House, a committee of three was appointed by the Assembly, in
1729, to procure suitable plans. Two members of this committee prepared
plans for the new building, namely Andrew Hamilton and Dr. John
Kearsley, to whom further reference will be made in a following
paragraph. Dr. Kearsley, it is true, had achieved considerable
reputation as an architect by the plans that he had devised for Christ
Church, but Hamilton was not supposed to have any aptitude in that
direction. He was a lawyer, much occupied in the public business of the
Province. It seems, however, that he had mastered some architectural
knowledge while in London where, like so many other illustrious lawyers
of the Middle and Southern Colonies, he received his training in the
Inns of Court. Being a man of remarkable and sterling ability, combining
with his wide versatility and breadth of view a fund of initiative and
force, he generally pushed to a successful completion any matter to
which he addressed himself. His plan, a rough draught on parchment,
which is still to be seen in the collection of the Pennsylvania
Historical Society, was submitted to the Assembly and chosen. For
assurance of the excellence and soundness of his judgment, one has only
to turn their eyes to the fabric of the State House.

In the construction of public edifices, the trials and tribulations of
the eighteenth century architects could well compare with the
difficulties encountered in some instances by their twentieth century
successors. Work on the State House was indeed begun and vigorously
pushed forward by Hamilton so far as he was able, but there were all
sorts of obstructions to be surmounted and drawbacks and hindrances to
be set aside. There were grumbles and growls from influential people who
were either wholly opposed to the undertaking or else dissatisfied with
the site. There were hostile criticisms of the plan adopted, there were
strikes among the workmen, there was, at times, a lack of competent
labour, there were wranglings about the necessary funds to pay the
costs--everything, in short, combined to retard progress and Judge
Hamilton died in 1741 before his plans were fully executed. Although the
date of the erection of the State House is given as 1733--the greatest
portion of it was built then--its completion, as just stated, was not
achieved till eight years later.

Another amateur architect of the period, deserving of mention, was
Joseph Brown who was born in Providence in 1733 and died there in 1785.
After acquiring a comfortable fortune in a manufacturing business, he
devoted himself to the pursuits towards which his tastes for science
inclined him. He was particularly interested in electricity and had a
comprehensive knowledge of the subject; he was likewise proficient in
mechanics and astronomy and held a professorship in Brown University, of
which institution he was also a trustee. Of his ability in the
architectural field, the First Baptist Church in Providence, erected in
1775, and various houses bear witness.

John Smibert, whose name we always associate with early New England
portraiture, also extended his activities into the realm of architecture
and designed Faneuil Hall whose evidence is a sufficient guarantee of
his skill. John Greene, of Providence, Captain Isaac Damon, of
Northampton, and many more might readily be added to a list that is
dignified by the great names of Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Washington is said to have designed Pohick Church, Virginia, of which
parish he was a vestryman. It is certain, at any rate, that he was
deeply interested in the supervision of its erection as he also was in
the erection of Christ Church, Alexandria, where he was likewise a
vestryman. His architectural taste is still further to be seen in the
fabric of Mount Vernon. In this connexion it ought to be borne in mind
how lively an interest he manifested in the laying-out of the Federal
City and the planning of its public buildings according to a worthy and
comprehensive scheme. Jefferson’s skill as an architect is evidenced in
Monticello and in the buildings of the University of Virginia which are
chiefly, if not altogether, attributable to him as their designer.

Dr. John Kearsley and Dr. William Thornton were two busy and intensely
active eighteenth century physicians who found time to acquit themselves
most creditably in the field of architectural endeavour as well as to
do their full share in the discharge of sundry public duties which their
fellow citizens entrusted to them. Dr. Kearsley, arriving in
Philadelphia in 1711, soon built up an extensive practice and, at the
same time, undertook the instruction of a younger generation of medical
men whom he is said to have enrolled as apprentices for a seven years’
term of tutelage, a relation that the “apprentice” students apparently
found “both onerous and exacting, as it seemed to include the duties of
a servant, coachman, messenger-boy, prescription clerk, nurse and
assistant surgeon.” Apart from his labours as a physician, he was
engaged in civic and Provincial activities of the first order and long
occupied a seat in the Assembly of the Province. As an architect, he is
entitled to the highest praise for the masterly and surpassingly
beautiful design of Christ Church, erected from his plans in 1727, and
inspired to some extent, so it appears, by Saint Martin-in-the-Fields,
in London.

Dr. William Thornton is to be remembered as the designer of the first
Capitol at Washington whose erection he likewise superintended. When
Latrobe restored the building, after its partial demolition by the
British troops in the War of 1812, he adhered very largely to Dr.
Thornton’s plan. During a long residence in Philadelphia, he took an
active part in public affairs, was elected a member of the American
Philosophical Society and designed the old Philadelphia Library, which
was completed in 1790. Many houses are also to be ascribed to Dr.
Thornton’s agency. His connexion with the federal buildings necessitated
his removal to Washington where he continued to live for the remainder
of his life, occupying a position as first head of the Patent Office.

