Architecture

Architecture Styles – Dutch Colonial Revival

Dutch Colonial Revival is a subtype of Colonial Revival. Between 1880-1910, a small number of Colonial Revival structures were being built. However, beginning in 1910-1930, it became a dominant architecture style. The Dutch Colonial architecture style derived from American settlers hailing from the Netherlands. It was popular from the 1600s until the 1800s. The most notable feature, the gambrel roof, allowed for the attic to be a livable space.[1] Dutch Colonial Revival followed the revival of Federal and Georgian Colonial architecture. Early Dutch Colonial Revival styles around the early 1900s have a gable on the front. Structures built in the 1920s and 1930s tend to have the eaves on the front, rather than a gable.

Characteristics common of Dutch Colonial Revival include:

  • Gambrel roof
  • Symmetrical façade
  • Shingled roof
  • Double hung windows with shutters[2]
  • Side wall chimney

Cañon City has its share of Dutch Colonial Revival homes, located along Harrison and Greenwood Avenues. The home at 315 Harrison Avenue was built before 1908, first appearing in the 1908 Sanborn map.[3]  The three-part windows on the front of the first floor and the porch are not historic.

Characteristics of Dutch Colonial Revival at this house are:

  • Cross gabled gambrel roof
  • Double-hung windows
  • Shingled gables
315 Harrison Ave., 1996. Object ID: 2001.005.464; Copyright Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center

Further east sits another Dutch Colonial Revival house at 930 Harrison. This structure was built in 1903 by O. F. Sawyer, who owned a dry goods store on the 400 block of Main Street. According to an article in the Cañon City Record on November 23, 1905, the home cost $8,000 to build. The Sawyer family sold the home to Guy U. Hardy in 1906. Guy U. Hardy was born April 4, 1872. He received his teaching license in Illinois, but due to health problems, he decided to move to Colorado in 1894. He went to work for A.R. Frisbie at the Cañon City Record. He purchased the newspaper in 1895 and became the editor, a position he held for over 50 years. He also served as the postmaster from 1900-1904 and served seven terms as a state representative, beginning in 1918.

Characteristics of Dutch Colonial Revival include:

  • Gambrel roof
  • Shingled roof
  • Porch under overhanging eaves
930 Harrison Ave. in Cañon City Illustrated, 1905. Object ID: 1986.043.289; Copyright Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center
930 Harrison Ave., 1996. Object ID: 2002.003.072. Copyright Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center

Just one block south is 930 Greenwood. This structure was designed by architect Thomas McLaren and built in 1908. McLaren worked out of Colorado Springs. The Christ Episcopal Church in Cañon City, Ivywild School in Colorado Springs, and the Carnegie Library in Boulder were all designed by him. It was built for George F. Rockafellow, president of the Fremont County National Bank. Rockafellow created a 36-page document with specifications for the house including the size of the laundry chute, brass doorknobs, and solid wood toilet seats. The Rockafellow family owned the home until the death of George’s wife, Alice, in 1967.     

Characteristics of Dutch Colonial Revival include:

  • Gambrel roof
  • Shingled roof
  • Side wall chimneys 
  • East side of porch under overhanging eaves
  • Round window on gable end
930 Greenwood Avenue, ca. 1922. Object ID: 1994.035.333; Copyright Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center
930 Greenwood Avenue, 1974. Object ID: 1984.008.060; Copyright Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center

Now that you know what Dutch Colonial Revival looks like, see if you can spot the other homes in this style within the city!

The information presented in this article is compiled using research conducted by the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.   


[1] A two-sided roof with two slopes on each side: the upper slope is positioned at a shallow angle, while the lower slope is steep. Also called a barn roof.

[2] Double-Hung windows have two operating sashes that move up and down allowing for ventilation on the top, bottom, or both.

[3] Maps created to allow fire insurance companies to assess their total liability in urbanized areas of the United States.

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