Styles & Types

Building Types & Architectural Styles

Historic Preservation & Architecture Glossary

Building Types

Hewn Log Construction (Circa 1830-1850): Early settlers built rustic log buildings using the timbers of the native oak, poplar and walnut trees, which were hand hewn, fitted and dovetailed together, and then chinked with mud or sand cement. Examples of this type are: the Navarre Log House in Leeper Park, South Bend, replica of Father Badin's Chapel at the University of Notre Dame, the Hardy Manuel Log House, 65551 Mulberry Road, Lakeville, and the Bickel/Geyer Log House, 66251 Cedar Road, as shown in photo to the right.  

Hall-and-Parlor (c. 1830-1900): The hall-and-parlor house was a popular building form in South Bend. Built with either wood frame or masonry techniques, the type has a rectangular floor plan with two rooms, is typically one-story in height, with a side gabled roof. This form evolved as its residents required more living space. The hall is the larger of the two rooms, and it was used as a kitchen, dining, and general work room. The parlor space allowed for entertianing guests. A sleeping loft could also be found above the main floor. Examples: 1713 Vassar, 709 Johnson, and 757 Lincolnway East (rear). 

Vernacular Residences: Gable and Ell, Cross Gable, Gabled "T", Gable Front, and Upright and Wing Cottages and farm houses were built by skilled, yet untrained people. Utility and economy were the primary objectives of these homes. The most characterisic features of this style are: the horizontal clapboard siding, gable roof lines, and simple porches. Local carpenters often milled the turned or chamfered posts, frieze work, and vergeboards. The buildings are typically one or two stories in height. Below is a photo of the final product of local craftsmanship: turned spindle porch posts and frieze. [Hamilton Church, New Carlisle, Indiana] 

I-Houses (Circa 1850-1890): This type was first identified by Fred Kniffen, a cultural geographer. Kniffen recognized the I-House as a pervasive building type throughout 19th century Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa; hence the name. The I-House is two stories in height, one room deep, and two rooms wide. The facade is symmetrical with a central entry and a three or five bay configuration. The form adapted well to the application of details from a variety of styles such as: Greek Revival cornice returns, Italianate brackets, or vernacular porch posts and ornaments. 

American Foursqaure (c. 1895-1940): Also known as the Basic Box, the National Style, or the Classic Cube, American Foursquares are an ubiqitous building form in early 20th century American neighborhoods. The residences are roomy and economical, as the most possible space can be found beneath the gables or hipped roofs. The exteriors and large front porches were also flexible canvases for various stylistic features including: Prairie, Classical, Queen Anne, and Craftsman ornaments. 
Example: 610 North Saint Joseph Street1027 East Wayne Street 

School Houses: Across Saint Joseph County, small one story and one and a half story school houses were built to educate the children and the youth. In many cases, residents of the county gifted an acre of their land to the township on which to build a school. These buildings' identifiable features are gable or cross gable roof lines, proportions reminiscent of the Greek Revival style, symmetrical facades with a center entranceway and stoop. The schoolhouses had tall windows to allow natural light to enter the school rooms, and the exteriors were refined with Queen Anne, vernacular, and Greek Revival ornaments: corner returns, sun motifs, fish scale siding, and others.

Examples: the Old German Township Schoolhouse and School Master's house; 53117 and 53019 Olive Road; Cook School, Dragoon Trail; Pleasant View School No. 1/the Old Country Bake Shop, 65014 US 31, Lakeville, Indiana. 

Farmsteads, Barns and Agricultural Buildings: Prior to South Bend's industrial and manufacturing era, the area's rich and fertile soil provided sustenance and prosperty to many farmers. Farmsteads included the "big" house, summer kitchens and cottages, fenced in kitchen gardens, an orchard, pastures for the farm animals, fields for other crops, and several barns and other outbuildings arranged nearby: smoke houses, milk houses, corn cribs, chicken coops, silos, and granaries. 


Several notable "big" houses and a few intact farmsteads remain in the county. Large, elegant bank barns (barns built into a bank of land), German barns, and transverse barns can also be found. Many retain oversized, arched louvres (vents) and windows with Gothic influences, sliding barn doors, and cupolas. At least one round barn still stands in Saint Joseph County. 

