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American Colonial Architecture in Phoenix: The Ultimate Guide

American Colonial Architecture

American Colonial architecture in Phoenix has a classically inspired look and grand stature. View listings below and see which historic Phoenix neighborhoods have Colonial Revival architecture. Also, learn about the deep history and unique characteristics of this style, along with its benefits and drawbacks.

Table of Contents

About American Colonial Architecture

American Colonial Revival homes differ from original colonial styles in several ways. They are bigger and have larger windows, due to developments in building processes and material transportation. They also tend to have more ornate features than the simpler colonial homes they are influenced by. Also note that earlier versions of the style are typically more ornate, while newer models are more modest and simplified.

Roof types are diverse, ranging from side or front gable to gambrel or hip style. These homes are also usually two stories tall and commonly include dormers, which have more elaborate pediment-style designs rather than simple gables.

Grand entrances are a defining element of the style too. As previously mentioned, it’s common for porticos to have columns that extend up to the roofline. And even if a portico is only one-story tall, it will usually still have larger pillars or other defining features. It will also likely be topped with a pediment, parapet or balcony.

Windows are typically equal in number on both sides of the entrance, which gives these homes their trademark symmetrical look. They usually have multi-paned glass and are accompanied by shutters, along with decorative wood trim. On the interior, you will likely see crown molding and other classically inspired details.

Rooms are clearly defined and separated, rather than having an open layout. In addition, one or more fireplaces may be included, and the staircase leading to the bedrooms is often centrally located.

American Colonial Architecture in Phoenix History

1880s-1940s — The Colonial Revival style emerged just after the 100th anniversary of America’s independence. It is influenced by original colonial architecture, bearing similarities to the Georgian and Federal styles, but with a more eclectic feel. The style is most recognized by its symmetrical facades and stately Victorian features, including large columns that often span from the ground to roof level. Please note that the term Colonial Revival also refers to an architectural movement of the same period. During this time, home builders resurrected many types of colonial-era architecture, including French, Dutch, Georgian, Spanish, Pueblo, and other styles.

  • The Centennial Exposition Guide (1876)

    World History

    The 1876 Centennial Exposition celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. It marked a point when there was a deep interest in historical preservation and commemorating the country’s origins.

  • American Colonial Home

    Phoenix History

    Colonial Revival style was spurred by this nostalgia and reverence for the past. It was also a rejection of the Victorian style's overly ornate leanings. While it includes similar classical elements, the implementation is more refined.

  • Dutch Architecture

    Many Influences

    Colonial Revival architecture has strong similarities to original Georgian and Federal architecture. However, it is influenced by Dutch and post-Medieval architecture as well. It also has a freer design sense because it pulls from many different styles.

  • American Colonial Architecture

    Widespread Influence

    The Colonial Revival homes you’ll see in Phoenix are typically two stories and have large floor-to-roof columns. Many are also white and resemble small versions of the White House.

  • Modern American Style House

    Modern Replicas

    While there are few historic Colonial Revival homes in the Phoenix area, this style is one of the most popular and enduring colonial-era revivals. You will also see many newer homes in Phoenix that are influenced by this style.

American Colonial Benefits & Care

American Colonial Revival homes have “good bones.” They are well-built and have a classic beauty that stands the test of time. They are also larger in size and have great natural light thanks to their numerous windows.

While there are few drawbacks, they may be significant depending on your preferences. For example, if you want a one-story home with no stairs, this style won’t meet your needs. Also, if you are not a fan of crown molding or classical features, a Colonial Revival home won’t suit your tastes. In addition, because these homes are historic, they will require ongoing maintenance and upkeep. A good home inspection is key, but you may still have to deal with maintenance costs over time.

Along with strengths, it’s important to understand potential problems with buying older homes, and each architecture type will present different challenges. Two things to look out for with Spanish Colonial homes are leaks and cracked stucco. Some are built with flat roofs that may leak because water cannot drain properly. Wood beams should also be checked for damage from moisture and insects. While unlikely in Arizona, adobe is prone to expand and contract when regularly exposed to cold, wet weather. This can cause the stucco to crack or separate from the interior wall. In addition, cracked stucco may indicate that there are foundation issues with a house. 

To learn more about new and historic Spanish Colonial Revival houses for sale in the Phoenix area, contact our real estate agents. We’re happy to answer any questions you have and can’t wait to help you find the perfect Spanish Colonial home for your family.

Phoenix Neighborhoods with American Colonial Homes

There are great examples of American Colonial Revival homes in several historic Phoenix neighborhoods. They really stand out with their eye-catching designs. Discover areas with new and historic Colonial Revival houses below.

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Vanessa Clayton

Hey Central Phoenix, I’m Vanessa! I’m passionate about serving the Central Phoenix community, and look forward to introducing you to all the best neighborhoods, architecture, events, restaurants, and activities in and around town. With my 25 years in marketing, sales, coaching and real estate you won't find a more caring, dedicated, and qualified professional to serve your every need. I have worked with celebrities, public figures and families around the world. And will work for you like family! When I’m not filming, writing, marketing, and selling real estate, I enjoy spending my time dancing, cooking, baking, doing yoga and walking in and around Central Phoenix with my amazing partner, David, and our beautiful daughter, Luna.
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