The Salt Box home style was created back in the Colonial times of our Country’s founding. Like most great architecture, form follows function. This home style earned its name from it’s distinctive feature of rear roof line reaching down to 1 story height which resembled “salt boxes” of the time.
The central chimney is a main focal point of the Salt Boxes. During that time the chimney was the central heating and cooking system of the home.
Many of these early Salt Box homes were built with timber frames with a wood siding, often clapboard siding. This was primarily the result of ample supply of timber in the region and era these homes became popular.
The rear roof line made it easy for families to add a lean-to addition to the back to expand the living space as their families grew.
This home style has become an endearing icon of American homestyles. The Salt-Box is not a predominant home style in Minnesota, but there are a number of these homes around the state from a resurgence of this style in the 1930′s. There was a resurgence of this style during the 1930′s because of their efficient and simple design.
I am going to be doing a series of posts covering various home styles for a couple reasons.
The first reason is I love architecture. The other reason are I believe the housing industry (builders/architects) should be reflecting on how previous generations resolved tight financial times and still provided great housing.
The older styles reflected the financial times as well as the lifestyle and technologies of the day. While we can not go back in time, we can take what these previous generations of home builders had learned and take their creativity and knowledge and apply to today’s economic housing problems. For example these homes don’t waste much material on “details”. You will notice their simple shape and very small roof overhangs maximized living space with less materials – yet these homes still have a ton a character.
Photos Courtesy of Library of CongressNo slides are available.
Click on Images to enlarge
- What’s hot and not in home styles this year (debbyfrank.wordpress.com)
- Saltbox Houses in the Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)