19th & Early 20th Century Industrial Buildings: For several decades, South Bend was a vibrant hub of manufacturing, industry, engineering, and entreprenuerial development. Attracted by the waters of the Saint Joseph River, several businessmen and builders of the community constructed wood-framed mills and factories on the power races of the river to take advatage of this natural resource. As new products and industries developed, such as farm implements, tractors and plows, automobiles, domestic appliances and others, the industrial buildings also were modernized, grew in size and adapted to the ever changing landscape of the industries.

Factory buildings were built with brick and later with steel and reinforced concrete. They conformed to the manufacturing processes occuring within their walls and often had large windows that allowed natural light to enter the interiors. Industrial buildings were also located near railroad tracks, the transporation network for the movement of raw materials and final products. The funtional strength, massive scale and solid construction materials easily distinguishes these buildings from other building types and even from factories and warehouses dating after World War II to the present. 

Albert Kahn, a prolific Detriot-based industrial architect, designed several structures for the Studebaker Corporation: Buildings 85, 86, and 72. The remaining buildings of the Singer Brothers Cabinet Works on the east race are examples of a post-Civil War factory complex. 

Diners, Drive-ins, Gas Stations, Automobile Dealerships, and Pleasure Drives: The invention of the automobile spurred the fanciful development of new types of buildings and places where people could meet, be entertained or grab a bite to eat. Service stations and dealerships also were built to aid the customer and boost continued sale of the car. Drive-in movie theatres and drive-up diners and restaurants were exceedingly popular places that also had a distinctive style and design. In the 1950s and 1960s, space-age and futuristic themes and buoyant, boisterous signage in neon and bright colors allowed these buildings types to stand out from more traditional styles and construction of the 1920s and 1930s. 

The car also impacted landscape architecture as people sought to use their cars as a recreation and relaxation tool. Well-paved pleasure drives and coast-to-coast highways and their associated facilities were built to accomodate this new mode of transport.

Examples: Bonnie Doon Drive-in, 2704 Lincolnway West, Mishawaka; Northshore Drive and Northside Boulevard; the Lincoln Highway, now Lincolnway; the Automobile Club's Pavilion in Potawatomi Park, South Bend; the Freeman-Spicer Dealership, now the Studebaker National Museum, 525 S. Main Street, South Bend. 

Architectural Styles

Federal (c. 1840-1860): Residents of Saint Joseph County employed this style for their first permanent and consciously constructed residences. The style is characterized by a simple, austere aspect that recalls the colonial buildings popular on the east coast. Residences are typically rectangular in plan and two stories tall with a gable roof running the length of the building. They have an entrance in the center of the long side, typically with a front stoop but no porch. Example: 53597 Ironwood Road. 

Greek Revival (c. 1835-1860): This style evolved from the simple elegance of the Federal style. Builders added Greek and Roman forms, particularly the pedimented temple front and columns. This style was promoted by Thomas Jefferson in Virginia. In Saint Joseph County, farm houses, post offices, and early road-side travel lodges were built in this style. The buildings were constructed with brick or wood, and have gable returns, Greek or Tuscan columns gracing a portico, and are one and a half, or two stories tall. Half windows can be found often on the upper half story. Examples: Yesterday's Restaurant; the John Meztger Farmhouse, 14309 Adams Road 

Gothic Revival (c.1840-1870): This romantic revival style was applied to residential architecture from the 1840s to the 1860s, and to ecclesiastical and scholastic architecture from the 1840s into the twentieth century. The pointed arch, steeply pitched roofs, cross gables, decorative vergeboards, arched windows extending into the gables with eared drip moldings and decorative glass panes. Gothic Revival buildings were typically constructed with wood (vertical siding) or stone.

Examples: 601 Park Avenue, the Horatio Chapin House; 801 Park Avenue, the Davis House; and 415 LaSalle Street, St. Peter's United German Evangelical Church. 

Italianate (c.1860-1885): This picturesque style, promoted by Andrew Jackson Downing, recalled the medieval and renaissance italian domestic architecture of the tuscan villa. It has also been referred to as the American Bracketed Style due to its most characteristic feature - the cornice brackets. This style became quite popular in the Midwest in the 1860s until the 1890s. Buildings employing this style in Saint Joseph County range from residences with simple and symmetrical lines (61191 US 31, the Ullery/Farneman House) to the buildings with assymetrical massings, and porches with elaborate friezes, scrollwork and chamfered posts (63049 Turkey Trail, Francis Donaghue Farmhouse710 Park Avenue, the Andrew & Mary Chapin Anderson House). Use of brick or frame constructrion can be found upon many examples in the county. Local brick was used to construct 16479 Brick Road, the Warren Irving House. 

