Cape Cod Architecture: The Cape Cod House Style

Things To See In Cape CodThings To See In Cape Cod

One of the great charming features of Cape Cod is its architecture. The area is of course famous for “Cape Cod-style” homes – and people who come to the region love to meander through many of the local towns and gaze at these quaint style homes.

History Of The Cape Cod-Style Home

The first Cape Cod style homes were built by English colonists who came to America in the late 17th century. They modeled their homes after the half-timbered houses of England, but adapted the style to the stormy New England weather. Over the course of a few generations, a modest, one- to one-and-a-half-story house with wooden shutters emerged. Reverend Timothy Dwight, a president of Yale University, is credited with recognizing these houses as a class and coining the term “Cape Cod.”

Much later, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a renewed interest in America’s past inspired a variety of Colonial Revival styles. Colonial Revival Cape Cod houses became especially popular during the 1930s. These small, economical houses were mass-produced in suburban developments across the United States.

Twentieth century Cape Cod houses often have dormers. The chimney is usually placed at one end instead of at the center. The shutters on modern Cape Cod houses are strictly decorative; they can’t be closed during a storm.

Typical Colonial-Era Features

Historians list the following features that were typical of colonial-era cape cod houses:

  • Steep roof with side gables
  • Small roof overhang
  • 1 or 1½ stories
  • Made of wood and covered in wide clapboard or shingles
  • Large central chimney linked to fireplace in each room
  • Symmetrical appearance with door in center
  • Dormers for space, light, and ventilation
  • Multi-paned, double-hung windows
  • Shutters
  • Formal, center-hall floor plan
  • Hardwood floors
  • Little exterior ornamentation

Cape Cod Vacations And Sightseeing

Whether you’re an avid architecture enthusiast or just fancy the charming aspects of New England, be sure take in some of the sights around the local neighborhoods during your next Cape Cod Vacation. Many Cape Cod Hotels are located nearby and can supply you with a bit of history about the region as well as a map of the surrounding areas. Be sure to bring your camera too!

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