Tried and True American Homes

Remodeling, renovating & redesigning homes in a country with a rich history.

Renovating historic American homes

English Tudor home, Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN. Historic restoration/preservation by Purcell | Remodeling & Renovation.

We have a lot to celebrate during the month of July. America’s Independence Day is not only a time to be thankful for all that we have, but it also serves as a time to set aside differences, enjoy the country that we live in and our uniqueness for American home design. We also look to the red, white and blue flag for all that it symbolizes for us – freedom, liberty, and opportunity for all.

Smithsonian American flag

The large Star Spangled Banner Flag that inspired the lyrics of the US national anthem when it flew above Fort McHenry in the 1814 Battle of Baltimore. Smithsonian’s National Museum of History and Technology

Fun Fact: The red, white, and blue colors of the American flag have specific meanings. White to symbolize purity, red to symbolize hardiness and valor, and blue symbolizes vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

Our Passion:  American Historic Home Remodeling

We are especially thankful to be remodeling, renovating and redesigning homes in a country with such a rich history. The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul alone have a bustling community of historic home owners and landmark districts in which people from all over the world travel to experience.

So, we started to wonder, what is the history of homes in America? How has it changed, and are we slowly going back to our roots or progressing forward with new and expressive designs?

Using the Past as Inspiration for Home Design

The interesting part about architecture is that even if you’re building a new home, there are always pieces from the past used as inspiration. When American itself was new, it was colonized by Europeans who only had inspiration from different countries to draw from for their homes. Thus, styles such as English Tudor, Spanish Colonial, Gothic, Victorian and others became popular in America. All numbers of these various homes were erected throughout the country, concluding that the history of American homes really begins with the European-styled architecture.

Frank Lloyd Wright – a Turning Point in American Home Design

But, a turning point came in America when Frank Lloyd Wright came onto the scene. Wright’s architectural style revolutionized American homes, leading the nation to turn away from tall colonial homes to low, horizontal lines that left space for open concept floor plans.

American Architecture

It was in the early 1900’s when America’s own style of architecture emerged. As builders started to abandon the ornate styles of Victorian architecture, they turned toward compact and economical building styles. Midwest Four Square and Bungalows became popular at the same time the American middle class grew.

It was during this period, and throughout the 1900’s, that “American architecture” became an idea in and of itself and not just a by-product of European influence. And, let’s not forget that there are innumerable styles of homes influenced by class, city, economy, popular architects and many more variables.

The Neo-Style Home – A New Take on the Classics

When the World War II ended in 1945, the idea of suburbs became popular by soldiers returning home and wanting to build a sustainable future for their families. The demand for homes grew, and we were introduced to “Neo” style homes, neo meaning new. There are entire neighborhoods in the suburbs of America where every home is built in neo-style architecture. Neo-Colonial, Neo-Victorian and Neo-Eclectic are a few of these new takes on old classics. Millions of us are currently living in a neo-style home.

There is a whole world of historic homes to discover out there. We find ourselves wanting to know more about each developing style of architecture. If you find yourself curious to know more about this topic, there are year-round historic house tours that you can sign up for, and many other online resources available just a few clicks away.

We are excited for the history of America and American architecture and proud to be able to work on so many Historic Minnesotan Homes in our beautiful state.

Our favorite projects continue to be preserving historic homes. There is nothing quite like being surrounded by walls that tell stories of past families. And, even if you’re taking on the task of building a new home from the ground up, your home’s history starts with you, and what could be better?

– Tim and the Purcell Team