Interesting as it might be to prolong this biographical chronicle of
amateur architects of the eighteenth century, it is necessary to pass on
to a consideration of the carpenter-architect. Samuel Rhoads, sometime
Mayor of Philadelphia, the designer of the Pennsylvania Hospital, a
structure of which any architect in any century might well feel proud,
occupies a middle ground between the amateur and the carpenter-architect
and his history throws valuable light on conditions affecting the
methods and practice of both. According to the Quaker theory that every
boy should be brought up to a trade, no matter what calling he might
afterward intend to pursue, Rhoads “became a carpenter and builder,
though he did not confine his attention exclusively to this business,
but appears to have branched out into mercantile adventures,
speculations in real estate” and the like. “He was an early member of
The Carpenters’ Company of Philadelphia, and from 1780 until his
decease” was its master. He was exceedingly public-spirited and took an
active part in all enterprises for civic betterment. For a number of
years he sat in the Provincial Assembly where he served on numerous
important committees and was chosen one of the Pennsylvania delegates to
the First Continental Congress. A contemporary writer, in describing the
members of that body, said of him that “he was a respectable merchant of
Philadelphia, belonging to the Society of Friends--without the talent of
speaking in public, he possessed much acuteness of mind, his judgment
was sound, and his practical information extensive.” In October, 1774,
he became Mayor of Philadelphia. When Benjamin Franklin reorganised the
American Philosophical Society, in 1743, Rhoads was one of the officers
and for several years served as one of the vice-presidents.

From the foregoing memoranda it may be seen what manner of man Samuel
Rhoads was and in what esteem he was held by his fellow-citizens. But
what chiefly concerns our present purpose is his connexion, in the
capacity of “carpenter and builder”, with the designing of an
exceptionally fine piece of eighteenth century architecture. When the
Assembly of Pennsylvania, in 1751, passed an act founding the
Pennsylvania Hospital, he was elected a manager by the contributors and
continued on the board for thirty successive years. Ground was secured
and “this purchase being made, a complete plan of the buildings was
directed to be so prepared that a part might be erected, which could be
occupied the ensuing season. [1755.] Samuel Rhoads, one of the managers,
was very zealous in the work and, after consulting the physicians in
regard to the situation of the cells and other conveniences, he
presented a design of the whole building, in such form that one third
might first alone be erected with tolerable symmetry. After due
consideration,” the plan was adopted and, not many years afterward, the
whole design of this carpenter-architect became an accomplished fact to
the lasting satisfaction of succeeding generations.

One of the worthiest of the carpenter-architects was Asher Benjamin of
Massachusetts. Although his work was almost wholly domestic and many of
his commissions would nowadays be classified as “unimportant”, he
nevertheless exerted a markedly beneficial influence upon the
architecture of his day, an influence for which we have reason to be
grateful. He seems to have begun his career as a carpenter in
Greenfield, Deerfield and neighbouring Massachusetts towns. While
working in Greenfield, he published “The Country Builder’s Assistant”,
1796, a book of “simple and practical” scope, containing much suggestive
and useful material. Afterwards, removing to Boston, he published,
partly in collaboration with one D. Raynerd, and partly by himself,
several architectural works of a more ambitious nature. The trade of
carpenter-architect and builder was likewise creditably represented by
numerous other eighteenth century mechanics in New England and the other
parts of the country who, although they did not essay to publish
technical books, were nevertheless far more than mere commercial-minded
artisans perfunctrily “doing the jobs” appointed them and they achieved
the commissions they were entrusted with in a manner to merit the praise
and emulation of modern designers. Nor may we forget the earlier
carpenter-architects of the seventeenth century who created standards of
excellence as a precedent for their successors of the eighteenth
century. Chief among them must be named John Allis of Braintree, born in
1642, who both designed and executed many houses and churches in
Massachusetts in the latter part of the seventeenth century; likewise,
due acknowledgment must be made to John Elderkin, a contemporary of
Allis, who left a deep and beneficial impress upon the architecture of
southeastern Connecticut.

It is exceedingly difficult to draw a sharp line of distinction between
the carpenter-architects and the earliest representatives of the
professionally trained architects whose occupation consisted mainly in
designing buildings and supervising their erection. During the greater
part of the eighteenth century, the many able amateur architects and the
capacity of the carpenter-architects to translate and embody acceptably
in tangible form the conceptions supplied by their employers would
naturally militate against the success of a numerous class of men whose
sole occupation was to design and supervise. It is not at all
improbable, therefore, that some of the men, whom we should be disposed
to regard as the early representatives of the professional architect
class, judging from the importance and visible evidence of the
structures attributed to them, played the rôle of contractors as well
for the erection of the buildings they designed, even though they did
not share in the manual labour. We know, for example, that Richard
Munday first appears in active career as the partner of one Wyatt in a
building or contracting business. His capacity, however, shown by the
Town House or State House in Newport, built from his plans in 1743,
entitles him to a high rank among early American architects.

While some of the early professional architects--the term is not
altogether felicitous but seems necessary for the sake of
differentiating them from the other two classes--were doubtless
self-trained to a great degree, a few appear to have had instruction in
England under competent masters. Notable among them was Peter Harrison,
the architect of the Market or City Hall of Newport, built in 1760, who
was sometime an assistant to Sir John Vanbrugh and is said to have been
a pupil of James Gibbs. McBean, the designer of St. Paul’s Chapel of
Trinity Parish, New York, erected in 1764, is also thought by some to
have been a pupil of Gibbs, although there seems to be no trustworthy
base for such a supposition.

