Dutch Colonial

A fine example of the Dutch Colonial style, this house in Detroit’s Boston Edison district was once owned by Wolf Himelhoch, original proprietor of Detroit’s Himelhoch clothing stores.

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)

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