Here at Bloom Real Estate Group, we’ve sold enough homes to know that the laws of attraction are always at work in a home search. And, we know that buyers are attracted to a house for more than just its measurements. Number of bedrooms, square footage, etc. – this is just one part of the equation. Consciously or subconsciously, you fall in love with a home’s individual character, and one part of said character is a home’s architectural style. Maybe in this instance, it’s not just what on the inside that counts.
In order to understand architecture and home styles you have to take a not-so-brief trip through history. Notable architectural styles emerged during various periods of our nation’s passed as builders showcased prevalent designs. Take a home tour around Fort Worth’s “Central City Classics,” and you will recognize the era when certain neighborhoods were built solely based on the architecture of the homes. Today, many new Fort Worth homes pay homage to various aspects of these architectural styles through exterior and interior details.
One of the most recognizable architectural styles emerged shortly after the Civil war – the Victorian-style home, named for the Queen, also encompasses The Queen Anne, Gothic Revival and Empire homes. These homes are most prevalent on the south and west sides of Fort Worth. Victorian-age homes are identifiable by various shapes, pointed roofs, elaborate trimming, fish-scale shingles, bay windows and wraparound porches on the exterior. Inside, Victorian homes are finely detailed with stained-glass windows, elaborate trim and molding, and side-by-side entry doors. For the quintessential example of Victorian architecture in Fort Worth, visit The Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House just west of downtown. Now an event venue, the house was the former home of a Fort Worth socialite.
Built during the early to late 1800s, Greek Revival-style homes are formal and symmetrical with an ode to Greek Temples showcased with stately white columns, gable or double-sloping roofs, pediments over windows and doors and fan-shaped windows over the entryways. The interiors often have detailed woodwork and baseboards. Taking some cues from this style, and showcased by some of Fort Worth’s most gorgeous residences are Colonial houses. These homes take on the simplistic style of homes occupied by the United States’ original settlers. Colonial homes have steep roofs with gable ends, clapboard siding and small windows on the outside and wooden panels and chair rails on the inside. A popular variation of the Colonial-style is the Cape Cod, which is usually 1.5 stories with the front door in the center and two gable (triangular structure) ends. Not surprisingly, you can find several examples of Colonial homes around Fort Worth’s Colonial Country Club.
Often found in Fort Worth’s affluent Riverhills, the Georgian-style home is easily identifiable in the architecture of our country’s most famous house – the White House. Built during the period of 1715-1790, these homes were inspired by English pattern books and reflected the wealthy owners that lived there. Inside the stately homes, are large ornate cornices and trim incorporating leaves and shells. The exterior is marked with medium pitched roofs with minimal overhang and numerous windows with panes. The centered front door has a decorative crown overhead and is flanked by columns on each side.
The Arts and Crafts style, prominent from 1890-1920 originated in Southern California between World War I and II, making it one of the first styles native to America. Some of its features include large porches, exposed stucco or stones, low-pitched roofs with large overhang, and tall narrow windows grouped together allowing sunlight to flow in. The interiors have open floor plans with built-in cabinets and furniture and natural fireplaces. Tudor, Spanish, Mission, Bungalow and Prairie homes are similar in style to Arts and Crafts homes. Our very own Fairmount neighborhood, which boasts many of these original designs, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In fact, some may not know that Fairmount is the largest historic neighborhood in the southwestern United States.
Recognized by flat roofs, metal casement windows and plain or absent interior molding, the Modern-style home is the most prominent architectural style since the 1920s. With a design that generally favors function over style, the Ranch home is arguably the most popular variation of this Modern style. The Ranch originated in California in the 1930s, and became popular nationwide in the 1950s and ’60s when it became a symbol of the post-World War II American dream. Most Ranch-style homes share common design elements like a sprawling first-floor layout, pitched-roof, wood or brick exterior, and built-in garage that shares the same roofline with the home. Many of these homes also favor a patio in the rear of the home in lieu of a front porch. Drive through Fort Worth’s Overton Park, Westcliff, or Ridglea neighborhoods to find some picturesque examples of Mid-century modern and Ranch homes. A fun tip – some of the city’s hidden gems are on Autumn Drive, Ridgehaven, and Bellaire Circle.
Just like finding a partner, knowing what you want is key to finding your home match. Discover your own personal architectural style before you look for a new home. The more information you can give your real estate professional (a Bloom Real Estate Group agent, of course), the better we can serve your needs and get you in your dream home. All Bloom Real Estate Group agents are passionate and knowledgeable about Fort Worth’s Central City Classic neighborhoods. Two of us, Mary Carolyn Gatzke and Michelle Perry, have actually taken the course to become Historic Home Specialists. This means we know the ins and outs of all houses that are more than 50 years old – how to preserve them, what makes them worth their value and when it’s a good investment. As a self-proclaimed house junkie, I would love to talk homes with you over a cup of coffee or on a driving tour taking in Fort Worth’s diverse architecture!
Bloom can be reached at (817) (420-6200 or online at www.BloomFW.com. Bloom Real Estate Group is an independently owned and operated local Fort Worth business, an. Equal Housing Opportunity company.