American Foursquare

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American Foursquare Soundex Code A562

Wikipedia page on American Foursquare

American Foursquare Architectural Styles

The American Foursquare is an American house style popular from the mid-1890s to the late 1930s. A reaction to the ornate and mass-produced elements of the Victorian and other Revival styles popular throughout the last half of the 19th century, the American Foursquare was plain, often incorporating handcrafted "honest" woodwork (unless purchased from a mail-order catalog). This style incorporates elements of the Prairie School and the Craftsman styles. It is also sometimes called Transitional Period.

The hallmarks of the style include a basically square, boxy design, two-and-one-half stories high, usually with four large, boxy rooms to a floor, a center dormer, and a large front porch with wide stairs. The boxy shape provides a maximum amount of interior room space, to use a small city lot to best advantage. Other common features included a hipped roof, arched entries between common rooms, built-in cabinetry, and Craftsman-style woodwork.

A typical design would be as follows: first floor, from front to back, on one side, the living room and dining room; while on the other side, the entry room or foyer, stairway and kitchen. Sometimes a bathroom was also included. Second floor, front to back, on one side, bedroom, bathroom and bedroom; while on the other side, bedroom, stairway and bedroom. The bedrooms had a slightly longer dimension along the front and back of the house with side by side closets between the bedrooms. This gave a very efficient layout with a bedroom in each corner and a centralized bathroom and stairway. The top floor was generally just a big open space with one to four dormers. The basement generally contained a large natural convection furnace or boiler.

This post-Victorian style of single-family house, prized for its ease of construction, practicality, and roomy interior, is found throughout Chicago. The largest concentrations are in community areas developed during the style's heyday (1900-1930), such as Beverly, Norwood Park, Rogers Park, and South Shore.

Common characteristics are:

cubic shape

hipped roof, usually with dormers

broad front porch, sometimes enclosed

little use of ornament

built in wide variety of materials, including wood, brick, and stucco

The following houses designed in the American Foursquare style are listed in the Chicago Landmarks Historic Resources Survey

Albion Avenue

1000 Block

1060 W. Albion Avenue

1100 Block

1104 W. Albion Avenue

1118 W. Albion Avenue

1120 W. Albion Avenue

Chase Avenue

1500 Block

1521 W. Chase Avenue

1532 W. Chase Avenue

1700 Block

1701 W. Chase Avenue

1716 W. Chase Avenue, not listed in Chicago Landmarks Historic Resources Survey

1719 W. Chase Avenue

Estes Avenue

1400 Block

1414 W. Estes Avenue

Jarvis Avenue

1400 Block

1419 W. Jarvis Avenue

1600 Block

1625 W. Jarvis Avenue, not listed in Chicago Landmarks Historic Resources Survey

Newgard Avenue

6700 Block

6707 N. Newgard Avenue, not listed in Chicago Landmarks Historic Resources Survey

North Shore Avenue

1100 Block

1102 W. North Shore Avenue

Pratt Boulevard

1500 Block

1540 W. Pratt Boulevard, not listed in Chicago Landmarks Historic Resources Survey

2200 Block'

2208 W. Pratt Boulevard

2226 W. Pratt Boulevard

Ridge Boulevard

6700 Block

6757 N. Ridge Boulevard

Sheridan Road

7400 Block

7421 N. Sheridan Road

7450 N. Sheridan Road

7467 N. Sheridan Road

Sherwin Avenue

1400 Block

1426 W. Sherwin Avenue

1600 Block

1609 W. Sherwin Avenue

Touhy Avenue

1500 Block

1523 W. Touhy Avenue

1600 Block

1612 W. Touhy Avenue