New Jersey Architectural Styles
New Jersey is a state that is known for its cultural diversity. That diversity is apparent in the various types of architecture you can see in its houses and businesses. Styles of architecture you are likely to see include classical architecture, Georgian, Italianate and more. This article will tell you more about the architectural styles that you can expect to see when sightseeing on New Jersey streets.
This is a style that was popular in domestic construction in the United States in the 1700s. It grew out of the Italian Renaissance styles that were made popular by architect Christopher Wren.
Georgian architecture got its name from the many English King Georges who ruled the British monarchy. Surviving homes are often associated with prominent members of the upper class who could afford to construct these large houses.
The United States adopted the style making some variations on a simple English theme. Most Georgian homes are symmetrical, two-story buildings with a center entry façade. The panel door is topped with rectangular windows and capped with an elaborate crown supported by decorative pilasters. Cornices are embellished with decorative moldings.
Georgian houses feature multi-pane windows which are never paired, and fenestrations are arranged symmetrically, usually five across. Larger windows with nine or twelve panes are found on the main floors. Small six panes sash or dormer windows are found on the upper floors. These upper floors were primarily used as servant’s quarters.
Roofs are side gabled, gambrel or hipped and there are chimneys on both sides of the building.
Greek Revival (Classical)
Also known as classical architecture, Greek Revival was a popular style of architecture in the early to mid-1800s. It was used by several first-generation American born architects and served as a style guide for carpenter builders in New Jersey. As a result, there were several Greek Revival churches and homes built in the state in the 1830s.
There are several features that are recognizable in Greek architecture. Buildings are symmetrical in shape with narrow windows around the front door. Many have an entry porch with columns and decorative pilasters.
Other exterior features include heavy cornices, a wide plain frieze, a pedimented gable, and bold simple moldings.
The Italianate style began in Europe as part of the Picturesque movement, a reaction against the formal classical ideals associated with the art and architecture that had been popular in previous centuries. The first Italianate houses were built in the late 1830s and by the 1840s the style had become a common alternative to Gothic and classical architectural styles of the past.
The italianate architecture was inspired by the Italian villas of Northern Italy featuring characteristic square towers and asymmetrical, open floor plans. Other features of Italianate architecture include low pitched or flat roofs with projecting eaves supported by corbels and imposing cornice structures. Balustrades conceal the roofscape.
Windows are typically pedimented or Serlian with pronounced architraves and archivolts. The architecture features tall first-floor windows and angled bay windows.
Other features of the exterior include balconies with wrought iron railings or Renaissance balustrading, quoins and cupolas.
This type of architecture surpassed Italianate styles in popularity in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is difficult to define due to the fact that it encompasses a wide range of architectural elements. No one Queen Anne building will incorporate all elements of the architecture, but there are several details that will make it identifiable.
Queen Anne buildings will feature fine brickwork with varied terracotta panels or tile hung upper stories with white woodwork or blonde limestone detailing. Other exterior features include corner towers or turrets, bracket, roof cresting, and ornamental chimneys.
Bay windows are Oriel in style and are stacked one above another.
Broad porches are common on Queen Anne structures as are asymmetrical fronts and irregular floor plans.
Arts and Crafts
Also known as American Craftsman, this style was popularized in the United States during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods that prevailed from 1910 and 1925. It encompassed furniture design and decorative arts.
Features include low pitched roof lines and gabled or hipped roofs. Eaves are deeply overhanging with exposed rafters or decorative brackets on the eaves. Tapered square columns support the roof.
There is typically a front porch beneath the extension of the main roof. Windows are 4 over 1 or 6 over 1 and double hung.
There are mixed materials used throughout the structure with handcrafted stone or woodwork heavily featured on the exterior.
Conceived from mid-century modernism and the evolution of rock in roll in the 1950s and 60’s this type of architecture can only be found in the resort town of Wildwood, NJ. It is also found in other parts of the U.S. like Los Angeles, South Florida and other small areas that embrace flamboyant, mid-century architecture.
The style is meant to represent the bold, brash personality of the area’s culture during that time in history. It is designed to attract motorist’s attention incorporating angular elements, space-age imagery, tropical themes, colors, and neon signage.
The Doo Wop style is often still incorporated into newer structures and signs in the Wildwood area. Some common features include glass walls meant to conjure images of jet-age airports of the period.
There is a sense of movement in the architecture expressed through forward thrusting, pointed building parts. Boomerang rooflines, jutting facades, and zig-zagging balconies all contribute to this feel.
Tiki architecture is often incorporated including thatched roofs, plastic palms, and beanpole torches. Colonel revival and American styling help to contribute to its collage-y feel.
Plenty of neon lights help to make this type of architecture even more eye-catching.
If you are in New Jersey and take careful note of detail, you will find many of these architectural styles are still very much integrated today. From Georgian and classical architecture through to newer Doo Wop and Arts and Crafts styles, the state clearly has quite a variety making for great sightseeing in the Garden State!