There is a lot of history and style in our quiet little town of Ridgewood, New Jersey and a great deal of that history can be found in the town’s architecture. From the first home built by Johannes Van Emburgh in 1700 right through to today’s newer developments, the architectural styling of Ridgewood tells the story of our town. Take a drive around Ridgewood and see if you can identify the different styles of houses that add to our town’s character. To get you started, we’ve provided a quick snapshot of four of the more popular styles of architectural design that can be found within our community.
English Tudor/English Cottage
The English Tudor style of architecture, or more accurately the Tudor Revival style, brings to mind quaint little pubs in the English countryside. Characterized by its dark “half timbering” on a white stucco background and steeply pitched roofs, Tudor houses and cottages are almost immediately recognizable and stand out amongst the other, less rustic, styles of building. Massive decorative chimneys, small window panes in narrow tall windows and cross gables all add to the Tudor style's unique characteristics. Ridgewood has its fair share of English Tudor styling and if you’d like to see a classic example first hand, take a drive by 20 Garber Square; you’ll immediately see what makes the English Tudor style so recognizable.
The Queen Anne style of architecture, sometimes referred to as Princess Anne, is typically dominated by the classic wrap-around porch and round tower that draws the eye to the fantasy-like design of these houses. Found throughout the United States, this style of architecture brings to mind the brownstones of Brooklyn and the “painted ladies” that can be found in the winding streets of San Francisco. Asymmetrical in shape and typically adorned with decorative shingles or half-timbering, Queen Anne houses are the classic gingerbread style of home with ornamental accents like spindles and brackets. For a great example of a Queen Anne style home in our own town, take a walk past 70 Ridge Road and see how many different features you can identify that make it a classic example of this popular style of home.
Tidy, orderly and symmetrical are words that accurately describe the Neo-Classical house. Although technically not a style on its own, Neo-Classical homes embody a single approach to design: symmetry and balance. Characteristics of Neo-Classic houses showcase a balance of windows and doors on both sides of a front door, bracketed by large symmetrical columns and pediments that welcome residents and guests to the entryway. Antebellum houses are often of the Neo-classical style and conjure images of the post-civil war plantation style of home. Want to see a great example of our own Neo-classical architecture in Ridgewood? If you’re ever in the neighborhood, take a wander past 374 Hillcrest Road and you’ll notice the symmetrical features that make this house a classic example of a well-loved architectural style.
Probably one of the most, if not the most, “American” style of house is the Colonial Revival. This style of home, still constructed today, expresses a feel of patriotism, as well as a return to simpler, classic architecture that was predominant between 1876 and the 1950’s. Colonial Revival can be identified by the unassuming, symmetrical lines of the houses featuring central entryways, brick or wood siding, double-hung windows, dormers and porticos (small entry porches) topped by a pediment (think the Pantheon in Rome or the New York Stock Exchange). Typical Colonial Revival houses feature living areas on the main floor, with bedrooms on the upper floor or floors of these 2 and 3-story homes. Ridgewood has many examples of this popular style of architecture and examples can be found all over the community. For a fantastic model of Colonial Revival, head over to the historic Turner House at 168 Prospect Street. The symmetry and columns make this house an especially great specimen of this popular design of American home.
If you would like to learn more about the history and architecture of Ridgewood real estate, in particular the style of your own Ridgewood home, there are plenty of resources online to help in your research.
Do you have some more examples of Ridgewood’s wonderful architecture? We’d love to hear about it! Post in the comments section below and tell us what you’ve discovered in Ridgewood architecture. Do you live in one of the homes we’ve mentioned above? Let us know what it’s like to live in a piece of our town’s history!