Charles Bulfinch, so deservedly revered in Boston and other New England
cities for the graceful and enduring memorials of his skill there to be
seen on every hand, will always occupy an exalted position among our
early American architects. Probably no one man ever left a stronger
impress upon the architecture of the community in which he lived. His
influence in Boston and the vicinity is quite comparable to the
influence of Sir Christopher Wren upon the appearance of London and we
can readily understand this when we remember that during a half century
of practice he designed in the neighbourhood of forty churches,
libraries, theatres and other public structures in New England, besides
his contributions to domestic work. A discussion of the characteristics
of his individual style is to be found in Chapter X of this volume.
Suffice it here to say that he represented and upheld all the best
traditions and ideals that enter into the making of a worthy architect’s
career. He was fortunate in his environment and made the utmost use of
his opportunities. Born in Boston, in 1763, the son of Dr. Thomas
Bulfinch, an eminent physician, he was educated in the city of his
birth, graduating from Harvard in 1781. He afterwards travelled in
Europe, pursuing, as he went, the study of architecture. This course he
was well calculated to profit by to the fullest extent from naturally
keen powers of observation and discriminating taste. In 1786 he returned
to Boston and thereafter devoted himself to the practice of his
profession. As elsewhere noted, the old Boston Library, the first Boston
theatre, (1793), and the State House on Beacon Hill were among his early
contributions of importance to architecture in his own city but the
scope of his professional activities was not confined to Boston or New
England for, in 1817, he was called to be supervising architect for the
rebuilding of the national Capitol in Washington and retained that post
until its completion in 1830. As one of the fathers of American
architecture, Charles Bulfinch will always stand in a preeminently
honourable place.

Another of the “fathers of architecture in the United States” was
Benjamin Latrobe, a man of extraordinary mental endowments, an
accomplished linguist and scholar, an eminent engineer and architect, a
gallant soldier and a typical gentleman of the old school with all the
best that such a designation implies. Born in 1767, the son of an
English Moravian clergyman in Yorkshire, he was educated in England and
achieved a promising position in his profession, being at one time
Surveyor of Public Offices of the City of London. In 1796, on the eve of
his coming to America, he was offered the post of a Crown Surveyor at
the annual salary of £1000 but, fortunately for American architecture,
he preferred to migrate. During the course of his professional career,
he carried many important engineering projects to a successful issue and
executed many notable architectural commissions. In this connexion he is
perhaps best known as the designer of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in
Baltimore, the Bank of the United States in Philadelphia and by his work
upon the Capitol building at Washington which he was called upon in 1803
to complete and which James Madison, in 1815, asked him to rebuild after
its partial demolition by the British troops in the War of 1812. His
pupil William Strickland of Philadelphia, by structures of his own
designing which included the old Maritime Exchange, the old Mint and
the Philadelphia Naval Asylum, buildings full of substantial dignity and
grace, paid a fitting tribute to Latrobe’s mastership and inspiration.

In the honourable roll of early American architects we must also
remember Major L’Enfant who so ably laid out the plan for the City of
Washington; James Hoban, whose Dublin training and youthful familiarity
with the best of English and Irish Georgian work peculiarly fitted him
for success in his treatment of the old State House at Charleston, South
Carolina, and the White House in Washington; John McComb, among whose
best known works are the City Hall of New York and St. John’s Chapel,
Varick street, and many more designers whose names and individual
achievements one would gladly recall did space permit. The reader,
however, notwithstanding the lack of further specific reference, cannot
fail to recognise from the memoranda already set forth how worthy has
been our architectural past, how able were the men to whom we are
indebted for it, how they worked and how fit are the examples they have
left for our study and emulation.



Adam, Brothers, 111, 152, 170;
  creations, 179;
  elegance, 176;
  influence, 105, 111, 119, 146, 151, 175;
  mantel, 148, 149;
  mode, 179;
  _motifs_, 153;
  oval, 148;
  phase, 168, 170;
  school, 173;
  type, 164.

Adams, John, 123, 189.

Alexandria, Va., 159, 221.

Allis, John, 269.

Alterations, 39.

American Philosophical Society, 266.

André, Major, 200.

Annapolis, Md., 203, 209.

Anne Arundel Co., Md., 96, 162, 163.

Architect, carpenter, 252, 255;
  early American, 252 _et seq._

Architectural, books, 135;
  continuity, 42;
  evolution, 42.

_Architectural Record_, 35.

Architecture, Colonial, definition of, 7, 8;
  Georgian, definition of, 7, 8.

Armorial bearings, 211.

Arnold, Benedict, 93, 141.


“Bait,” horses, 77.

Bake House, Salem, Mass., 53, 54, 55.

Bala, Pa., 69.

Baltimore, Md., 273.

Baluster spindles, 110, 165.

Balustrade, 185.

Barge-board, 73.

Bartram house, 244.

Bartram, John, 132, 133, 151.

Beacon Hill, Boston, 177.

Bedchamber, 91;
  groundfloor, 94, 96.

Beds, truckle or trundle, 45;
  “let down,” 45.

Bells, church, 216.

Belmont, Fairmount Park, Phila., 134, 244.

Belvoir, Anne Arundel Co., Md., 162.

Benjamin, Asher, 268.

Bergen County, N.J., 15.

Berkeley, Governour, 87, 91.

Bermuda, 86.

Bethlehem, Pa., 76.

Beverley, 95.

Bond, 238;
  Dutch cross, 238;
  English, 238;
  Flemish, 137, 186, 221, 222, 223, 225, 238;
  Liverpool, 238;
  running, 238.

Boston, Mass., 52, 54, 209, 271;
  Library, 272;
  Massacre, 190;
  State House at, 177.

