- American Foursquare
The American Foursquare or American Four Square is an American house style popular from the mid-1890s to the late 1930s. A reaction to the ornate and mass produced elements of the Victorian and other Revival styles popular throughout the last half of the 19th century, the American Foursquare was plain, often incorporating handcrafted "honest" woodwork (unless purchased from a mail-order catalogue). This style incorporates elements of the Prairie School and the Craftsman styles. It is also sometimes called Transitional Pyramid.
The hallmarks of the style include a basically square, boxy design, two-and-one-half stories high, usually with four large, boxy rooms to a floor, a center dormer, and a large front porch with wide stairs. The boxy shape provides a maximum amount of interior room space, to use a small city lot to best advantage. Other common features included a hipped roof, arched entries between common rooms, built-in cabinetry, and Craftsman-style woodwork.
A typical design would be as follows: first floor, from front to back, on one side, the living room and dining room; while on the other side, the entry room or foyer, stairway and kitchen. Sometimes a bathroom was also included. Second floor, front to back, on one side, bedroom, bathroom and bedroom; while on the other side, bedroom, stairway and bedroom. The bedrooms had a slightly longer dimension along the front and back of the house with side by side closets between the bedrooms. This gave a very efficient layout with a bedroom in each corner and a centralized bathroom and stairway. The top floor was generally just a big open space with one to four dormers. The basement generally contained a large natural convection furnace.
Foursquare Houses may be built with a variety of materials, including bricks and wood frames. Later models include built-in shelves and other amenities. Large tracts of these homes exist in older urban neighborhoods, particularly streetcar suburbs, but the design was used everywhere.
As with other styles in streetcar suburbs, it was tailored to relatively narrow lots, and was multi-story, allowing more square-footage on a smaller footprint. The American Foursquare style is occasionally revived in new developments, although its appeal is as a "traditional looking" style rather than a fully authentic one, often including modern 2-car attached garages and other features absent in originals, and typically built on larger lots.
The American Foursquare or "Prairie Box" was a post-Victorian style, which shared many features with the Prairie architecture pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright. During the early 1900s and 1910s, Wright even designed his own variations on the Foursquare, including the Robert M. Lamp House, "A Fireproof House for $5000, and several two-story models for the American System-Built Homes. Unlike other houses of the style, Wright's versions featured more open main floor plans achieved by removing or minimizing partitions between the entry, living room, and dining room. He in turn inspired Other Prairie School architects, such as Walter Burley Griffin, to design similar Foursquares in the following decades. Later Foursquares often had the same type of interiors as Bungalows with open floor plans, lots of built-ins, and fireplaces. Many examples are trimmed with tiled roofs, cornice-line brackets, or other details drawn from Craftsman, Italian Renaissance, or Mission architecture.
The Foursquare was a popular mail-order era style along with the California bungalow. When one was ordered, it came in a boxcar with a book of directions and all the parts pre-cut and numbered for self-assembly. These homes are particularly common in neighborhoods near rail-lines built in this era. The largest mail-order house catalog companies were Sears and Aladdin.
- Some pictures of Foursquares
- Riverside Manor, Everett WA
- Four-Square in St. Paul, MN
- An online diary of one family's efforts to renovate their 1901 Foursquare
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
AMERICAN FOURSQUARE — [m2] American Foursquare houses date from 1895 to the 1930s and are so named for their boxy shape and four part floor plan. These houses were typically simpler and more economical than the Victorian homes of previous years. They were… … Historical Dictionary of Architecture
Foursquare (disambiguation) — Foursquare may refer to any of the following:* The American Foursquare or American Four Square is an American house style popular from the mid 1890s to the late 1930s. * Four square as a is a ballgame played by four players on a square court. *… … Wikipedia
American Craftsman — Craftsman style bungalow in San Diego, California. Craftsman style homes are common in older neighborhoods of many American cities. The American Craftsman Style, or the American Arts and Crafts Movement, is an American domestic architectural,… … Wikipedia
Foursquare — Logo de foursquare Création Mars 2009 Personnages clés Dennis Crowley,Naveen Selvadurai,Harry Heymann,Nathan Folkman,Mike Singleton … Wikipédia en Français
American Arts and Crafts Movement — Craftsman style bungalow in San Diego, Kalifornien. Craftsman Stil Häuser sind häufig in älteren Stadtvierteln von vielen amerikanischen Städten. American Arts and Crafts Movement oder amerikanische Craftsman Style, ist ein Stil in der… … Deutsch Wikipedia
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel — Jesus Christ the Savior, Baptizer, Healer, Coming King Classification Protestant Orientation Pentecostal Associations Pentecostal/Charismatic … Wikipedia
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel — Logo der International Church of the Foursquare Gospel: Jesus Christus als Retter, Täufer, Heiler und wiederkommender König. Die International Church of the Foursquare Gospel ist eine evangelikale, pfingstkirchlich geprägte christliche… … Deutsch Wikipedia
North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council — The North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC) is an association of several Presbyterian and Reformed churches in the United States and Canada. The Council meets annually. It lists biblical inerrancy as its basis, along with the… … Wikipedia
Old Beta Theta Pi Fraternity House — U.S. National Register of Historic Places … Wikipedia
Architectural style — Architectural styles classify architecture in terms of form, , materials, time period, region, etc. It overlaps with, and emerges from the study of the evolution and history of architecture. In architectural history, the study of Gothic… … Wikipedia