Second Empire (c. 1870-1880): The Second Empire Style or French Mansart style was popular in South Bend between 1870 and 1880. The defining feature is the Mansart roof, which is named for seventeenth century architect, Francois Mansart. This dual sloped hipped roof has dormers in the steep lower portion, which often also has a concave surface. The architectural ornament of this style closely resembles that of Italianate and other Victorian styles with molded cornices, brackets, embellished window and door surrounds. 

Examples are: 508 W. Washington, the Cushing House
405 W. Wayne Street
University of Notre Dame Administration Building, and Sorin College Dormitory 

Shingle Style - Named by Vincent Scully, of Yale University, buildings of the Shigle Style are covered in exactly that - shingles. The buildings of this style have asymetrical massings with rustic or classical ornamentation. The style is overall less ornate than Queen Anne buildings and uses more natural colors and fewer types of textures on the exterior. Example: 719 W. Colfax. 

Neo-Jacobean/Queen Anne (c.1890-1910) The historical precedent for this style is the English rural house built in the Jacobean Era and during Queen Anne's reign. These houses have a bulky yet inviting look due to irregular massing, exterior textures, and the large porches with turned posts, balusters, and frieze boards. Bay windows, porches, turrets, and other projections can be found on all facades of a building, which is topped by a pyramidal roof having gables, dormers and chimneys.

Examples: 511 East Colfax, Probst House.
702 W Colfax, the Fredrickson House

"Free Classic" Queen Annes are also common in the area. Upon the exterior of these residences can be found the free expression and creative use of classical features: columns, dentils, gable returns, palladian windows, and more.
Example: 1031 East Jefferson, Witmer House. 

Richardsonian Romanesque (c.1880-1890): Popularized by Henry Hobson Richardson in Boston during the 1880s and 1890s, this weighty style was applied to public buildings and grand manor residences. Built with rough-faced stonework, these buildings have a massive scale with complex rooflines, conical turrets or towers, and cut stone trim and embellishments. The style borrowed architectural elements from tenth to thirteenth century Europe.

Examples of this style: 300 West Washington, People's Church
620 W. Washington, "Tippecanoe Place," the Studebaker Mansion
808 W. Washington, "Copshaholm," the Oliver Mansion [Queen Anne hybrid]. 

Neo-Classical (c.1895-1950): Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1893 revived interest in the classical style of architecture across the country and influenced the establishment of the City-Beautiful Movement. Neo-Classical architecture is based on more correct usage of details and proportions of classical architectural than the Greek Revival Style. Upon public and commerical buildings and private residences one will find pilasters and full columns with Ionic or Corinthian capitals, pedimented porches and porticos, keystones, dentilled cornices, and symmetrial facades.

The First Church of Christ, Scientist at 405 North Main Street, South Bend; the Children's Dispensary/Hansel Center at 1045 West Washington, South Bend; the North Pumping Station and the Michigan Street Bidge; and 107 West North Shore are examples of the Neo-Classical style. 

Arts & Crafts (c.1905-1940): Inspired by oriental wooden architecture and the English arts & crafts movement, bungalows and craftsman buildings sprang up across the country, especially after the publication of the magazine "The Craftsman" by Gustave Stickley and the work of Greene & Greene. The Arts & Crafts movement sought to retain the values of the artisan and fine craftsman during the industrial revolution. It was also hoped that the quality of life of the public would be enhanced by their contact with architecture and the domestic arts produced by principled artisans. This style is notable for it modestly scaled buildings finely crafted with exposed rafter tails, roof brackets, low overhanging roofs, ample porches with tapered square piers or wood posts, and facades created from stucco, wood clapboards, or masonry.

Examples: 1025 Hudson Avenue; 1059 Riverside Drive;
549 Edgewater Drive; 528 River Avenue, and 525 River Avenue 

Prairie Style (c.1905-1920): The Prairie Style is one of America's few purely indigenous styles. It originated in Chicago at the turn of the century by a group of architects under the guidance of Frank Lloyd Wright. The style's popularity spread throughout the Midwest; South Bend has many residential examples. The style can be identified by a building's low pitched and typically hipped roof, wide overhanging eaves, grouped windows, and simple details that emphasize horizontal lines; porches often have massive square piers.