Boyd, John, T. Jr., 35.

Braintree, Mass., 269.

Brick, 23, 88, 137, 219, 221, 223, 225, 233;
  building regulations, 84;
  Dutch, 86, 241, 242;
  English, 86, 239, 240;
  imported, 240;
  making in Virginia, 84, 85;
  New Haven Colony, 240;
  prices of, in Virginia, 86;
  use of, in Virginia, 87.

Bricklayers, 83.

Brickwork, 185, 196.

Brown, Joseph, 263.

Brown University, 263.

Bruce, Philip, 94.

Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg, Va., 209, 220.

Bulfinch, Charles, 105, 111, 174, 175, 176, 201, 271, 272;
  influence of, 271;
  Statehouse, 191.

Bulfinch, Dr. Thomas, 272.

Burials, 211.

Byfield, Mass., 107.

Byrd, 94.

Byrd, William, 157.

Byrd, Col. William, 158, 159.


Capital, 188, 227;
  carved, 106;
  Corinthian, 234;
  Ionic, 244.

“Captains’ walks,” 2.


Carpenter, architect, 179.

Carpenters’ Company of London.

Carpenters’ Company of Phila., 256, 266.

Carpenters’ Hall, Phila., 202, 256.

Carpentry, books on, 135.

Carter, Robert, 208, 221.

Carters’ Grove, Va., 162, 163.

Casement, leaded, 53.

Cathedral, Baltimore, Md., 273.

Catskills, 19.

Cedar Grove, Harrogate, Phila., 134.

Cedar Park, Anne Arundel Co., Md., 96, 98.

Cellar, 88.

Chamberlayne, Major Thomas, 88, 91.

Chambers, Sir William, 146, 148, 152.

Chandler, Joseph Everett, 52, 190.

Charleston, S.C., 230.

Chesapeake Bay, 96.

Chester, Pa., 195.

Chew, Chief Justice, 93, 123, 124, 143.

Chimney, 20, 87, 144, 247, 248;
  breast, 146;
  brick, 88;
  brick and stone, 89;
  central, 49;
  clay, 52;
  exterior Southern, 89;
  exterior New England, 89;
  offsets, 89;
  outside, 80, 89;
  pieces continued, 148;
  quadruple, 142;
  sloped weatherings, 89;
  stone, 49.

Chippendale, Treatise on, 146.

Christ Church, Alexandria, Va., 159, 221, 223, 224, 264;
  Lancaster Co., Va., 208, 221, 222;
  Philadelphia, Pa., 119, 125, 186, 210, 211, 216, 226, 227, 229, 230, 262.

Church, bells, 216;
  city, 209;
  “Court”, 209;
  Colonial period, 205 _et seq._

Church of England, 207.

Cipriani, 147.

City Hall, Newport, R.I., 192;
  New York, 274.

Clapboard, 23, 246, 247;
  casing, 50;
  first use of, 50;
  tradition, grafting of, 103;
  in gable ends, 28.

Classic, element, 99;
  formality, 101;
  Revival, 11, 12, 105, 111, 112, 115, 116, 165,
      166, 169, 170, 171, 173-175, 177-180, 191, 201, 203, 235.

Classicism, 101, 169, 171, 173;
  Renaissance, 128;
  revived, 203.

Climate, 252;
  influence of, on architecture, 80.

Climatic conditions, 237.

Cliveden, Germantown, Phila., 93, 124, 143, 144, 150, 152, 244.

Clothing, 214.

Clouston, Treatise on Chippendale, 146.

Coffee houses, 196;
  London, Phila., 196, 197;
  Bradford’s, Phila., 196, 197.

Colonial architecture, definition of, 7, 8.

Colour, contrasting, 202;
  of interior paint, 149;
  Dutch 36.

Column, 178; Corinthian, 172.

Congress Hall, Phila., 189.

Connecticut, 49, 269.

Cooper River, S.C., 96.

Cornice, 72, 108, 138, 233.

Coultas, Col. James, 139, 141.

“Country Builder’s Assistant”, 268, 269.

Country seats, 132.

Court House, Phila., 193, 194.

Craftsmanship, methods of, 80.

Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., 24, 29, 243.

Croton River, 118.

Custom House, Salem, Mass., 192.


Dale, Sir Thomas, 86.

Damon, Capt. Isaac, 264.

Danish strain, 79.

Declaration of Independence, 183, 186.

Deerfield, Mass., 107, 268.

DeLancey, 116.

Delaware, 4, 8, 74, 161, 195;
  County, Pa., 61;
  Georgian, 120, 121.

Door, 138, 143;
  batten, 30;
  divided, 30;
  Dutch, 30;
  house, 92, 96, 97.

Doorway, 140, 163, 169, 185;
  Dutch, 35;
  elaborate, 106;
  plain, 106;
  round arched, 109.

Dormer, 76;
  sharp peaked, 89;
  long, 89.

Drinker, Elizabeth, 196.

Dummer house, Byfield, Mass., 107, 108.

Dutch, brick, 86;
  Colonial type, 12 _et seq._, 29, 31, 115;
  Colonial tradition, 115;
  houses, characteristics of, 24 _et seq._;
  houses in New Jersey and Long Island, 28;
  of Hudson Valley, 21;
  settlers on Delaware, 58.


“E” Plan, 48.

Earle, Alice Morse, 45, 210, 214.

