Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Roosevelt Home

I have been trying to do research on the history of our house in order to incorporate some interesting details in our design of the interior. This is proving difficult, which makes sense when I read this description (from the Washington State Department of Archeology & Historic Preservation) that matches our house perfectly:
WWII Era Cottage: 1935 – 1950
"The WWII Era Cottage resembles the Workingman’s Foursquare of the proceeding decade but utilized the latest advancements in spatial planning and building materials. The style serves as a transitional style bridging the gap between the Revival movement of the 1920s and the modern period leading up to and proceeding WWII. After WWII, with the peacetime economy just beginning to start up, materials were still in short supply.  However the demand for housing was great, exacerbated by returning GI’s and their new families.  As a response to the situation, new homes like the WWII Era Cottage were built in large quantities and featured little ornamentation.  WWII Era Cottages are generally small (some less than 1,000 sq ft), and correspond to the small size of young families. Most were built by speculative builders and purchased by families who took advantage of a variety of government incentive programs which were offered through the Federal Housing Administration.  Because of their simplicity and low cost, WWII Era Cottages made the dream of home ownership possible for an unprecedented number of people.
WWII Era Cottages, sometimes referred to as “Roosevelt Cottages”, are one-story structures covered by a hipped roof with minimal eave overhangs.  The overall shape is typically square or rectangular in plan, although many boast more complex footprints that incorporate attached garages and shallow room projections.  These projections can have hip or gable roofs. Large porches are generally absent; although a small covering or hood may be found over the front door, and/or a shallow stoop can be inserted into a projecting wing.  The exteriors of these wood-framed buildings are sheathed with a wide range of materials from horizontal wood siding, wood shingles, stucco or brick, to asbestos ceramic shingles.  Some concrete block and clay tile examples can be found. Higher end examples utilize a change in exterior material using the window sill as a breaking point."
1949 National Homes: The Bell. Design C or E look like our house looked.
 I also found out from the same website that our house was built in 1947, not 1949 like I had thought. This is such fun trying to design our house to include some of the original charicteristics, yet also incorporate other styles we like (1920's had some cool stuff as well as the 1950's). To top it off we are trying to be as friendly to the environment as we can (while maintaining a budget). I just wish there were more resources for blending design elements together.

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