Black Shingle Style House

A suburban Shingle Style house painted black.

The Shingle Style was first used for summer cottages in seaside resort communities starting around 1880 but quickly was adopted for suburban houses like this example in Portland, Maine’s Oakdale neighborhood.

The Shingle Style emerged in the 1880s as part of the Colonial Revival movement, primarily looking back to the early colonial houses of the 17th century for inspiration but drawing elements from the later Georgian Colonial period and the then-popular Queen Anne style as well.

Black is not a typical house color of the time, but does have precedence in literature of the period referring to early houses, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne’s. “the battered visage of the House of the Seven Gables, black and heavy-browed as it still certainly looked…” from 1880. While not “accurate,” the color feels somehow appropriate to me for a Shingle Style house.

Understanding the style of your house and its key characteristics is the essential first step in planning a restoration project.

More than 20 examples of this style are shown in full color in Chapter 2 of “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners” along with examples of 24 other historic architectural styles.

The 720-page award-winning and best-selling hardcover book is available in bookstores nationwide and from online retailers.

Signed and personalized copies are available from the author in our shop, https://yourhistorichouse.com/shop/.

Bookstores can order copies from W.W. Norton.

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