Eaton, Governour Theophilus, 47;
  house, 47;
  inventory, 47.

Eaves, 27, 96, 138, 139;
  flaring, 27.

Economic conditions and architecture, 101.

Eggleston, Edward, 9, 39.

Eggleston George Cary, 239.

Elderkin, John, 269.

Ellsworth, Oliver, 189.

Embury, Aymar, 28.

Empire, style, 12.

England, 100.

English, brick, 86;
  spoken in America, 78.

Entablature, 108.

Entry, New England, 92.

Environment, 252.

Ephrata, Pa., 76.

Episcopalians, 125.

Esopus River, N.Y., 19.

Essex County, N.J., 15.


Fairfax County, Va., 221.

Fair Hill, Phila., 134.

Fairmount Park, Phila., 131, 141, 257.

Faneuil Hall, Boston, 183, 189, 190, 264.

Fan light, 142, 145.

Farm, buildings, 161;
  houses, brick, 74;
  houses, Dutch, 21.

Fatland, Montgomery Co., Pa., 151.

Field stone, 69.

Fireplace, 138, 146, 151;
  Dutch, 34.

First Baptist, Providence, R.I., 263, 264.

Fitzhugh, William, 83, 91.

Flemish, bond, 137, 186, 221, 222, 225, 233;
  scroll, 110, 186.

Forbes, General, 211.

Fort Nassau, N.J., 58.

Framing, 245.

Fraunce’s Tavern, N. Y. City, 116, 117, 192.

French, influence of, 166.

French Revolution, 12.

Frieze, 108.


Gable, 89, 139, 143, 163.

Galleting, 244.

Gallery, 209, 224, 225, 229, 230.

Gambrel, 97;
  roof, 25, 26, 27, 75;
  Southern, 90.

Gardens, Philadelphia, 128.

Georgian, architecture, definition of, 7, 8;
  American phase, 154;
  buildings, 220;
  churches, 221;
  churches of N. Y., 231;
  influence, 10;
  local adaptations, 102, 103;
  Middle Colonies types, 146, 188;
  mode, beginning, 102;
  mode, character of, 99, 100, 103, 105, 106, 109, 110, 112, 113, 114;
  New England, 157;
  period, 120;
  Philadelphia, 128, 129, 130, 154;
  Southern, 156;
  Southern, character of, 162;
  tradition, 190, 228;
  types, 149.

German, principalities, 100;
  sects, 207.

Germans, 60;
  character of settlers, 63;
  influence of, 71, 72;
  as farmers, 65, 66;
  settlers, 62, 63;
  Pennsylvania, 74.

Germantown, Phila., 63, 148;
  Road, 71;
  stone, 143.

Gibbon, Grinling, 110.

Gibbs, James, 119, 148, 230, 271.

Glass, 249.

Gloria Dei, Phila., 224.

Gloucester Point, N.J., 58.

Graeme Park, Horsham, Pa., 69, 93, 106, 126, 135-138, 146, 149, 188.

Grange, the, Montgomery Co., Pa., 134.

Greek Revival, _v._ Classic Revival, 165.

Greene, John, 264.

Greenfield, Mass., 268.

Green Spring, Va., 87, 91.

Grosvenor Road, Westminster, London, 106.

Grumblethorpe, Germantown, Phila., 134.

Gunston Hall, Va., 162.


Hadley, Mass., 107.

Half-timber, 85;
  methods, 51.

Hall, 91, 92, 138, 140;
  central, 96;
  great, 92.

Hamilton, Honourable Andrew, 134, 260, 262.

Hamilton, William, 145.

Harrison, Peter, 192, 271.

Harriton, Bryn Mawr, Pa., 69.

Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass., 191, 272.

Hatfield, Mass., 107.

Haverford, Pa., 61.

Hayward, Nicholas, 83.

Hempstead, L.I., 16.

Henrico, Va., 86, 88, 91.

Henry VIII, 101.

Highlands, the, Whitemarsh Valley, Pa., 134, 144, 148, 150-152.

Hingham, Mass., 232, 234.

Hoban, James, 177, 274.

Hoffmann house, Kingston-on-Hudson, N.Y., 25.

Holland, 16, 22, 100, 148.

Hood, overdoor, 70.

Hope Lodge, Whitemarsh Valley, Pa., 69, 93, 106, 135, 137, 188.

Horsham, Pa., 93, 126, 135.

Hospital, Pennsylvania, Phila., 201.

House, bedchambers in early New England, 44;
  character of early New England, 44;
  Dutch Colonial, 28, 32, 33;
  plan of early New England, 50;
  sleeping arrangements in early New England, 45.

House of Burgesses, Va., 209.

House of Seven Gables, Salem, Mass., 53-55.

Howe, Lord, 200.

Hudson, Hendrick, 58.

Hudson River, 2, 16;
  Valley of, 15, 22, 115.

Hurley, N.Y., 16, 17, 19;
  cheeses, 18.


Independence Hall _v._ State House, Phila., 183.

Indian trails, 65.

Inn yards, 195.

Irving, Washington, 21.


James River, Va., 162.

Jamestown, Va., 86, 87, 205, 206, 207, 209, 218.

Jay, John, 189.

Jefferson, Thomas, 159, 160, 164, 177, 203, 264.

Johnson, Norton, 145.

Joinery, 52.

Jones, Inigo, 101, 128.

Jumel Mansion, New York, 118, 119.


