What's a Cape Cod?

Posted on: August 12, 2011

We’ll focus every so often on a style of architecture found in the greater Philadelphia area – this week, it’s the Cape Cod.

The Cape Cod style house  (or “Cape”) originated in the 17th century as a mostly symmetrical 1.5 story house build by early settlers to New England.  The term “Cape Cod House” was seen as early as 1821.  The style we see more commonly today is considered a “Colonial Revival Cape” and still has the front door in the center of the house, flanked generally by two windows.  Terms like Half-Cape or Three-Quarter Cape refer to smaller versions of the same facade, with the Half-Cape having windows only on one side of the front door, and the Three-Quarter Cape having one window on one side of the front door, and two on the other.

courtesy of Wikipedia

Over the years, Capes have gotten bigger and smaller, depending on the financial climate in the country.  Many have additional wings, garages, roof dormers for more finished space upstairs, or have a doubled-up front with four windows on either side of the front door.  The smaller Capes enjoyed a resurgence in the Depression era as demand for affordable housing grew.

918 Brown St, Huntingdon Valley Cape Cod

 

Above is one of our listings that shows the traditional Cape Cod facade with (more) modern improvements in Huntingdon Valley, currently listed with Sean Ryan at $385,000 (click the photo for a full virtual tour).  You can see the roof dormer indicating finished space above and a front porch, rather than a picket fence.

 

Have any other styles you’d like to learn more about?  Let us know in the comments.