The Neocolonial style is considered to be one of the Neoeclectic styles. According to Virginia and Lee McAlester in A Field Guide to American Houses, Neocolonial houses are considered “very free adaptations of English Colonial precedents that grew from the preceding and generally more historically precise, Colonial Revival style. Neocolonial houses occur throughout the post-1940 period but sharply increased in popularity with the expansion of Neoeclecticism through the 1970s.” In addition, the authors note that in Neocolonial houses “very free interpretations of colonial door surrounds, colonnaded entry porches, and dentiled cornices are used.” Importantly, Virginia and Lee McAlester conclude that the Neocolonial style “has been continuously popular but never dominant. It was overshadowed by the Ranch and other modern styles through the 1950s and 60s and by other Neoeclectic styles during the ’70s and early ’80s.” Please see below for more common features of Neo-Colonial houses.
As noted in “Architectural Movements of the Recent Past” by Alan Higgins, the defining features of the Neo-Colonial style are:
- Partial width porch supported by classical columns
- Elaborate door surrounds, sidelights common
- Simulated multi-pane windows
- Multiple hipped roofline
- Dentils or modillions or a small frieze
- Tall windows common, sometimes arched
- Temple Like entrance
- Double hung windows with shutters
- Palladian Windows
- Higgins, Alan. “Architectural Movements of the Recent Past,” http://alan-higgins.com/ (accessed March 1, 2010).
- McAlester, Virginia and Lee. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Knopf, 1991.