The Arts and Crafts Era of American Architecture is from 1860 to 1920 and returns to the roots of architecture and the “ideals of craftsmanship and the honest use of native materials,” by combining the Middle Ages and Modernism. The founder of this era of American architecture is William Morris. Characteristics of this movement include houses that are one and a half to two stories in height that used their surroundings well, used native materials, structures that are environmentally sensitive, muted decoration and color that are useful, emphasize craftsmanship and quality. The styles of architecture during the Arts and Crafts Era are Craftsman, Bungalow, Colonial Revival, Mission, Tudor Revival and Prairie.
Craftsman style of American architecture, founded by William Morris and named by Gustav Stickley, are known for being built with native materials. Craftsman style houses are one and a half to two stories in height, environmentally sensitive. Characteristics of this style are exposed interior cross-members and beams, smaller, recessed grouped windows, simple doors, partial or full porches that have roofs supported by columns that go to ground level and a roof that is cross-gabled on the front and side. The Craftsman style has a rustic and natural feel.
Bungalow style of American architecture, often called Craftsman Bungalow because of their similarity to Craftsman style homes, resemble styles from India’s Bengal region. Characteristics of this style include eaves that are broad and overhang, porches that are low, large and have columns that are square, roofs that are hipped and gables that are low-pitched. Often there are exposed timbers that are responsible for reinforcing the horizontal emphasis of a bungalow.
Colonial Revival style of American architecture, which includes the Cape Cod style of architecture, is the more simple of these styles. This is also the first revival based on American architecture. Characteristics of this style include symmetrical floor plans, decorative motifs that are both classical and colonial and will often times have a window facade of five shutters.
Mission style of American architecture, which is basically remnants of the Spanish colonial style of architecture, is most popular in California and other areas of America’s Southwest. Characteristics of this style include stucco walls, decorative parapets, roofs with red tiles, overhanging eaves that are open and wide and arched rooflines located above piers that are square.
Tudor Revival style of architecture in America, known for being different than the norm and intentionally created to appear older than they are, have exposed frames, roofs that are either thatch or shingled, stonework that is rough-hewn and color schemes for the exterior of black and white, brown and are sometimes even red-brick.
Prairie style of architecture in America during the Arts and Crafts era, popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright’s work, often appear to be nestled into their environment. Characteristics of this style are roofs that are low-pitched, overhanging eaves that are large and sometimes used reinforced concrete and an expanse of windows that caused dramatic effects.
Hardware of the Arts and Craft era are machine made with straight lines and form that are functional, decorations that are simple and understated as well as copper or iron that is hand-hammered, brass that is forged and ball-tip hinges that are simple. Dark finishes and colors are also among these characteristics.