As a residential real estate agent, I’ve been told (often ad nauseam) to “regularly post on social media, use every hashtag possible, and not to even think about posting anything but original content.” Being a more left-brained individual, these were intimidating tasks for me, to say the least. Alas, here I am, making my first, and hopefully not last, attempt at literary genius. 

I was reluctant to start a blog because I wanted the content I present to be relevant, meaningful and educational to my clients. I want the readers to walk away with knowledge they didn’t possess before. People who know me know that I am extremely passionate about historic homes.  I love investigating who the architect was, who constructed them, what identifying features they possess and how their style relates to other homes. Hence, for my first blog, I am choosing to write about popular historic home styles that are commonly found in Denver, also referencing their style in relation to others found around the country and world.

In full disclosure, I am not an architect, nor a builder.  Simply put, I am a huge fan of historic homes and styles, so please feel free to fact check me or even inquire further into the styles and features I discuss.  

The first style of house I’ll be writing about is one of which I spent the first 18 years of my life.  I was raised in Iowa in an American Four-Square, or Denver Square if you’re a Colorado local.  A Four-Square is technically one of the principal subtypes of the Prairie style which has a simple square or rectangular shape and is often referred to as “Prairie Box.” 

As most of you know, the Prairie style house originated in Chicago and was heavily influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s work.  Although the style’s popularity was relatively short lived (1905-1919), it is one of the few indigenous to America.  With the help of pattern books like Sears, Roebuck & Co, vernacular examples were spread throughout the country.

The Four-Square is truly one of the most popular home styles in Denver and can range from being a very basic square to rather detailed two story (or more). Most Four-Square homes with low-pitched hipped roofs, front porches, and either a center or off-center front entrance.  My childhood home has dormers and leaded glass trimmed windows both of which are very common details for a Four-Square house.  Consistent with a simple exterior, the interior layout is straightforward with four rooms upstairs and four rooms down. Four-Square homes were traditionally designed to avoid hallways making most of the square footage in the home useful. The rooms very easily flow from one another.

Below are a couple of photos of my old house that my mother graciously dug up for me along with the Sears, Roebuck & Co. plan it was likely based on.

The earliest photo we can find of the original house.
Leaded stained glass transoms
The Sears, Roebuck & Co. plans for the house

Thank you for reading my first post on my “Better with Age” blog. I hope you will return to read more posts along with my “Market Minutes” and Expert’s Corner” blogs. ACM

Source: A Field Guide to American Houses, Virginia Savage McAlester

Thanks to OCM, NA & TD…you know why!