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1935 - 1950: Minimal Traditional

A Very Popular Modern American Home

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Although some may argue that these houses have no "style" whatsoever, this simple design was appropriate for a country recovering from a Great Depression and anticipating World War II.
Photo of cross gabled house, simple layout, traditional windows, one story Minimal Traditional style

In upstate New York, a house with minimal decoration and traditional design.

Photo © S. Carroll Jewell

Sometimes called a Minimal Modern style, these cottage homes are more "squat" than the steep-roofed Tudor or Tudor Cottage that came before it, and more "cramped" than the open-air Ranch Style that came after. The Minimal Traditional house style expresses a modern tradition with minimal decoration.

Minimal Traditional houses have many of these features:

  • small with minimal decorations
  • low or moderately pitched roof
  • minimal eaves and roof overhang
  • side gable, often with one front-facing cross gable
  • front door entrance under the front cross gable
  • one story, with an attic story
  • shutters are common
  • exterior siding of wood, brick, or a mix of sidings
  • small fireplace and chimney

Learn More:
Minimal Traditional House Plans for 1940s-1950s America >>>

Source: McAlester, Virginia and Lee. Field Guide to American Houses. New York. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1984.

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