Dutch control in colonial America was remarkably short lived. Within 50 years, the English took over and the Dutch influence began to wane. As a result, remaining examples of their building traditions post-date the era of colonial ownership and incorporate the tastes of an increasingly Anglicized and affluent public.
Dutch colonial homes are most easily recognizable by their side-gabled or side-gambreled roof. Although the pitch of the roof decreased as wood shingles replaced thatch, tile, and slate, their barn-like appearance and flared eaves survived. With time, stone replaced brick as the preferred building material, and leaded casement windows were replaced by wooden, double-hung windows. Because of the many varieties, the exact origin of their most identifiable characteristics is debatable.
Source: A Field Guide to American Houses, by Virginia and Lee McAlester (Knopf 2004)