Kearsley, Dr. John, 134, 227, 261, 264, 265.

“Keeping-room”, 47.

Keith, Sir William, 93, 106, 126, 135.

Kemp, Secretary, 86.

Kenmore, Va., 160.

Kent, 148.

Kentucky, 77.

Keyblock, 109.

King’s Chapel, Boston, Mass., 213, 214, 233, 234.

King’s College, N.Y., 192.

Kingsessing, Phila., 139, 244.

Kingston-on-Hudson, N.Y., 16, 25.

Kitchen, early New England, 45, 46;
  detached, 93, 139, 162.


Lambert, Edward E., 48.

Language, vitality of old forms, 78.

Latrobe, Benjamin, 177, 265, 273.

Lean-to, 49;
  additions, 47.

Lee house, Marblehead, Mass., 103, 109.

L’Enfant, Major, 174, 177.

“Lie-on-your-stomach” windows, 30.

Logan, James, 93.

Log-cabin, 43.

London, 83, 151, 271;
  fashions 102, 155.

London Coffee House, Philadelphia, 196, 197.

Long Island, N.Y., 15, 22.

Loyalists, 167, 212.


Macphaedris-Warner House, Portsmouth, N.H., 107, 108.

Macpherson, Captain John, 93, 141.

Madison, James, 273.

Manor House, Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., 24, 29, 243.

Mantels, 98.

Marble, Pennsylvania, 185, 186;
  Scotch, 138.

Marblehead, Mass., 54, 103, 109.

Maritime Exchange, Phila., 274.

Maryland, 3, 4, 8, 75, 77, 96, 162, 163, 207.

Masonry, 226;
  English and Welsh traditions, 68, 243;
  Phila., 243;
  rubble, 243.

Masques, 186;
  grotesque, 118.

Massachusetts, 49, 107, 214, 232, 268, 269.

Materials, 23, 83-85, 103, 127, 236;
  choice of, 252.

McBean, 271.

McComb, John, 177, 274.

McIntire, Samuel, 105, 111, 176, 235.

Medford, Mass., 103.

Mediæval, characteristics, 42;
  survivals, 54, 100.

Meeting house, New England, 231;
  Old Ship, Hingham, Mass., 232, 234;
  Old South, Boston, 232;
  Quaker, 207, 230.

Merion, Pa., 61;
  Lower, 69.

Mey, Captain Cornelius, 58.

Middle Colonies, 11, 22;
  architectural diversity, 66;
  church architecture, 230;
  churches, 207;
  clannishness and isolation, 58;
  diversity in nationality and speech, 57;
types, 57, 80;
  Georgian forms, 120, 127, 184;
  roads, 65;
  trading, 64.

Montgomery Co., Pa., 61.

Monticello, Va., 161, 164, 165, 264.

Moore Hall, Chester Co., Pa., 212.

Moore, Judge, of Moore Hall, 212.

Moravians, 76;
  buildings, 63, 64;
  churches, 231.

Morris, Anthony, 145.

Mortar, 28, 245.

Mouldings, 108, 151, 222;
  Dutch, 36;
  profiles, 144, 152, 153.

Mount Pleasant, Phila., 93, 141, 142, 143, 144, 146, 150, 151, 264.

Mount Vernon, Va., 264.

Mulberry Castle, S.C., 97, 98.

Munday, Richard, 192, 270.

Music, New England, 216.


Nassau, Fort, N.J., 58.

Naval Asylum, Philadelphia, 274.

Netherfield, Phila., 134.

New England, 4, 5, 10, 77, 88;
  Colonial type, 38;
  Georgian, 99, 103, 106, 107, 109, 111, 112;
  survivals of Queen Anne influence, 102.

New Hampshire, 107.

New Haven, Conn., 47.

New Jersey, 8, 16, 74, 120 _et seq._

New Kent Co., Va., 218, 219.

New Netherlands, 16, 17, 20, 21.

Newport, R.I., City Hall, 271;
  State House, 270.

New York City, 114, 209, 230;
  City Hall, 274;
  of Colonial Days, 193.

New York, Georgian, 113.

New York State, 8.

Nieuw Dorp, N.Y., 19.

Northampton, Mass., 264.

North Church, Boston, 234.


Old Dominion, 84, 218.

Old Ship Meeting House, 234.

Old South Meeting House, Boston, Mass., 232.

Old State House, Boston, Mass., 119.

Old Swedes Church, Philadelphia, Pa., 224.

Old York Road, Pa., 135.

Overhang, 54, 55; in South, 90;
  in New England, 90.

Overmantel, 108, 110, 141, 146, 147, 151, 188;
  decorations, 153, 155.

Oxford, Pa., 224.


Paint, 249, 250;
  colour of in XVIIIth century, 149, 150.

Palladian window, 109, 142, 144, 150, 185.

Panel, bevel flush, 141;
  overmantel, 141;
  34, 98, 108, 119, 138, 147, 250, 251.

Park Street Church, Boston, Mass., 235.

Parlour, 92, 141.

“Parson Williams’s” house, Deerfield Mass., 107.

Pediment, 97, 140, 142, 143, 164, 188, 222;
  segmental, 108;
  Swan’s neck, 108.

Pencoyd, Bala, Pa., 69.

Penn, John, 211.

Penn, William, 59, 61, 135, 211, 256, 257.

Pennsbury Manor House, Bucks, Pa., 257.

