Historical Home Styles in Ventura County

Historical Home Styles in Ventura County

Architectural style is a way of classifying architecture that gives emphasis to characteristic features such as design, materials, time period, region or form.

Viewing broadly home styles by time period we will find that:

  • Between 1880 through the 1890’s the architectural styles favored were Greek Revival, Queen Ann (Victorian class) and Italianate.
  • Between 1900 through the 1920’s French Provincial, Normandy, Spanish and Tudor were the styles of the time.
  • In the 1930’s Bungalows was the favor of the day.
  • The 1940’s represented the Cape Cod era.
  • Early Ranch came on the scene in the 1950’s.
  • The ranch style continued into the 1960’s as well as the introduction of the ranch split level.
  • In 1970’s Shed and the New England Colonial were the styles introduced.
  • From 1980 to the current period neo-electric styles have come into vogue.

Using these time periods, Ventura County has some great homes that were built in the era’s referenced and listed below are some of these homes and a history of the home.

Queen Ann

The Queen Ann, a sub-style of the Victorian era, is a collection of coquettish detailing and eclectic materials. Steep cross-garbled roofs, towers, and vertical windows typify the Queen Ann. Multistory floor plans often include projecting wings, several porches and balconies, and multiple chimneys.

Wooden ginger bread trim scrolled and rounded “fish-scale” patterns frequently grace the gables and porches. Massive cut stone foundations are typical of period houses. The style was popularized after the Civil War by architect Henry Hobson Richardson and found favor in the South and West.

Cape Cod

The original colonial Cape Cod homes were shingle-sided, one story cottages with no dormers. In the mid-20th century, the Cape Cod shape became very popular in many suburban developments. During this period the Cape Cod took on a square or rectangular shape with one or one-and-half stories with steep pitched, gabled roofs. Dormers and shutters were an option and the siding usually was clapboard or brick.

The Colonial

During the late 1800’s throughout the 20th century builders borrowed Colonial ideas to create refined Revival homes with elegant central hallways and elaborate cornices. These revival homes are often white clapboard siding with black or green shutters.

The original Colonial usually was a rectangular, symmetrical home with bedrooms on the second floor. Normally they would have double hung windows having equally sized square panes. Take offs of the Colonial also include the Saltbox, Georgian and the Dutch Colonial.

The Contemporary

The Contemporary came on the scene between 1950 to 1970 and were of two types, the flat roof and the gabled type. The gabled is characterized by exposed open beams. Generally both of these types were single story homes.

Often the Contemporary is of odd size, with tall windows and lack ornamentation. The wall materials that set them apart was stone, brick and wood.

The Craftsman

Called the simplist house form by Gustav Stickley, it’s low, broad proportions and absolute lack of ornamentation gives it a character so natural and unaffected that it seems to blend in with the landscape (words by Gustav Stickley in the magazine The Craftsman).

The Craftsman style has also been billed as the “California Bungalow (by architects Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene) featured overhanging eaves, a low-slung gabled roof, wide porches framed by pedestal-like tapered columns. Materials often included stone, rough-hewn wood and stucco.


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