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Dutch Colonial

Example of Dutch Colonial Revival, built in 1923, Plainfield, NJ (Netherwood Heights)
Dutch Colonial is a style of American domestic architecture, primarily characterized by gambrel roofs having curved eaves along the length of the house. Modern versions built in the early 20th century are more accurately referred to as "Dutch Colonial Revival," a subtype of the Colonial Revival style.


There seems to be some conflict on the origins of this American style of home.
Most sources state that the Dutch settlers of New York, Delaware, New Jersey, and western Connecticut built these homes to reflect their Dutch culture.
However, at least one other source states that this style of home originated with German, or “Deutsch” settlers in Pennsylvania.

It may be worthwhile to compare the Dutch colonization of the Americas with the history of the Pennsylvania Dutch.

Whatever the case, central to the style is a broad gambrel roof with flaring eaves that extend over the long sides, resembling a barn in construction. Earlier homes were a single room, with additions added to either end (or short side) and very often a porch along both long sides. Typically, end walls were made of stone and a chimney was located on one or both ends. Common were double-hung sash windows with outward swinging wood shutters and a central double Dutch door.

Revival in the 20th Century

Beginning in the late 19th century, America began to look back romantically upon its colonial roots and the country started reflecting this nostalgia in its architecture. Within this Colonial Revival, one of the more popular designs was a redux of the original Dutch Colonial.

Within the context of architectural history, the more modern style is specifically defined as "Dutch Colonial Revival" to distinguish it from the original Dutch Colonial. However, this style was popularly known simply as Dutch Colonial, and this continues to be the case today.

Up through the 1930s, Dutch Colonials were most popular in the Northeast. While the original design was always reflected, some details were updated such as the primary entryway moving from the end to the long side of the house. The more modern versions also varied a great deal with regard to materials used, architectural details, and size. For example one Dutch Colonial might be a small two-story structure of 1,400 square feet with dormers bearing shed-like overhangs, while another larger example would have three stories and a grand entrance adorned with a transom and sidelights.