Stick Style Homes

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The Stick House Boasts a Lot of Detailing

A member of the Victorian family, along with Second Empires and Queen Annes, the Stick house boasts a lot of detailing. However, few Stick homes incorporate all the possible features. Typical characteristics include gabled, steeply pitched roofs with overhangs; wooden shingles covering the exterior walls and roof; horizontal, vertical, or diagonal boards--the "sticks" from which it takes its name--that decorate the cladding; and porches.

Stick Style


You'll find traditional sticks in the Northeast and their sister, the Western Stick, in California. The Western Stick is rectangular with sliding glass doors, a small chimney, and large panes of glass.

The Stick style sought to bring a translation of the balloon framing used in houses in the era by alluding to them through plain trim boards, soffits, aprons, and other decorative features, while eliminating overtly ornate features such as rounded towers and gingerbread trim. Maximum picturesque value could be achieved within the means of a house-carpenter equipped with a woodturning lathe. Recognizably "Queen Anne" details: interpenetrating roof planes with bold panelled brick chimneys, the embedded corner tower (rendered as an octagon) with its conical roof, the wrap-around porch, spindle detailing, the "panelled" sectioning of blank wall, crown detailing along the roof peaks, radiating spindle details at the gable peaks.

The home of President Warren G. Harding (Harding Home) in Marion, Ohio, is another example of stick style architecture. The porch (which is best known as the home of the Front Porch Campaign of 1920) was designed by architect Frank Packard and built onto the house is neo-classical in style, while influenced by the Queen Anne era in that it wraps around the house. Highly stylized and decorative versions of the Stick style are often referred to as Eastlake

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