The Modernism Era of American Architecture was from 1920 to 1960 and is called “simplification and abstraction, coupled with post-war structural technologies.” Modernism is characterized by geometric forms that are simple and abstract styles, that are bold and futuristic. Architectural styles of this era are Art Deco, International, Streamline Moderne, Post-war Modern, Spanish Revival and Post Modern Eclectic.
Art Deco style of American Architecture, popularized by Bevis Hillier, used new materials such as steel, aluminum, chrome or nickel plated brass and Bakelite. Other characteristics of this architectural style are neon lighting, vertical lines that are bold and figures and forms that are stretched.
International style of American Architecture, which originated in Europe, used new materials and technologies while eliminating decorations that were not utilitarian. Geometric form and flat roofs, the use of glass, simple colors and sometimes wood are characteristics of this architectural style.
Streamline Moderne style of American Architecture or Streamline Moderne, is inspired by flight technology and aerodynamic looks. Characteristics of this style are chrome or nickel metals, smooth hardware, lines that are sleek and curve as well as cylindrical motifs.
Post-war Modern style of American Architecture, which post World War II, included manufactured homes, split-levels homes, ramblers and A-frame homes. These houses had more room and better construction materials, but were not very individual. These homes were, however, affordable and added an attached garage.
Spanish Revival style, inspired by Spanish Mission and Colonial architecture, came about out of a need for housing in the American Southwest. Characteristics of this style are roofs that have red tile, walls of adobe or stucco and landscaping that is native to the area. These Spanish Revival houses are also comfortable, brightly lit and have interiors that are warm, informal and spacious.
Postmodern Eclectic style, a combination of modern and vintage styles, is the styles seen after 1975. Neighborhoods with this style of architecture are commonly made up of homes that are Craftsman, Victorian, Federal, Colonial and Modern styles. At times all these styles are seen in the same home. Characteristics of Postmodern Eclectic style are asphalt or slate tiled roofs, interior walls that are drywalled and painted, many windows, high ceilings and a more open floor plan. These houses also have siding that is a combination of stone, brick, aluminum or asphalt.
Modernism Era hardware includes chrome and nickel plating, powder-coated brass, stainless steel, PVD and aluminum. Nearly all the hardware in this era is either machine-stamped or cast and there are still a some affordable forged pieces. Most hardware in this era are standard such as pre-drilled doors that have backsets that are standard, electric switches that conform to several configurations, screws that are threaded and are all a size that is limited so that they can easily be found. All of this standardization did not diminish the ability to be creative though.