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Tudor Style Architecture

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The Tudor Style, 1900-1940

Triumph Of The Romantic Revivals

dallas m streets tudor The Tudor Style came into favor as a result of the romanticism which has always been a recurring factor in American architecture. The romantic movements always found solace in architectural styles of the past. This romanticism expressed itself in the period after World War I by a rejection of the carefully reasoned tenets of the Prairie School and the Arts and Crafts Movement. The architectural motifs associated with these movements quickly lost favor.

The early years of the Tudor Style overlapped the dwindling years of the Craftsman Style, but the fundamental ideals of the two styles were in conflict. While the Craftsman and Prairie School designs were a response to American ideals of simplicity and a belief in the power of new technology, Tudor-style houses borrowed from idealized images of rural England and the writings of John Ruskin (English critic and social theorist, 1819-1900). Paradoxically, the Tudor Style (and other romantic revival styles) became more and more popular as emerging technologies of the time became more and more important to the daily life of the middle-class homeowner.

Brick Veneering makes tudor style affordable

dallas m streets tudor The flowering of the Tudor Style in the M-Street area was hastened by the coming of a new technology in homebuilding: the brick veneer exterior wall. Brick veneer was a cheap way to get the appearance of a traditional solid-masonry wall at a fraction of the cost. (It continues to serve that purpose today.) Brick veneering was not in wide use during the heyday of the Craftsman Style homes; most suburban bungalows in Dallas have wood siding. But the Tudor homes were almost always executed in brick veneer, with a generous measure of stucco and fieldstone trim.

Light Brick Colors

In most other areas of the country, traditional dark-colored brick was most often used on Tudor Style homes. This was often true in Dallas as well. But in Dallas, particularly in the M-Street area, large numbers of homes (perhaps the majority) were built with blond bricks and light colored bricks. This seems to have been part of a general confusion of Mediterranean and Tudor architectural motifs, with a healthy measure of Gothic Revival thrown into the pot as well. The suburban builders of the time were not seeking architectural purity, but the attainment of a quaint and picturesque quality. In this they succeeded very well.

Doors And Windows

Front doors are often (though not always) turned sideways to the street. In this subordinate location they do not distract attention from the huge gables and the complicated chimneys. Street facing windows are frequently casement windows (sashes hinged at the side),often with elaborate leaded stained glass. Sometimes the casement windows are absent, but the double-hung windows which take their place often have an arch incorporated into the upper sash or the trim detailing. The street windows are usually vertical and independent.

The windows on the back and side walls of the house are most often ganged double-hung windows, similar to the ganged on Craftsman Bungalows. On the Tudor homes these double-hung windows usually have one large paine of glass in the upper sash and another large pane of glass in the lower sash.

A Versatile Style

dallas m street tudor duplexThe Dallas version of the Tudor style was easily applied to duplexes and fourplexes, as well as single family homes. A number of two story brick duplexes were built in this area during the late 1920's and early 1930's. Most of them incorporate Tudor elements into their facades, just like the houses.

Hard Times

The Tudor Style suburban house of the 1920's represented a retreat to the imagined simplicity of another century in the distant past. As the economic hardships of the Great Depression stifled homebuilding, the elaborate and expensive (and distinctive) elements of Tudor Style slowly disappeared, leaving only a faint shadow of the quaint and picturesque qualities which brought the style into favor twenty years before.

The Tudor Style lost favor during the Great Depression. By the beginning of World War II it had largely been replaced by a new revival of Early American architectural motifs.

tudor style architecture

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