One of the most common Colonial Revival subtypes is the Georgian Revival. The Georgian style was originally popular in the 18th century and was used frequently in early New England settlements. In Vermont, the Georgian Revival emerged in the early 1900s and remained popular into the 1950s. The structures evolved significantly from the elaborate, detailed façades of the 1900s and 1910s to the modest, simplified houses that were built for new, large-scale residential developments from the 1920s to the 1950s.
Although the Georgian Revival structures employed many of the details of their earlier Colonial predecessors, they did not closely follow the rules of Georgian architecture. Classical details were either over-exaggerated or updated for the 20th century, and the strict Georgian symmetry and order was usually broken. Georgian architecture usually always consisted of a two-story façade with five window and door openings on both the first and second stories of the main façade. The house in the image below breaks that order by placing only three windows on the second story.
The large modillions (the rectangular moldings beneath the eaves), the elaborate entry portico and door surround, and the tri-partite window centered on the second floor all characterize this Colonial Revival style house. The small, one-story wing off the right side is a common feature on Colonial Revivals of this time period and is also seen on the image above. Although having the same symmetry and massing as many Federal style structures of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, this structure is distinct in its lavish detail (i.e. modillions, Ionic columns) and its inaccurate depiction of a true tri-partite (Palladian) window, which generally has a round arch window in the center. A house of this style likely dates to the 1900s or 1910s.
By the 1920s, the Colonial Revival house was much more modest, having only small, simplified details. The true Georgian form is further abandoned. A number of features characterize structures from this time period. The image below is an excellent example of a 1920s era Colonial Revival style house. The house is sheathed in clapboards, instead of brick veneer, and windows are paired and tripled with six-over-one sashes (Colonial Revival structures of this era generally had an upper sash of multiple panes, usually 6,4, or 2, and a single-pane lower sash). The two-story, eaves-front, symmetrical massing is still present, as are the cornice returns on the gable ends, but the simplified entry porch is the only real detail. The porch, with pediment roof and simple columns, is typical of this era of construction.
Although a dormer alters the appearance of the front façade, the structure below is clearly identifiable as a circa 1920s Colonial Revival style structure. Most of the details are quite similar to the house in the image above. The first-story windows, although not typical sash windows, still feature the transom of multiple glass panes over the single glass pane.
Not all Georgian Revival houses retained the character-defining Georgian symmetry. Despite the addition of a dormer and wings, the image below has very similar features to the two images above - pedimented entry porch, cornice returns, six-over-one sash windows, eaves-front orientation Ð but the entrance is off-center.
Many Colonial Revival houses of the 1920s shrunk considerably in size and featured a range of applied, simplified details. The house below is an excellent example of a modest Colonial Revival from this era. The rectangular shape is still present, but the symmetry is gone. Some of the detail is quite intricate, such as the modillions beneath the eaves and the Classical door surround, but it is typical of the type of mass-produced architectural features applied to houses of this time.
The Colonial Revival style persisted into the 1950s in Vermont, with structures becoming even more simplified or receiving modern details. The image below dates from the 1950s, and features a mixture of traditional Colonial Revival features with more modern 1950s characteristics. The two-story, eaves-front house is nearly symmetrical, and the window sashes have the distinctive multiple panes of colonial architecture. But the bay and large picture windows, the enclosed side porch, and brick veneer along the foundation all characterize the 1950s era. Modernized sidelights and flat pilasters flank the entrance.