French Eclectic Style: 1915-1945

WestChurch116v1HT08WebDuring the 1920's, probably as a result of America's involvement in the war, photographic studies of simple French homes became very popular in this country. These studies provided architects with direct models for homeowners who wished to imitate this European style. And, Americans who served in World War I were familiar with the simple French country houses they saw there.

This home located at 116 West Church Street has many French Eclectic features; deeply pitched roof, dormers, double hung leaded glass windows, an informal door with an arched overhang.

It is an uncommon suburban house style but can be found in Eclectic housing developments of the 1920's and 1930's.

Because of the similarity of building materials shared with their Medieval English Tudor cousins: half timbering, slate, tile, thatched and steeply pitched roofs, these eclectic styles often overlap each other.

Presently, like Tudor before it French Eclectic is enjoying a revival (Neo-French) in the United States. Out of fashion after the 1940's it has once again become a popular but diminished house style.

Characteristic Details

Form

WestwoodDr50v1DDFritsch2015WebFrench domestic architecture is greatly varied in form and detailing except for the great hipped roof. These house forms can be balanced, unbalanced or towered. Asymmetrical (unbalanced) is the most common house form followed by the towered version.

This home is at 50 Woodward Drive in the Forest Hills area of Perinton. It has a massive hipped roof with the ridge parallel to the front of the house, center entrance and through-the-cornice wall dormers.

Roofs

The most outstanding feature of this style is the tall steeply pitched hipped roof often flared upward at the eaves. Front facing gables won't be seen in this style but decorative half timbering along with brick, stone or stucco wall details will be present. Dormers are not uncommon and can be arched, hipped or gabled.

Windows

Windows are double hung or casement style and are paired or tripled, sometimes with small leaded panes. Often, the upper windows have through-the-cornice wall dormer windows.

Doorways

As in the Tudor style, doorways may be surrounded by stone quoins or other Renaissance details using pilasters and pediments. The doors themselves can be board and batten or a more formal paneled variety reminiscent of earlier Georgian details. In the towered version the primary doorway is usually located in the tower.

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For an index of other styles that can be found in the Perinton area go to the Architectural Styles page in the History section.

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Ridgeview-19-PHS2011Web200

19 Ridgeview Drive was built in 1938. It has a prominent round tower with the high conical roof that houses the main doorway.


Westwood46v1DDFritsch2015web

46 Westwood is an outstanding example of this style. The doorway into the tower is a key feature. This home has a hipped roof and two dominant front gables.


REgency12v1DDFRitsch2015web

12 Regency in the Forest Hills development is very similar to the home on Westwood Drive, shown to the left, with casement windows, hipped roof, and through-the-cornice wall dormers. The center entrance and the bay window on the right have a flared roof.

 

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Additional French Eclectic style homes can be found in the Forest Hills area of Perinton. For a history of Forest Hills.

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