From Battery Park to Forest Hill and beyond, it’s not hard to find American Foursquare homes in Richmond. This no-frills architectural style rose to popularity in the early 1900s across the United States, and most of these houses are still going strong a century later. Whether you already own an American Foursquare in Richmond or you’re looking for one to call your own, here’s everything you need to know about these classic homes.
The History of the American Foursquare
While Foursquare style homes are ubiquitous today, they were nearly nonexistent before 1900. A decade later, thousands had been built across the U.S. This simple style arose as a much-needed alternative to the exuberance of the fussy Queen Anne styles popular in the Victorian era.
Contrary to the rambling, asymmetrical styles of Victorian homes, Foursquares were built to make the most of every square inch of space. Their rectangular, efficient design meant they could be sited on small lots without sacrificing space inside. They were economical too, well-suited to using prefabricated parts. Because of this, Sears Roebuck and other mail-order retailers actually sold these as prefab homes in their catalogs. According to Bob Vila, Sears Roebuck sold 75,000 prefabricated houses in 370 designs between 1908 and 1940 — and Foursquares were consistently among their best-selling designs.
Spotting an American Foursquare in Richmond
Foursquare homes are easy to recognize if you know what you’re looking for. Some may be embellished with Craftsman, Prairie School, or Colonial Revival details, but these are the basic hallmarks of the Foursquare style:
- Cube Shape — Not surprisingly, these homes were built in a boxy square shape, usually with four equal-sized rooms on the first and second floors. They usually have two full stories with an attic that could be used as living space.
- Pyramidal Hipped Roof — Foursquare roofs tend to come to a peak in the center. Also common, a central monitor dormer (one whose roofline mirrors the primary roof) in the attic.
- Wide Front Porch — This usually spans the entire width of the house.
- Simple, Symmetrical Details — Large windows, doors, and stairs tend to be centered and straightforward in design.
The interiors of American Foursquares often contain built-ins like bookcases and window seats. You’ll also find hardwood floors, wainscotting, and a strong focus on the hearth and mantle.
American Foursquares for Sale in Richmond
This style of home remains popular with Richmond homebuyers today for numerous reasons. For one, it’s an ideal home for families due to its generous size. And the design of the Fourquare lends itself to modern renovations — it’s an easy floorplan to open up, or to divide rooms to add storage or bathrooms.
In Richmond, you’ll find the highest concentration of Foursquares in neighborhoods that were built at the turn of the 20th century. Often designed as streetcar communities, these neighborhoods now attract modern buyers thanks to their historical character, tree-lined streets, and tight-knit communities. Northside, Southside, and some parts of Church Hill are great places to find Foursquare homes in Richmond.
Are you ready to start the search for an American Foursquare home in Richmond? Reach out to our team today to find your perfect property.