The Hamptons are home to some of the world’s most beautiful properties, exemplifying countless different architectural schools. While the dialogue surrounding the preservation of historic homes and the construction of new homes is a heated one, restoration presents an opportunity for homeowners to experience their home’s historic provenance and also enjoy the modern luxuries expected in a Hamptons dream home. Among the architectural styles that define the East End, American Foursquare homes are an ideal candidate for restoration and renovation.
Generally grouped to a building period around a quarter century (roughly 1895–1925), defining this style can be elusive, demanding an appreciation for nuance and attention to detail. While many of the motifs and defining qualities of the American Foursquare are visible in other late-19th- and early-20th-century architectural schools, the style is most notable for foreshadowing many modern and even contemporary design sensibilities.
The American Foursquare home embodies the turn of the century, post-Victorian architectural movements, generally defined by large size, conservative sensibilities, and ability to accommodate the rapidly growing shift toward modern building standards. The Foursquare home is unmistakably American in its incorporation of, and departure from, European styles popular in the early 20th century.
At times referred to as “Bungalows,” or “Transitional Style,” American Foursquares borrow and iterate on other popular architectural and design themes from the era as well as introducing other modern motifs. Foursquare homes often use Craftsman motifs—boxed posts, exposed rafter tails, and support columns—still, their bright interior spaces are decidedly not Arts & Crafts homes. In this nuance, the teasingly vague and comparatively defined Transitional nomenclature is explicated.
Still prized by today’s buyers, the American Foursquare attracts many with its classic aesthetic and many functional luxuries. “While contributing to the diversity of historic architecture in the Hamptons, American Foursquare homes can accommodate interior restorations and renovations to stay current with contemporary tastes,” said Jane Gill of Saunders & Associates, local architecture enthusiast and exclusive representative of a handsomely restored Foursquare home. Located at 2578 Montauk Highway in the heart of Bridgehampton, this Foursquare home highlights the provenance and contemporary appeal of this style. For reference, click here for a video of the home.
“These homes have a true sense of place and time without feeling dated. The interest in the property’s history has been inspiring. The provenance of a home is so important to restoration and renovation, especially when these properties have been such a visible part of Bridgehampton,” she adds.
Inside, floor plans are typically more open, prioritizing simplified and refined spaces, compared to the Victorian home. Still, defined by decidedly less influence from the neo-baroque movement than Georgian manors. American Foursquare homes reflect a shift away from the then-popular rustic, mahogany-toned interior woodwork while the incorporation of delicate geometric ornamentation and prairie art glass portends the onset of Art Deco.
“Interior renovations to an American Foursquare home can be surprisingly straightforward. It’s beautiful to see these historic Hamptons homes retain their original-build character while also accommodating the tastes and needs of a new generation. A home this beautifully maintained and restored shows how much appeal there is for preservation. Preservation does not mean sacrifice, the owner of this home will have the luxuries of a new build alongside the provenance a spec home just can’t offer.”
Jane Gill is available to discuss 2578 Montauk Highway on the phone at (516) 909-9591 or over email at [email protected].
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson as Jane K. Gill
Cell: (516) 909-9591