views updated May 21 2018

Colonial. Applied to styles of architecture derived from those of the motherland in a colony. American Colonial is a modification of the English Georgian or Queen Anne styles, of particular interest because very often pattern-book designs were re-interpreted for timber-framed structures, or otherwise altered, often by very subtle means. Although originally associated with the original thirteen British colonies in North America, the essentials of American Colonial architecture were often revived well into C20 all over the USA. Colonial Revival is a term given to architecture of the late C19 and early C20, especially in the USA, South Africa, and Australia. Attention had been drawn to the qualities of colonial architecture in various publications from the 1840s, and several writers advocated its revival, the catalyst for which was the Centennial International Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA (1876), at which the New England Log House and the Connecticut House attracted particular attention, as did two half-timbered buildings (the British Executive Commissioner and Delegate Residence) by the British Rogue, Thomas Harris (1830–1900), which encouraged an interest in vernacular architecture. The Colonial Revival was taken up by Peabody & Stearns (e.g. Denny House, Brush Hill, Milton, MA (1878), and the influential Massachusetts Building for the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, IL (1893—which was the model for a nation-wide revival) ). Firms such as McKim, Mead, & White designed in both Colonial Revival and Shingle styles. A fine example of the Colonial Revival in the USA is the clap-boarded Mary Perkins Quincy House, Litchfield, CT (1904), by John Mead Howells and I. N. Phelps Stokes (1867–1944). American Colonial Revival influenced some developments elsewhere, e.g. Lutyens's work at Hampstead Garden-Suburb, London (designed 1908–10), and de Soissons's designs (from the 1920s) at Welwyn Garden City, Herts. Two further variations of Colonial Revival evolved on the West Coast of the USA: Mission Revival (from the 1890s) and Spanish Colonial Revival (from just after the 1914–18 war). A good example of the latter style is Sherwood House, La Jolla, CA (1925–8), by George Washington Smith (1876–1930—who could turn his hand to villas in medieval, Islamic, and Mediterranean modes as well).

In Australia, following the creation of a unified country at the beginning of C20, a need for a national style was urged, and the late-Georgian domestic architecture of Australia was selected as offering suitable models. The main practitioners of the Australian Colonial Revival (featuring colonnaded verandahs, sash-windows with shutters, and fanlights over doors) were W. H. Wilson (e.g. Eryldene, Gordon, Sydney (1913–14) ), Robin Dods (1868–1920—e.g. several fine houses in Brisbane), and Leslie Wilkinson (1882–1973—who mixed Mediterranean features in with Australian Colonial elements, e.g. ‘Greenway’, Vaucluse, Sydney (1923) ). In South Africa, the so-called Dutch Colonial or Cape Dutch style, which had developed from C17, was revived by Baker at Groote Schuur, Rondebosch (1893–8—built for Cecil John Rhodes (1853–1902) ), and was quickly adopted by other South African architects. Spanish Colonial was also revived in Latin America as well as in the USA, and both it and Dutch Colonial evolved as separate styles from those found in Spain and The Netherlands. The Colonial Revival has enjoyed further revivals and interpretations at the end of C20 and the beginning of C21.


Axelrod (ed.) (1985);
Jane Turner (1996)


views updated May 09 2018

co·lo·ni·al / kəˈlōnyəl; -nēəl/ • adj. 1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a colony or colonies. ∎  relating to the period of the American colonies before independence. ∎  (esp. of architecture or furniture) made during or in the style of this period.2. (of animals or plants) living in colonies.• n. 1. a native or inhabitant of a colony.2. a house built in colonial style.DERIVATIVES: co·lo·ni·al·ly adv.