A Passion for Architecture – The House I Grew Up In – Part 2

IMG_3591I was born in Chicago, but celebrated my 6th birthday in Evanston, IL. where we moved to a Colonial Revival style home on the corner of Asbury Avenue and Lyons Street. This beautiful home is where I return when I remember the little girl I once was, my mother reading to me at the breakfast room table, my father in his basement workshop making furniture. Here we remain in the dust mots floating in the sunlight on the staircase. My passion for architecture began in this house in a neighborhood filed with a mired of styles, Victorian beauties in particular. The streets were canopied with stately Dutch Elms that guarded over the years I walked to and from school, eventually rode my bike, and the car I learned to drive. I brought my first born child home to his grandparents in this place.


We continue this series on architecture with a brief description of  Colonial Revival – 1876-1955 – This style became popular when it was showcased at the 1876 US Centennial Exposition. It is very similar to the Georgian and Federal styles, with a symmetrical front elevation, that emphasizes the front entrance, with a portico (a covered porch supported by columns), and with fanlights, sidelights, and transom around a paneled front door. Windows tend to be multi-pane, and double hung, and are accented with shutters. Colonial Revival is a clear reaction to the lavish Victorian styles, and was very popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Influenced by the design of this home, to this day, I have a passion for architecture.








Identifying Colonial Revival Architecture
2 or 3 stories Symmetrical façades
Formal entrances: porticoes topped by a pediment
Paneled doors with sidelights, topped with transoms or fanlights Brick or wood siding
Simple, classical detailing
Gable roofs Pillars and columns
Multi-pane, double-hung windows with shutters
Center entry-hall floor plan

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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12 Responses to A Passion for Architecture – The House I Grew Up In – Part 2

  1. Love the architecture! I’m not used to living in a big house, though.

    • It was a little bit like the princess in the castle, but where I learned the love of reading and the dream of writing. Thanks for reading the blog and leaving your comments. I want you to enjoy the posts.

      • I do enjoy your posts. I love to read. If I can’t read a a book, I read stuff online. So I guess even if I say I seem to have stopped reading, it won’t be totally true. I just tend to equate it to reading books, but books aren’t the only stuff we can read. I also love to comment when I can, can’t you tell? 😉

  2. noelleg44 says:

    Beautiful house, Stepheny, What a treat to grow up in it!

    • My father built special bookshelves with a lite cabinet in-between to keep my story-book dolls dust free. I didn’t play with them, did you play with the dills you had, because I bet you had some. Thanks for keeping company with me on the blog.

  3. wendyj59 says:

    What a lovely house 🙂

    • And a room in the basement where my toys where kept. I played for hours, with my dolls, feeding, putting to bed. A tin stove and refrigerator. And best of all, a tin dollhouse that started a life long ‘thing’ with miniatures. If it were possible, I would ask you to come and play! Thanks for spending time with me on the blog.

  4. patsypridgen says:

    Beautiful home, Stepheny. Is it still in the family or does someone else live there today?

    • After my folks sold the house it has been occupied by several families. My fantasy of one day owning the house myself was only satisfied when I wrote my 2nd novel, Facing East, set in part in the Chicago area. There the house was woven into the story and the daughter of the lead character lived there. They were scenes set in the house that I loved writing. I still dream of the house from time to time. Thank you for spending time with me reading the blog.

  5. patgarcia says:

    That is a beautiful home and reminds me of a home in Augusta, Georgia on Walton Way, that I fell in love with when I was going to the university. It has always been my desire to own that home.
    Thank you for such an inspiring look at the home that you loved in your childhood.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

  6. L.M. Valdez says:

    Please check my post on architecture, https://lmvaldezsite.wordpress.com/2017/03/05/fourth-project/ it might interest you

    • Delighted that you found your way to my blog and I could share the house I grew up in with you. As a child, I wanted to be an architect when I grew up but KNEW I could never handle the math, so now, I am a writer who writes about preservation and architecture on a second blog I call Mainstreetrockymount.com I visited your blog and applaud your content, clarity, and, of course, subject matter. Raising a glass of southern iced tea to you and saying, “Cheers.”

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