Residential Architecture of Tunkhannock Homes

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Nestled among the rolling Endless Mountains the town of Tunkhannock boasts many examples of high-style architecture. The majority of homes, however, can be characterized as architecturally vernacular (A big word for homes built for a certain ethnic area or time period, as I understand it.) 

One of the most compelling homes in Tunkhannnock was built in the late 19th century, by architect George Franklin Barber, of Knoxville Tennessee, for a prominent local attorney of that period. Piatt-Ogden house was built in the high style of Queen Anne architecture. (Arnoldini - 2004)

Of all the Victorian styles, Queen Anne is the most elaborate and the most eccentric. The style is often called romantic and feminine, yet it is the product of a most unromantic era -- the machine age. Perhaps that is why the Queen Anne style became an architectural fashion statement in the 1880s and 1890s, when the industrial revolution was building up steam. 

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Residential homes radiated out from the Wyoming County Court House durning the mid to late 19th century, at the height of the area's residential development. 

The Wyoming County Court House was first built as a two story brick building in 1843 and then re-designed into the three story Italian Villa style by architect D.R. Nott in 1870. 
This architectural style became popular by the late 1860s. Its popularity was due to its being suitable for many different building materials and budgets, as well as the development of cast-iron and press-metal technology making the production of decorative elements like the brackets and cornices more efficient. 


Tunkhannock's historic residential district was built in a tightly packed grid style to accommodate a very much early walking and horse and buggy community.
 
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These two homes are examples of American Foursquare style. The main portion of these homes are nearly always square with occasionally additions built off the back of the home. The design was built for space-saving efficiency.  


The hallmarks of the style include a basically square, boxy design, two-and-one-half stories high, usually with four large, boxy rooms to a floor, and a front porch with wide stairs. The boxy shape provides a maximum amount of interior room space, to u
se a small city lot to best advantage. 

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This Craftsman style home was influenced by the California Arts and Crafts movement, however the movement began in England in the 1860s as a reform movement that challenged the tastes of the Victorian era. This wonderful homes builders took advantage of the abundance of creek stones, which now is illegal to remove, but adds a certain charm to this home.

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Known as the suburban bungalow these homes were first found in English from 1696, where it was used to describe "bungales or hovells" in India for English sailors of the East India Company, which does not sound like very grand lodgings, but later in America, they were a sign of  high status and considered very exotic. Architects began to widely used this design in the late 19th century for large country or suburban houses.


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British colonial architecture swept the United States since 1876. In the 19th century, the Colonial Revival took a more eclectic style, and columns were often seen. They were designed around the kinds of homes colonists had in Europe.  They were made from wooden boards.   There was usually two stories with a winding  stairway to get upstairs.  There were large stone chimneys, and small windows.  The nicer homes had a parlor, dining room, several  bedroons and some extra buildings called "dependencies".  These included smokehouses, and servants housing. Outdoor toilets were called "necessaries.


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Here are two of the three Sears model homes that were put together here in Tunkhannock. Sears Catalog Homes (sold as Sears Modern Homes) were ready-to-assemble kit houses sold through mail  order by Sears, Roebuck and Company an American company.  More than 70,000 of these were sold in North America between 1908 and 1940. Shipped via railroad, these kits included all the materials needed to build a house. Many were assembled by the new homeowner and friends, relatives, and neighbors, in a fashion similar to the traditional barn-raising of farming families.