The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hidden Plainfield: Exotic origin of a common NJ home

Extremely tall pines give this small home a stately appearance.
Today's Hidden Plainfield home is a comfortable gambrel-roofed structure which is given a certain stateliness by the extremely tall and elegant pines flanking the front of the home.

Gambrel roofs can be spotted on homes throughout Plainfield, usually of two differing architectural periods. (They are also the quintessential roof form for barns throughout the country as they allow for more hay storage on the upper floor.)

While they are sometimes found on large Victorians with Colonial Revival characteristics, they are most commonly found on smaller 1920s and 1930s homes and are often referred to as 'Dutch Colonials'.

Today's example may actually have been a pattern-book house and would have appealed to a homebuyer on a budget as the gambrel gave extra space to second floor rooms over a simple gable.

What may surprise some readers is that the roof shape is inspired by native structures of the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) which were seen by Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese explorers and traders and re-imagined in European settings -- and hence descending to American usage (see more here).

Do you know where today's property is?

Answer tomorrow.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Like the "Seven Sisters" it is a house I have seen, but where? Could it be on Fernwood Ave?

Jeff said...

Front Street, up from the 7 sisters. Its a cute house, but I wonder what it would look like without the towering trees.