Pennsylvania, 3, 8, 74, 76, 77, 93, 106, 161, 195, 243;
  Colonial types, 67-76;
  gardens, 133;
  Georgian, 107;
  Georgian characteristics, 121, 152-155;
  Georgian houses, 120, 127, 130-152.

Pennsylvania Historical Society, 262.

Pennsylvania Hospital, 266, 267.

Penthouse, 28, 70, 139, 196.

Peters, Judge, 244.

Pews, 210, 211, 212, 213, 232;
  family, 208;
  Royal Governours’, 210.

Philadelphia, Pa., 3, 58, 93, 177, 209, 210, 271;
  commercial prosperity, 130;
  Colonial metropolis, 121;
  Country houses, 122;
  fox-hunting, 122;
  Georgian types, 128-155;
  life, 122;
  “Republican Court”, 125;
  seat of national government, 189;
  XVIIIth Century architects of, 134.

Philadelphia Library, 135, 266.

Philadelphia Naval Home, 274.

Philipse house, near Tarrytown, N.Y., 116.

Philipse Manor House, Yonkers, N.Y., 117.

Pilaster, 63, 106, 111, 138, 169;
  Ionic, 145, 148.

Pillar, 111, 145, 164, 201;
  attenuation of, 176;
  Tuscan, 229.

Pine Street Market, Phila., 194.

Plan, balanced, 99.

Pohick Church, Va., 159, 221-224, 264.

“Pokes” of tobacco, 77.

Pompeian refinements, 111.

Porch, origin of, 28, 29.

Portico, 145, 150, 164, 172, 201, 223.

Portius, James, 135, 256, 257.

Portsmouth, N.H., 107.

Post-Colonial types, 166-181.

Powel house, Phila., 124.

Precedent, English, 88.

Preferences, hereditary, 80, 83.

Presbyterians, 125.

Providence, R.I., First Baptist Church, 263, 264.

Public buildings, 182-204.

Pugging, 52, 246.


Quaker, 60;
  hostility to theatre, 200;
  influence, 122;
  predilections, 106;
  scruples, 107.

Queen Anne, 101, 107, 116;
  New England affinities, 107;
  Middle Colonies Georgian affinities, 152;
  tradition, 75;
  urns, 152.

Queen Anne’s Gate, Westminster, London, 106.

Quoin, 24, 219, 223;
  brick, 141.


Radnor, Pa., 61, 212, 224, 225.

Raynerd, D., 269.

Renaissance, 100, 170, 173;
  classicism, 128;
  feeling, 220.

Restorations, 52, 53, 190.

Revere, Paul, house of, Boston, 54;
  household, 44, 45.

Rhoads, Samuel, 266-268.

Rhode Island, 49.

Roof, 76, 87, 89, 119, 139, 140, 143, 224, 226, 230;
  gambrel, 25, 26, 75, 138;
  Dutch gambrel, 26;
  New England gambrel, 26;
  hip, 142, 186, 232, 234;
  hipped gambrel, 97, 138;
  jerkin-head, 196, 197;
  mansard, 97;
  pitch, 88, 96, 97.

Rosicrucians, 63.

Roughcast, 244.

Royall house, Medford, Mass., 103, 107.

Rubble, 23.

Rutledge, John, 189.


Saint Anne’s, Annapolis, Md., 209.

Saint David’s, Radnor, Pa., 69, 212, 213, 224-226.

Saint John’s Chapel, Varick St., N.Y., 274.

Saint Luke’s, Smithfield, Va., 218, 219.

Saint Martin’s-in-the-Fields, London, 227.

Saint Michael’s, Charleston, S.C., 230.

Saint Paul’s Chapel, N.Y., 230, 271.

Saint Peters, New Kent Co., Va., 218, 219;
  Phila., 228-230.

Salem, Mass., 176, 192.

Saxon, strain of, 79.

Schuyler house, Albany, N.Y., 118.

Schuylkill River, 58, 131.

Scroll, 147;
  Flemish, 110, 186;
  Ionic, 132.

Seating, in churches, 209, 210, 211.

Servants’ quarters, 92, 93, 139, 143.

Seventh Day Baptists, 76.

Shingles, 247;
  cypress, 88.

Shutters, Dutch, 36.

Skippack Creek, Pa., 63.

“Slawbank,” 45.

Smibert, John, 264.

Smith, Capt. John, 205.

Smithfield, Va., 218.

“Soaked” bread, 77.

Society of Friends, 122, 154.

South Carolina, 8, 96, 164, 274.

Southern Colonial, 162;
  characteristics, 79;
  house plan, 90, 91, 92;
  house surroundings, 94, 95;
  type, 77, 96;
  type, brick houses, 96;
  type, plan, 87;
  type, materials, 85.

Southern Georgian, 156, 159;
  characteristics, 162;
  peculiarities, 161.

Southern planters, 157.

Southwark, Phila., 199, 200.

Staircase, 110;
  winding, 49.

Stairway, 139, 140, 226;
  Dutch Colonial, 33.

State House, Annapolis, Md., 203;
  Bulfinch, Boston, Mass., 189, 191, 272;
  Charleston, S.C., 274;
  Newport, R.I., 192, 270;
  Old, Boston, Mass., 183, 189, 190;
  Philadelphia, Pa. (Independence Hall), 119, 183,
      184, 186, 189, 198, 261, 262, 263.

Stenton, Phila., 93, 106, 137, 138, 149, 163, 188.

