Moving into North Hill at the turn of the 20th century, Pensacolians built their houses in a splendid variety of architectural styles ranging from Queen Anne to Mediterranean Revival, Neoclassical, Italianate, Tudor Revival, and Craftsman Bungalow. Click on any of the styles below to see houses that exemplify the selected architectural type.
Note: Each of the main styles (bold headings) will eventually have a photo of a representative house.
The most prominent architectural style in North Hill is the Victorian Queen Anne. These homes may be identified by a steeply pitched roof of irregular shape, usually with a dominant front-facing gable, patterned shingles, and other devices used to avoid a smooth-walled appearance and to achieve an asymmetrical façade.
- Folk Victorian structures do not have the massing of a Queen Anne house but do include porches with spindlework detailing or flat, jigsaw-cut trim.
- Shingle style structures, as the name implies, are characterized by wall cladding and roofing of continuous wood shingles.
The second most prevalent style is the Craftsman Bungalow. The characteristics of this style include a low-pitched gabled roof (occasionally hipped) with wide, unenclosed eave overhangs. Roof rafters are usually exposed, with the roof supported by tapered square columns.
- Prairie-style houses likewise have low-pitched roofs with widely overhanging eaves but emphasize horizontal lines. Two-story Prairie houses often have one-story wings or porches with massive square supports.
Colonial Revival architecture is also easy to find in North Hill. This style can be identified by an accentuated front door, normally with a decorative crown; slender columns; and windows with double-hung sashes in adjacent pairs.
- Georgian Revival houses are identified by a paneled and capped front door with decorative pilasters. There are usually five to seven symmetrically spaced small, double-hung, paned windows.
The Italianate style features many characteristics of Italian Renaissance architecture: a two-story balanced, symmetrical rectangular building with a low-pitched or flat roof; wide, over-hanging eaves supported by massive brackets and cornices; a porch topped with a balustrade balcony; tall, narrow windows; and a high, square tower similar to an Italian campanile.
Related Style: See Beaux Arts under Neoclassical.
The Neoclassical style typically has a façade dominated by a full-height porch supported by classical Ionic or Corinthian columns.
- Beaux Arts is a late and eclectic form of Neoclassicism. It is a grand an ornate combination of classical and Italianate architectural features.
There are many fine examples of Mediterranean Revival architecture in the neighborhood. The style reflects the architectural influences of the Mediterranean coast, predominantly Spanish and Italian. The style is generally characterized by a white stucco exterior, embellished with arches, parapets, and balconies, and a red tile roof.
- Mission style homes are identified by a “mission-shaped” dormer or roof parapet, a red tile roof, and smooth stucco surfaces.
- Spanish Eclectic usually is distinguished by one or more prominent arches above the door and/or principal windows as well as a low-pitched red tile roof and smooth stucco exterior.
The Tudor Revival style, with its steeply pitched roofs, facades with cross gables, tall narrow windows and massive chimneys with chimney pots is also prevalent.
Gothic Revival structures can be identified by a steeply pitched roof, gables, decorated vergeboards (elaborately ornamental woodwork decorating the gable of a house), and pointed-arch windows. Gothic Revival is represented by Immanuel Lutheran and First United Methodist churches.
Spanish Baroque Revival
Spanish Baroque architecture featured a profusion of decoration, such as intricately patterned tilework and wrought iron. Typical features of Spanish Baroque Revival architecture include an asymmetrical stucco façade, a low-pitched, red-tiled roof; and a prominent rounded arch over a door, window or porch. Christ Episcopal Church typifies this style.
Art Deco architecture is characterized by smooth lines and geometric shapes. Often, the exterior features rectangular blocky forms arranged in a geometric fashion with curved decorative motifs applied to break up the monolithic appearance of the structure.
- Art Moderne structures emphasize curving forms, long horizontal lines, and sometimes nautical elements.
There are several small, narrow, single-story Shotgun cottages in the district. These homes are generally about twelve feet wide and have rooms arranged from the front to the back, one behind the other, with a door at both ends of the house. It is commonly believed that the name “Shotgun” derives from an observation that a shotgun blast from the front entrance to the house could travel unimpeded through the back doorway.
A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia and Lee McAlester (Knopf, 1984) was the primary source for these architectural style descriptions.