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History of the Shingle Housing Style
The Isaac Bell House in Newport, RI by McKim, Mead and White

The Shingle Style Isaac Bell House in Newport, RI by McKim, Mead and White

Photo © Flickr Member Revjim5000
A shingled home does not stand on ceremony. It blends into the landscape of wooded lots. Wide, shady porches encourage lazy afternoons in rocking chairs. The roughhewn siding and the rambling shape suggest that the house was thrown together without fuss or fanfare.

In Victorian days, shingles were often used as ornamentation on houses on Queen Anne and other highly decorated styles. But Henry Hobson Richardson, Charles McKim, Stanford White, and even Frank Lloyd Wright began to experiment with shingle siding.

The architects used natural colors and informal compositions to suggest the rustic homes of New England settlers. By covering most or all of a building with shingles stained a single color, architects created an uniform, unembellished surface. Mono-toned and unornamented, these homes celebrated the honesty of form, the purity of line.

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