.... Most of the large houses in England which date from 1725 or later, and a very great proportion of the smaller houses in the cities or suburban English villages, were designed in the Renaissance or Classic styles, and in the latter part of the eighteenth century and the early part of the nineteenth century, English architecture can hardly be distinguished in certain of its phases from good American Colonial work, although most American houses were built of wood, while most of the English houses of the same period were built of brick. That this resemblance should have existed is by no means extraordinary; America was then in process of colonization, and then, as now, a large proportion of the American mechanics came from England, and, accustomed to English usages, naturally continued to build as they had been trained. Architects at that time were few and far between, and carpenters and masons were in most cases responsible for the design of American structures, while the few architects who were in active practice used English books and had acquired their knowledge of past work mainly from England. The similarity between English work during the reigns of the four Georges and the American work of the same period is so marked that many writers on architectural subjects have preferred to use the term "Georgian" for American work as well as for English of that time, in preference to the term "Colonial," the vernacular expression.

The architecture which we are accustomed to think of as English is not this English Georgian, but the English cottage work, which began to take its present form as early as the fifteenth century, and which has existed up to the present day without substantial change. It is pre-eminently a product of the soil, an art carried on, not by studious inquiry of architects into form, color, and texture, but rather one developed by artisans whose education was obtained entirely from local traditions. The processes used are always the simplest, the materials those at hand, and the forms those customarily adapted to the peculiar location in which the houses were built.....

1 The characteristics of the various architectural styles in domestic architecture are discussed briefly. Most houses in America which are commonly classed as of English, or of Spanish, or of Italian or other styles merely have dominant characteristics of these styles. In fact, many houses are carelessly tagged English or Colonial or some other style when they are a hodgepodge of a number of styles or perhaps lack definite characteristics of any style whatsoever.

2 Adapted from The Livable House (New York: Moffat, Yard & Co., 1917), pp. 58-68.

The plans of most English houses are unquestionably bad - how bad no one who has not studied the plans of even the capable modern architects can conceive; and there is case after case in English work recently constructed where the connection between the kitchen and the dining-room is across the main entrance hall of the house, or where the living-room must be traversed to reach the reception-room. Now it is probably not true that a good plan means a poor exterior, yet it is unquestionably true that the freedom with which the English treat their plans gives them a much greater opportunity to design in a picturesque way. They think nothing of stringing their houses out, room after room, without any hall connecting them, of placing the kitchens twenty-five to forty feet from the dining-rooms, and of reversing what we expect to be the order in which rooms are placed. Nor do they attempt to design rooms without jutting corners or of regular shapes, and in consequence they are enabled to treat their facades with a diversity of motives practically unheard of in American work, even where an attempt has been made to conform to English ideals.

Another factor which makes it difficult to design successfully in the English style is the difference between climatic conditions here and in England; and while this difference is by no means so marked as between this country and Italy, it is still considerable enough to have marked influence upon design. As in Italy, the porches or piazzas are practically absent from English work, and it is a very rare thing to see an English house which has a covered terrace in any way resembling our piazza. As in Italy, windows are usually much smaller than we find necessary here; in the first place, because in England artificial heating arrangements in the rural districts are poor and insufficient, so that large glass areas would make the rooms cold in winter; and also since their summers are by no means so hot as ours, they do not feel that large windows are at any time necessary. As stated in the next article, in the case of the Italian houses, a very important factor in the design of the facade is the size and the spacing of the windows, and our architects find it most difficult to convince their clients that an English house must have small windows to be truly successful. Now this is not because we wish to be archaeologically correct, but because the high quality of English design depends upon large plain wall surfaces, as well as upon broken and irregular plan, and with the typical American plan with rooms of simple shapes and of fixed sizes and positions of openings it is next to impossible to secure the irregular outline of the English work.....

The materials used in English work have also something to do with its picturesqueness; we are accustomed here to build a brick house, or a wood house, or a stucco house, making the whole house of wood, or brick, or stucco, and this is due somewhat to the growth of an American tradition dating from pre-Revolutionary times, although in the Dutch settlements around New York it was not infrequent to find stone, brick, stucco, and shingles used for wall coverings in the same small farm house. In England not only was it customary to use a variety of materials for different portions of the same house, but also to mix the materials in the same portion; as, for example, the familiar "half timber" construction, where brick and wood are used alternately, or where brick coigns are used in a stucco wall, stone coigns in a brick wall, or stone introduced into a stucco wall at angles, windows heads, etc. In some English houses we even find the whole fašade a sort of checker board of two different materials, stone and brick in alternate squares, or chalk and black flint used in patterns, so that the large plain surfaces customary in English work become decorative mosaics. This playful and interesting treatment is almost entirely absent from our American houses.....