Nestled in the gorgeous Berkshire Mountains and just an hour's drive from New York City, Ridgefield, CT, is a haven for those seeking a peaceful, idyllic community. With a history stretching over three centuries and a population of 25,000, Ridgefield offers visitors and residents a unique experience. With charming local shops, restaurants, and a highly-rated school system, this town is perfect for raising a family. When looking for things to do, new residents can visit the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, or catch a show at the Prospector Theater, ACT of Connecticut, or the Ridgefield Playhouse. If Ridgefield sounds like the right place for you, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the architectural styles you'll see in this historic town before you start your home search.
Center Chimney Colonial
The Center Chimney Colonial style is a classic architectural style that emerged between 1700 and 1760. Its pitched gable roof and rectangular shape make it a minimalist and functional design popular with modern buyers. One of the defining features of Ridgefield architecture in this style is its south- or road-facing orientation, which maximizes natural light and ensures a pleasing aesthetic. The building is usually two rooms deep, with an entry centered on the long wall and a symmetric arrangement of small multi-pane windows. This simple and elegant style offers a timeless appeal that resonates with homeowners today.
New England Farmhouse
The New England Farmhouse from 1700-1790 is a classic example of simplicity and practicality. This rectangular-shaped home typically ranged from one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half stories tall, with centered entryways on the long wall. The narrow clapboard siding added to the understated elegance of the farmhouse. Large chimneys sat centrally, providing warmth during the colder months. The windows comprised small panes in a 12-over-12 or 6-over-9 configuration and were located symmetrically in a 3-bay or 5-bay facade.
Cape Cod-style architecture remains a beloved design throughout New England, with many homes considered cottages. The style is rooted in history, with early versions dating back to the 17th century and enjoying a revival in 20th-century custom homes. To recognize a classic example of this design, look for one-and-one-half-story cottages with low ceilings, steep roofs, a central door, and side gables. Popular materials used in construction are oak, pine, and clapboard. Though a classic Cape Cod color scheme relies on whites and blues, a modern design often portrays many other colors.
When it comes to Ridgefield architecture styles, few are as distinctive as the Georgian. Named after the English monarchs who reigned from 1714 to 1830, these homes are known for their symmetrical facades, two-room depth, and use of natural light. Georgian houses typically have smaller upper-level windows. It is also common to find lower ceilings in formerly staff quarters. If you're looking for a Georgian home, watch for details like a brick or stone facade, fanlight windows, columns, and arches.
Center Hall Colonial
The Center Hall Colonial style, popular between 1740 and 1780, is rectangular with a central hallway. This style has two chimneys, with the floorplan typically two rooms deep and two stories high. The entry is always centered, with windows arranged symmetrically across the facade. The style's symmetry also extends to the interior design, with a balanced layout that adds to the home's elegant feel. The Center Hall Colonial style is timeless for a classic and sophisticated home.
The Neoclassical architectural style draws from the elegance and symmetry of Roman and Greek architecture and first emerged in the mid-18th century. Its widespread popularity led to prominent buildings adopting this style, such as the White House in Washington, D.C. To identify a Neoclassical home, look for massive scale, geometric designs, columns with intricate Doric details, and a domed or flat roof. The Neoclassical style still influences construction styles today, evoking a sense of timeless elegance and grandeur.
From 1790 to 1830, the Federal style of architecture, also known as the "Adam" style, flourished in homes nationwide. Characterized by its emphasis on symmetrical design, minimalist ornamentation, and geometric motifs, the Federal style was especially prevalent in the northeast region of the United States. One easily recognizable feature of a Federal home is the presence of a symmetrical facade, usually a square or rectangle shape with carefully balanced elements drawing the eye to the central entrance. Other defining features of the Federal style include dormer windows, intricate moldings, and an overall sense of classic elegance.
The Greek Revival style, an architectural trend that has stood the test of time, is a timeless classic that inspires designers and architects today. The revival took hold in the early 1800s, fueled partly by a fascination with the iconic Parthenon. This love affair with Greek architecture flourished throughout the Civil War era, resulting in an explosion of Greek Revival-style homes and public buildings across the country. Today, identifying a Greek Revival property is simple - look out for white plastered exteriors with pediments and columns on the front porch. The decorative ornamentation on second-story windows is a telltale sign of this enduring Ridgefield architecture style.
From the 1840s to the 1860s, the Gothic Revival style of Victorian-era design was widely popular for homes. With its origins firmly rooted in the architecture of medieval churches, this ornate and intricate style became a prevalent feature in church buildings across the United States, enduring well through to the 1940s. However, when it came to homes, the Gothic Revival style was most commonly found in suburban or country properties, as its grandeur and unique features often needed to fit city-planned lots. If you're searching for a Gothic Revival-style home, watch for telltale features such as a steeply-pitched roof, windows with pointed arches, stained glass, and asymmetrical floor plans.
Italianate homes, a popular style of architecture during the Victorian Era throughout the United States, were built between 1840 and 1885. Derived from the Italian Renaissance, gardens, and Romanticism, the Italianate style was characterized by its ornamental details, such as corniced eaves, towers, and arched or bay windows. These homes typically feature two to four stories, a brick or clapboard structure, decorative woodwork, and an elevated wooden porch. They stand out with their low-pitched, hipped roofs, square columns with beveled corners, and a windowed entry door. Watch for these identifying features to catch a glimpse of Italianate homes for sale.
The Queen Anne style, a popular Victorian architectural style, takes its inspiration from buildings constructed during the reign of Queen Anne, from 1702 to 1714. This style made its way to the United States between 1880 and 1910. To distinguish a property as having Queen Anne style, one should look for a steeply pitched and irregularly shaped roof, cross-gables with decorative trimmings, and a large porch with intricate spindlework. In addition, these homes often feature a tower with a round or polygonal design, asymmetrical structures, and bay windows. If half-timbering is absent, decorative textures such as bas-relief friezes and pebbled walls are often found. Large dormer windows also make their appearance in the Queen Anne style.
The Colonial Revival style emerged during the late 19th century and extended until the mid-20th century. This architectural style primarily draws inspiration from the Georgian, Federal, and Dutch Colonial periods of American history. The idea behind Colonial Revival was to design homes that resembled earlier American buildings to evoke nostalgia and pride. Classical-inspired porticos and Palladian windows were essential elements of this style. Gables and Greek, Roman, and Renaissance facades were also commonly incorporated. The windows are symmetrically arranged and double-hung with multi-pane designs, further adding to the aesthetic appeal. Overall, the Colonial Revival style is a beautiful example of how architecture can represent a nation's history and cultural heritage.
If you're looking for a home with unique architectural features, consider the Tudor Revival style. Popular between the late 1800s and early 1900s, this style is characterized by half-timbered walls, arched doorways, and diamond-patterned windows. In addition, it's common to see multiple chimneys and a mix of materials like stucco, slate, stone, or brick on the exterior. But what really sets the Tudor Revival style apart is its steeply pitched gabled roof and asymmetrical layout. If you're looking for a charming, one-of-a-kind home, check out Tudor Revival listings in your area.
No matter which architectural style you prefer, Ridgefield has something for everyone. From the grandeur of Italianate homes to the pebbled walls of Queen Anne-style properties and the historical reflections of Colonial Revival houses, a Ridgefield home can fit your needs and desires. With all these options, finding the perfect property for yourself or your family in this beautiful town should be easy. For help with your home search, contact one of the experienced agents on the Marion Filley Team.