Classic American Foursquare

A Classic American Foursquare House with Craftsman style detailing. The American Foursquare may be the nation’s most common historic house type. Available in kit form and site-built by the tens of thousands between 1900 and 1930, they can be found from California to Maine in thousands of variations.

While their details can be drawn from the Queen Anne, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, or other styles, their essential form is a cube with a pyramidal roof. This Skowhegan, Maine example is clad in wood shingle and has a wonderful Craftsman style sun porch. The deeply overhanging eaves with rafter tail brackets on the pyramidal roof, dormer, and porch are characteristic of the style.

Understanding the style of a house is the essential first step in developing a restoration plan that prioritizes the preservation and restoration of character-defining features while making changes necessary for modern life in an old house.

The American Foursquare is one of 25 historic architectural styles and types described and illustrated in Chapter 2 of “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.”

The 720-page award-winning and bestselling hardcover book now available in bookstores nationwide and from online retailers. Signed copies are available directly from the author at YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/ and from the shop on this page.

Our shop also carries other authors’ select preservation and restoration titles, including Virginia Savage’s classic “A Field Guide to American Houses.”

© Scott T. Hanson 2023

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