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The craftsman style was the first residential style that incorporated exposed structural elements for all to see, an approach that gradually became an important part of the modern movement. Earlier styles generally disguised how a home was built. In sharp contrast, the Craftsman style celebrated it. While Craftsman homes may appear quaint and old-fashioned today, they introduced the expression of structure into residential architecture in America.

In Craftsman-style homes, prominent, exposed roof rafters support a low-pitched, broadly overhanging gabled roof, and cast an interesting shadow line on the walls below. The ends of the rafter generally extended beyond the roof edge and were shaped into a decorative pattern. Because this exposed piece of wood deteriorated easily, later owners often cut these decorative tips off at the edge of the roof. Exposed roof beams, often with decorative triangular braces below, are also typical.

Front porches were almost ubiquitous and the porch supports took many different forms. One very distinctive variation is the incorporation of an inward sloping profile in the support.

The style began in southern California where two brothers, Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Maher Greene practiced together in Pasadena. Between about 1903 and 1909 they designed and built some of the most dramatic Craftsman style homes in the country. Pattern books of house plans, many published in southern California, rapidly spread the style throughout the United States. The style arrived in Dallas just as Highland Park was beginning.

When the first four installments of Old Highland Park opened, between 1909 and 1912, Craftsman was the most prevalent style for small homes throughout the United States. It was also desirable for larger homes, and developer Hugh Prather built his first Highland Park home in this style. Few of the picturesque one-story Craftsman bungalows in Highland Park remain. Their small size almost guaranteed that they would be the first homes in the Park Cities to be replaced with larger structures.

Although two-story Craftsman style houses were less common originally, today almost as many two-story homes remain in Highland Park as one-story. Because of their larger size, two-story homes were less likely to be demolished and sold for the value of the lots. Today, only about 30 Craftsman style homes — large and small — with varying degrees of modification remain in Highland Park.


Stylistic Attributes

  • Low-pitched gabled roof with wide, unenclosed roof overhang
  • Roof rafters usually exposed
  • Exposed roof beams, often with triangular braces, located under the gables
  • Porch support columns frequently begin at ground level, rather than being placed on the porch floor
  • Porches, either full- or partial-width, with roof supported by square columns

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