Tudor Revival Architecture
Because Massachusetts was one of the first areas that was settled by newcomers from Europe, a wide array of architectural styles are represented throughout the state. In virtually any community in Massachusetts, you can find great examples of many popular types of architecture. While public buildings tend to be among the most celebrated, everyday homes are equally reflective of the changing views and styles of locals as the years progressed. The Tudor Revival style has left an indelible mark on homes and buildings around the state. Whether you're looking to buy a Tudor Revival home or are just curious about this particular architectural style, Boston City Properties has you covered.
Toward the second half of the 19th century, the Victorian Gothic Revival went into full swing around New England. Extensively ornamented and visually busy, this style was embraced by many in the New World. However, as with so many things, a backlash of sorts started to happen. People became tired of the overly detailed style. With its simple, rustic aesthetic, Tudor Revival was a natural response to this backlash. Today, it is possible to find homes and buildings all across Massachusetts that feature this enduringly popular architecture.
Tudor Revival architecture was not born in the United States. Just like many of the people who resided in New England during the early years of the country, Tudor Revival was originally developed over in England. It first started to appear in the UK around the middle of the 1800s. The style swiftly gained popularity and continued to be prominent in England through the end of the 19th century. Not surprisingly, it didn't take long for it to make its way across the ocean, where it was quickly embraced by Americans. It became particularly popular in New England, where its steeply pitched roofs allowed snow to slide off with ease.
Characteristics of Tudor Revival Architecture
Do you know a Tudor Revival home or building when you see one? This architectural style is characterized by a number of unique features. It was originally inspired by the medieval country houses and cottages of Europe. However, the revival aspect added many additional features, including the instantly recognizable steep-pitched roof. Tudor Revival homes also typically boast the following features:
• Large, decorative chimney - This feature wasn't just for show. It served the very practical purpose of keeping a home and its inhabitants warm. Fireplaces were often used to prepare food in the early days too, so a home without a chimney was unheard of. In the Tudor Revival style, the chimney was typically quite large and very tall. Unlike chimneys on many homes, chimneys on Tudor Revival homes weren't just utilitarian; they were designed to enhance the overall appearance of a home.
• Wooden upper sections - On Tudor Revival homes, the upper half is traditionally made out of high-quality wood. Often times, this section features half timbering that is filled in with ornate patterns of bricks. You can easily find homes in Massachusetts in the Tudor Revival style that feature half-timbered upper sections with herringbone brickwork.
• Steeply pitched roof - Traditional medieval cottages and country homes typically featured gently sloped roofs. Tudor Revival switched things up by adding a steeply pitched roof. In America, this was done for a very practical reason: to keep snow, rain and ice from accumulating on the roof. Needless to say, this feature was especially important in Boston and throughout New England, where winters can be downright brutal.
• Overhanging upper floors - Jettied, or overhanging, upper floors are quite common among Tudor Revival homes and buildings. Most often, a portion of the overhanging upper story served as a roof of sorts over a large porch. It was typically supported by pillars, adding to the stately quality of this architectural style.
• Tall windows - On most Tudor Revival homes, windows are tall and feature eye-catching mullions.
• Gables - You will quickly notice that homes of this architectural style tend to have prominent gables. Many feature several gables, which lend these structures more complex designs. Still, when compared with Victorian Gothic architecture, Tudor Revival is very clean and simple.
In terms of the materials that are typically used in this architectural style, you will mostly find brick designs in New England and Massachusetts. However, stone is also used quite often. Some Tudor Revival homes are largely made out of slate. In some parts of the country, these homes are overwhelmingly made out of stucco. Either way, the types of materials that are used in this type of architecture are collectively referred to as "noble materials" for their enduring quality. Indeed, thanks to the quality of the materials that are traditionally used, Tudor Revival homes tend to stand the test of time well, so it is fairly easy to find well-preserved older homes in this style around the region.
Tudor Revival wasn't just a response to the ornate style of Victorian Gothic architecture. It also arose in the U.S. around the time of the Industrial Revolution, which is also when many businessmen made their fortunes. With so much money flowing and changing hands, people were more than happy to pour copious amounts of cash into the construction of their homes. Because Tudor Revival gained prominence during the mid-19th century, when business was booming, it dominated the landscape for some time. It's still easy to find homes and buildings in this style in both urban and rural areas around Massachusetts.
The interiors of these homes tended to be fairly simple. However, certain elements were usually added to lend the insides of these homes more eye-catching looks. In particular, stained glass panels were often added to windows and around doors to add a splash of style and color. This practice endures to this day, and it lends Tudor Revival homes an especially cozy and welcoming ambiance. Additionally, due to their large chimneys, these homes typically have massive stone hearths. You will notice that family rooms or living rooms in these homes are usually dominated by eye-catching hearths.
Examples of Tudor Revival architecture abound throughout Boston and Massachusetts. Perhaps the best-known example of this style in the Boston area is The Castle at Boston University. This public building is primarily used for concerts, receptions and other events. It is often open to the public, so you can head over there for a first-hand look of Tudor Revival architecture in all of its glory. The Adams Building, which is located on Hancock Street in Quincy, is another great example of this style. You can also find numerous great examples in communities like Springfield, Waltham and Cambridge.
Are you interested in buying a Tudor Revival home in Massachusetts? Boston City Properties can help. Sign up for free access to our constantly updated database of MA real estate listings to quickly identify homes that suit your needs. Limit your search to a specific geographic area, and then use our search filters to zero in on homes that meet your requirements. We also have skilled real estate experts around the state who can help you find beautiful Tudor Revival homes. For more information, please contact Boston City Properties today.