"Grandma, are you home?"
Number 5 in my San Pedro Cape Cod series,
this darling home has many features
of traditional Cape Cod architecture
with the exception of a chimney!
Traditional, Colonial-era Cape Cod houses had many of these features:
- Steep roof with side gables
- Small roof overhang
- 1 or 1½ stories
- Made of wood and covered in wide clapboard or shingles
- Large central chimney linked to fireplace in each room
- Symmetrical appearance with door in center
- Dormers for space, light, and ventilation
- Multi-paned, double-hung windows
- Formal, center-hall floor plan
- Hardwood floors
- Little exterior ornamentation
The first Cape Cod style homes were built by English colonists who came to America in the late 17th century. They modeled their homes after the half-timbered houses of England, but adapted the style to the stormy New England weather. Over the course of a few generations, a modest, one- to one-and-a-half-story house with wooden shutters emerged. Reverend Timothy Dwight, a president of Yale University, is credited with recognizing these houses as a class and coining the term "Cape Cod."
Much later, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a renewed interest in America's past inspired a variety of Colonial Revival styles. Colonial Revival Cape Cod houses became especially popular during the 1930s. These small, economical houses were mass-produced in suburban developments across the United States.
Twentieth century Cape Cod houses often have dormers. The chimney is usually placed at one end instead of at the center. The shutters on modern Cape Cod houses are strictly decorative; they can't be closed during a storm.