I've had my nose in A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia McAlester and Lee McAlester for the past couple days. It's come as a great relief to understand the architectural style of the typical New Orleans shotgun home with East Lake detailing: they're Folk Victorians!
Anyhow, I was reading the section on Tudor Revival and saw St. Louis's offerings prominently featured. I could tell the house was a Northampton (possibly Southampton or Lindenwood Park) beauty--a dominating front gable that dramatically plunged down to the entryway. It also had the requisite "gingerbread" frosting along the foundation and framing the windows, doors, and corners. Most in St. Louis are familiar with this type of house, which occurs quite often in neighborhoods that were built up between 1915 and 1935.
No neighborhood seems to embrace the style quite as ubiquitously as Northampton, though. Luckily, despite my inability to secure my own pictures, Doug Duckworth has me covered! He recently took a photo tour of Northampton in the area around the amazing La Tropicana and the wonderful World Cafe.
I failed to mention how these homes often exaggerate their chimneys, but this picture has served me well in conveying this.
Aha! Another Tudor Revival feature: the false half-timbering. Those decorative timbers are not structural, but were meant to evoke their older English counterparts.
The Gothic arch doorway is a nice detail, though not typical to Tudor Revival.
Notice the tiny window in the lesser gable and, of course, the swooping and front-and-center gable that screams Tudor. As if to spite me, this one has a Gothic-arched door as well, though it's not quite as pronounced.
I won't pillage all of Doug's collection; you must visit the rest here.
But just thinking to how there are entire blocks of these "Hansel and Gretel" houses made me believe it's about time to add this charming neighborhood to the National Register. My suggestion for a name: Southwest St. Louis Tudor Revival Historic District. Or Northampton Tudor Historic District. I suppose the name Northampton only adds to the tribute to our neighbors across the pond.
This style was so popular in the early and middle 20th century that we were lucky enough to see whole neighborhoods of them. While perhaps neighborhoods like Northampton lack the gritty urbanism and architectural diversity of the neighborhoods to the east, it is hard to argue that these rows of frosted gables, tiny casement windows, rustic shutters, half-timbering--and yes, the stained glass!--are somehow unattractive.
Take a stroll down Lindenwood, or Pernod, or Fairview, or any number of Northampton streets and tell me you're not impressed by the playful intimacy of these little cottages.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Dotage St. Louis -- Blogging the St. Louis Built Environment Since 2008
Topics: Historic Preservation, Politics and Government, Development, Architecture, Urban Planning, Urban Design, Local Business, Crime and Safety, Neighborhoods, and Anything Else Relating to Making St. Louis a Better City!