Stone, 23, 152;
  cut, 127;
  dressed, 23, 127;
  field, 243;
  quarried, 243.

Stonework, 244;
  Welsh, 226.

Stratton house, Va., 91.

Strickland, William, 177, 273.

String course, 72.

Stucco, 23, 24, 91, 244, 245.

Stuyvesant, Peter, 17.

Sweden, 100.

Swedes, character of, 59;
  settlements of, 58, 59, 65;
  influence of, in Pennsylvania, 59.


Textures, of Walls, 236.

Theatre, first Philadelphia, 199, 200;
  American Company, 200;
  first, Boston, 272;
  “New,” Phila., 201.

Thornton, Dr. William, 177, 264, 265, 266.

Thoroughgood, Adam, house, 88, 89.

Torus, 108.

Town Hall, Chester, Pa., 195;
  Newcastle, Del., 195.

Tradition, force of, 39; half-timber, 52;
  identity of, 40;
  persistence of architectural, 42, 78, 79;
  preservation of, 252;
  Southern, 84.

Transom, 75, 138;
  small light, 106.

Trappe Meeting House, Pa., 231.

Trims, brick, 140;
  door and window, 24, 141, 149;
  wood, 237.

Trinity Church, Newport, R.I., 234;
  Oxford, Pa., 224, 226.

Trinity Parish, N. Y. City, 271.

Tuckahoe, Va., 162, 163.

Tulip Hill, West River, Md., 163.

Tympanum, countersunk, 108.


Upsala, Germantown, Phila., 144, 145, 148, 150, 152.

Urn, 140, 144, 152.

Ury House, Fox Chase, Phila., 134.


Vanbrugh, Sir John, 192, 271.

Van Cortlandt, 116;
  Park, N. Y. City, 118;
  Manor House, Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., 118;
  house, N. Y. City, 119.

Van Rensselaer house, 118.

Varick Street, N. Y. City, 274.

Vaux Hill, Montgomery Co., Pa., 151.

Virginia, 3, 4, 8, 75, 77;
  brick-making and export, 85, 86;
  churches, 220;
  church architecture, 218;
  Economic Hist, of in XVIIIth cent., 94;
  families, 81;
  flowers and bushes imported, 94;
  manner of life in early, 82, 83;
  settlers’ characteristics, 82;
  social distinctions, 82;
  University of, 203, 264.


Wainscot, 138.

Wales, 100.

Walls, 75, 139;
  texture of, 152.

Warder, diary of Anne, 123.

Ware, 148.

Washington, city of 274;
  capitol at, 177.

Washington, George, 159, 200, 221, 264, 272;
  equipage of, 125;
  leave-taking of army, 116;
  second inauguration, 189.

“Wattle and dab,” 52.

Wayne, Anthony, 213.

Wayne Isaac, 213.

Waynesborough, Paoli, Pa., 69.

Welsh, architectural peculiarities, 68;
  as immigrants, 60, 61;
  influence of, 61, 62;
  masonry, 67, 68.

Welsh Barony, Pa., 61, 67, 213.

Wemyss, Lady Williamina, of Moore Hall, Pa., 212.

Westminster, London, 107.

Westover, Va., 157.

West River, Md., 163.

Whitby Hall, Kingsessing, Phila., 139, 140, 141, 143, 144, 146, 152.

White House, Washington, 274.

Whitemarsh Valley, Pa., 93, 135, 148.

William and Mary, 101.

Williamsburg, Va., 209, 220.

Wilton, 147.

Window, 143, 233;
  basement, 141;
  casing, 108;
  church, 221, 230;
  circular, 163;
  diamond-paned, 48;
  dormer, 72, 142;
  double hung sash, 53;
  early forms of, 108;
  elliptical, 222;
  glazing, 91;
  heads, 137;
  “lie-on-your-stomach,” 30;
  leaded, 249;
  Palladian, 109, 142, 144, 150, 185, 223, 228, 229;
  treatment of, 145.

Wissahickon Creek, Phila., 63.

Woodlands, Phila., 133, 144, 145, 148, 150, 151.

Woodwork, 127, 138, 141, 163, 188, 228.

Workmen, 83.

Worshipful Company of Carpenters, London, 135, 257.

Wren, Sir Christopher, 101, 129, 221, 228, 272;
  feeling, 230.

Wren, James, 221.

Wyatt, Governour, 84.

Wyck, Germantown, Phila., 71, 72, 73, 245.

Wynnestay, Phila., 67, 68, 69, 72, 73.


Yonkers, N.Y., 116.

York County, Va., 91.


[A] It should be plainly stated that Mr. Chandler, in the course of
his investigations and restorations, feels that he has discovered no
evidence sufficiently convincing to warrant an assertion, _positive
beyond all peradventure_, that clapboards were applied to the oldest
houses at a date subsequent to their original construction and as a
remedy for the structural shortcomings of half-timber methods when
subjected to the rigours of the New England climate. Clapboards, it
is true, were used at a very early date and may, perhaps, have been
employed from the first as a coating over an underlying half-timber
base. Of one thing, however, there can be no question--the existence
of half-timber construction beneath the clapboards in many of
the oldest buildings. In view of this assured fact and the early
settlers’ habitual fidelity to traditional practices, it seems a not
unwarrantable presumption that half-timber work antedated the use
of clapboards by some years until the poor quality of the pugging
and the warping of unseasoned timbers compelled the adoption of some
satisfactory remedy.

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