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Kansas City’s rich collection of historic homes with varied designs and styles represent the history of the city and allow each home’s current owners to connect with it in a unique way. Check out 5 historic home styles below that can be found around KC.

colonial revival house

Versions of Colonial Revivals range from heavily ornamental with inspiration coming from Victorian-era designs or clean, simplistic styles to show a practical, yet respectable sentiment.

Colonial Revival – 1890-1965

Colonial Revival homes were inspired by colonial-era Dutch and American homes. Their rise in popularity in early 1900 was due to a renewed interest in patriotism, but their timeless, solid design has made them a top choice for builders for nearly a century.

Typically, these homes are two stories with symmetrical facades. Grand foyers with decorative pediments supported by columns or pilasters and additional side lights and fan lights are characteristic of these homes. Windows were often double-hung with multipaned sashes for great curb appeal.

Tudor Revival – 1900-1950

Dible Tudor Revival House

These homes are defined by their solid masonry construction paired with half-timbering detailing along the upper level.

These strikingly recognizable homes are especially common around Brookside, with many of them built by the famous N.W. Dible. Their design was inspired by late Medieval and Renaissance architecture.

While some of these homes were grandiose and incredibly expensive, many were specifically intended for the middle class because new technology in veneering lowered the overall cost to construct them. You can spot these homes easily by their steeply pitched roofs, prominent gables, brick, stone, or stucco veneers, decorative half-timbering, tall, narrow windows, and large, imposing chimneys.


Craftsman Bungalow – 1904-1940

Craftsman Bungalows were touted as “ideal starter homes” for middle-class families.

Craftsman Bungalows exploded in popularity during this time, especially because they were touted as “ideal starter homes” for middle-class families.

Their popularity and relatively simple design made them a top choice for planned subdivisions and communities during the post-war era. Craftsman Bungalows are mostly 1-1 ½ stories with comfortably spacious full-width front porches accented by heavy square columns. The exterior was typically clad with stone, brick, or stucco and the roofs were low-pitched in the front with side gables.

Keep an eye out for Airplane Bungalows! This unique version of bungalow can be identified by it’s smaller second story room with windows on all sides that often acted as a sleeping porch prior to air conditioning.  The architecture of the “airplane rooms” leands itself to being a very versitle room. They can vary to be a bedroom, office, or playroom. Sometimes there are bathrooms attached.

American Foursquare – 1905-1935

American Foursquare homes’ appearance resulted from a strong focus on simplicity, functionality, and the economy of building.

American Foursquares drew inspiration from Frank Llyod Wright and various other Chicago architects of the Prairie School movement during the post-Victorian era. Their boxlike appearance resulted from a strong focus on simplicity, functionality, and the economy of building.

These homes are two stories and have hipped roofs with wide-eave overhangs. The front of the homes are dominated by wide porches supported by pillars with square posts. The exterior of an American Foursquare is usually a combination of stucco and locally quarried stone.

Kansas City Shirtwaist or Midwest Shirtwaist – 1900- 1920

These homes are typically two stories and have hipped roofs with wide-eave overhangs.

Kansas City has it’s own style called the Kansas City Shirtwaist, named after its resemblance to women’s blouses of the time. These iconic homes have steep bell-cast gabled roofs with curves on the end to create a flared eave. The exteriors usually feature limestone lower stories with wood lap or stucco upper stories. Inside, a stairway to each level would run along one side of the home and include a side door leading out to the driveway.

Interested in purchasing a historic home? Ellen is Kansas City’s historic home expert! Send her a message online today to start hunting for your own piece of KC history to call home!