Examples: 1091 Riverside Drive, the Thaddeus Talcott/Crumlish House
719 West Washington, the DeRhodes House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
1027 East Wayne Street 

Colonial Revival (c.1880-present): Inspired by the American Centennial, Colonial Revival buildings became popular in the 1880s and remained so through the 20th century. The identifying features are the applied details borrowed from early American interpretations of English and Continental styles. A common sub-style is the Dutch Colonial Revival, which is dominated by the use of the gambrel roof form.

Architectural Detail: Colonial Revival Entrance 

Example of English Colonial Revival: 103 Eddy Street, the Lippincott House;
The Studebaker Clubhouse/Bendix Woods Nature Center (see left)

Examples of Dutch Colonial Revival: 231 South Eddy Street, South Bend;
814 Arch Avenue; 209 West North Shore Drive, the Neff House 

Eclectic Period Revivals (c.1880-1945/present): The trend toward reviving architectural traditions from the past and from diverse cultures developed into a movement in the late nineteenth century; these structures are generally referred to as Eclectic Revivals. These styles are characterized by the free application of architectural detail to a variety of forms, and included the following revivals: Renaissance, Chateauesque, Tudor, or English Country Revival, Mission, Spanish Eclectic, Collegiate Gothic, and Moorish.

Chateauesque/French Eclectic: 1242 East Jefferson, Stanley A. Clark House
Collegiate Gothic: South Quad (Lyons, Morrisey, Dillon, Alumni, O'Shaughnessy Halls) on the campus of the University of Notre Dame 
English Gothic Revival: First Methodist Church, Main Street, South Bend Mission Revival:221 West North Shore (also a Sears House)
Renaissance Revival: 628 Park Avenue; 1611 East Wayne
Spanish Baroque Eclectic: Palais Royale, 209 North Michigan Street, South Bend & the Morris Performing Arts Center, 217 N Michigan, South Bend
Tudor Revival/English Country House: 815 Arch Avenue; 229 West North Shore; 835 Park Avenue 

Art Deco/Art Moderne (1920-1940): Art Deco and Art Moderne styles feature smooth, often stucco, wall surfaces with geometric motifs and projections. Towers are common feature of the Art Deco style, while horizontal lines and forms are common to Art Moderne buildings.

Examples: Ballroom of the LaSalle Hotel, 237 N Michigan Street, John Adams High School, Perley Elementary School. 

International Style (1920-present): The International Style was formulated in Europe between the two world wars by Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, and several others. These rebellious thinkers and designers embraced the technological revolution, new materials, and industrial advancements of Western culture. They hoped to break with the eclectism and historicism of the 1880s-1910s and design a "new" architecture steeped in the values and principles of their "new" day. The International Style came to American shores with the immigration of architects leaving Europe during World War II. Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe are two such examples whose ideas and work influenced a generation of American architects, including Philip Johnson. The ideals of these early theorists were unfortunately often misinterpreted in lesser commissions. 

The International Style consists of steel structural elements covered with a thin non-structural skin of expansive glass or other material. Purity of geometry, space and plan and the efficient use of materials were main focuses for architects working within this style. 

South Bend has several examples of architecture with roots in the International Style: Century Center, designed by Philip Johnson, and the First Source Bank/Marriot Hotel, by Helmut Jahn. Walnut Grove is a unique example of a designed post-war residential community/collective with ties to the modernist theories of 1920s Europe. It is located off East Jefferson Boulevard in South Bend. 

Post World War II Residential (Minimal Traditional Style, Ranches, Cape Cods, Eclectic Traditional): With the return of the soldiers from World War II, the country experienced a housing shortage and then a housing boom as developers quickly built up large tracts of land with small, uniform one and two story houses - mostly Cape Cods. In the 1950s and 1960s, housing tastes had again changed with the design of the ranch. These one story rambling houses have low-pitched roofs, and broad rambling facades. Ranches led to the design of the Split-Level and other contemporary types of residences.

Examples: 1212 East Jefferson (Split Level), and 1228 East Jefferson (Ranch)