|EARLY 20TH CENTURY RESIDENTIAL|
|Homestead Temple House 1900-1920|
|Period Cottages 1910-1935|
|Basement House/Hope House 1920-1950|
|Cape Cod 1925-1945|
|Clipped Gable Cottage 1915-1935|
The transition from the last decades of the 19th century into the 20th saw an increasing vocabulary of residential architectural types and styles. The rather austere and rigid
classicism of the early 19th century was slowly replaced with buildings more organic in form. Various wings, dormers, or turrets sprouted from the central core on houses as asymmetry became more fashionable in Victorianism.
But the turn of the 20th century ushered in a modern era of architectural design. Suddenly, houses with all the appendages and accoutrements of the Victorian era looked ungainly and old-fashioned, and the less visible and intrusive on the landscape a house was, the better. The transition was not drastic, but basic forms began to simplify. The Prairie School style developed by Frank Lloyd Wright with its low-to-the ground, simple lines influenced the then-developing bungalow. This house type—and not just the Prairie School influenced version—became the house of choice and neighborhoods sprung up everywhere in the state. Following World War I, historical reference became important again in the public taste of architecture as various European and other cultural influences played into the design of the next most popular house type in Utah, the Period Cottage.
During this era economics played a role in the vast numbers of houses being constructed, but also the relative decrease in size of the average house to meet the planning needs of communities. However, no matter what city or town one travels to in Utah, one will likely find several examples of houses from this era!
Homestead Temple House 1900-1920
The homestead temple house is a later incarnation of the temple form of the early settlement era of Utah. However, the differences lie in the construction date and t ypical materials used. The mass-produced version of this later house type was popular throughout the country—particularly the Midwest—and was found in both urban and rural settings. However, in Utah, the homestead temple house was not as common. It is typically found in later settled areas of the state, with somewhat “boomtown” economies. The type features a gable-end primary façade, like the earlier temple form, typically with a porch. But while early temple-form houses were more substantial, being constructed of stone or stucco over adobe, the later versions were less permanent—frame constructed with clapboard, drop siding, masonite, asbestos tile, or asphalt shingle siding. The appearance is almost more akin to a two-story bungalow than the earlier classically influence temple form.
The foursquare house type is a one- or two-story cube-shaped house with a hipped or pyramidal roof. Often it has a wide one-story front porch and a centrally placed hipped dormer in the roof. Primarily associated with the Neoclassical and Prairie School styles, foursquare houses generally consist of four roughly square rooms on each floor.
The entrance may lead directly into a living room or to a center or side passage. The large two-story examples of the foursquare were moderately popular in Utah cities and represent a clear rejection of the eclectic irregularity of the Victorian styles. The one-story foursquare was a common residence in Utah’s mining towns after 1900.
As a popular dwelling type in Utah in the years before World War I, the bungalow was a noticeably low, ground-hugging house of one or one-and-a-half stories and a rectangular plan. It had a low-pitched roof that projected conspicuously out over the eaves. Decoration itself was sparse, being generally limited to exposed structural features such as rafter ends, exaggerated purlins and king posts, and heavy, tapered porch posts supporting the overhanging front porch. Porches and verandas facilitated access; inside the house, circulation was unrestricted and spaces open. Convenience was emphasized, so bungalows were generally equipped with small efficient kitchens and built-in features such as bookcases and tables. Most Utah bungalows were built by local contractors following ideas contained in popular pattern books and home-improvement magazines.
Four main bungalow types are encountered in Utah. The first has its narrow end placed toward the street and may have either a low-pitched Prairie School style hipped roof or an Arts and Crafts style gable roof. The second type is a one-and-a-half story house characterized by a broad gable roof that projects out over the front porch. There is almost always a centrally placed dormer having either a shed or gable roof. The third type of bungalow is a small gabled cottage fronted by a Bungalow style porch. The fourth is almost difficult to characterize as a bungalow, as it does not always feature a front porch. This is the box bungalow, and is a very simplified version with the front entrance at the gable end of the house, but no porch, or just a small stoop in place of the porch.
Period Cottages 1910-1935
Utah architecture between the two world wars was characterized by the revival of aesthetic concepts associated with particular historic periods. A range of house types emerged that in a general way imitated older medieval building forms. These “period houses” often had rectangular floor plans in a hall-parlor or central-passage configuration, or were variants of the cross-wing house with one projecting wing. Appearing deceptively small from the street, often they actually extended deep into the lot.
Stylistically, period cottages ranged from Spanish Colonial to Mission, but they most commonly the styles are English Tudor and English Cottage. Period cottages populated the expanding suburbs of larger cities like Salt Lake City, Provo, Ogden, and Logan, but are found in rural communities as well.
Basement House/Hope House 1920-1950
The basement house is a concept that actually relates back to early settlement times in Utah when families would construct expedient subterranean dwellings (dugouts) where there were few resources or little time to build an above-ground dwelling. The basement house (also known as “Hope Houses” because of the hope that someday they could be expanded upon), was an inexpensive means in the 20th century of obtaining a house for those who could not afford a larger one. Basement houses typically consist of a concrete floor approximately six feet below grade and formed concrete walls that rise about three feet above grade. Basement houses can have a either a flat roof or a gabled roof. Typically, the house is accessed by an exterior stairwell descending to the entry, but flat roof versions may have a rooftop entrance with an enclosed entryway projecting above the roof. Floor plans are similar to those of other houses of the era. When financial means allowed, the roof would be removed and an above-ground story added, essentially turning the original portion of the house into a basement. The percentage of basement houses converted to above-ground houses is not known since they are difficult to distinguish once they have been expanded. Early tax photos may help identify a house that was converted from a basement house.
Cape Cod 1925-1945
The 20th-century Cape Cod type harkens back to colonial New England, the region where this house type developed. Like the period cottage, the Cape Cod heavily references earlier architecture in its exterior appearance; however, the interior was completely modernized to contemporary standards.
The basic form is a boxy primary mass with a steeply pitched gable roof parallel to the street. The main distinguishing feature that sets the Cape Cod apart from other nondescript period cottage or WWII-era cottage forms is the gabled dormers on the front of the roof. Although two dormers is typical, there may be a single dormer or as many as four. Some examples have attached garages, although these are not common. Because of its distinct appearance, the Cape Cod is also noted as a style.
Clipped Gable Cottage 1915-1935
A sort of cross between a bungalow and a period cottage, the primary distinguishing feature of the clipped-gable cottage is, as its name suggests, clipped or jerkin head gables on the roof. Typically situated with the broad side and roofline parallel to the street, this type usually has a centrally placed main entrance under a projecting porch. The broad façade and lengthwise orientation of the house is reminiscent of a period cottage, while the large porch echoes that of a bungalow.
The clipped gable roof ends lend a touch of the Colonial Revival style, while other ornamentation may imply the Arts and Crafts or Prairie School styles. Not quite a bungalow and not quite a Period Cottage, the clipped-gable cottage was popular in newly developing subdivisions in the 1920s and 1930s as well as in older neighborhoods as infill. This type can also be found in rural settings on larger lots. Because of its distinct characteristics, the clipped gable cottage is also an architectural style.