Friday, November 15, 2013

West Ridge Architecture #3 - Gabled Colonials

In this series you're going to see more examples of buildings types than you might expect. Or want. My intent is the same as a natural history museum seeking to show the variations present in a population, including the typical and the atypical. If that means I have to draw nearly identical buildings, so be it.

These homes are very similar to the Georgian-revivals detailed in the previous post, but some minor changes make them appear distinctive.  The architect has pulled a portion of the front facade slightly forward and extended the wall upwards to create a gable.  This has the effect of breaking up the massing of the facade and creating a more vertical orientation.  But the total square footage of the homes are probably identical.

Again, there is an offset front entrance balanced by a decorative bay window. These are primarily brick with stone details, although there are a few unusual examples on Fitch which are entirely clad in stone. More typically, stone is used as an ornamental accent for the front door and as cladding below the sill of the projecting bay. 

A number of these homes have front facing single-car attached garages. This is odd to me, since the blocks in West Ridge also have alleys.  Private driveways are a common suburban feature, but are somewhat luxurious in dense Chicago neighborhoods.  I'm guessing that parcels with a little extra width were provided with attached garages as selling points, but also as a way to evoke the type of suburban construction which was  attracting new homeowners in the 1950s.  The addition of driveways to the streetscape break up the front yards, but the lack of fences in these areas help to maintain a feeling of space.