Two new building types emerged in the very early 20th century and were
marketed through mail order houses as "kit houses"; the company would
ship all components to site, where the new owner would use a booklet to
assemble the new house from the building materials supplied. One of
these two new house types was the American Foursquare. The usual
American Foursquare is a 2.5-story house with a pyramidal roof, dormers
on at least one of the four roof slopes, and a full-length front porch.
The front porch almost always included columns supporting the eaves;
these columns did not stand on the porch floor themselves, but instead
they stood on a post or wall that was integrated into the porch design.
The American Foursquare was common from 1910 to 1935. Major features of
these cube-shaped houses included overhanging eaves and pyramidal
Note: The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) does not
recognize the American Foursquare as a building style. The information
supplied to the state identifies these buildings variously as Colonial
Revival, Queen Anne, Prairie or "other."
Two subsets of these cube-shaped houses are common in Erie County.
These subsets of the American Foursquare have no real architectural
label but they may be influenced by the more horizontal Prairie style.
The first is a cube-shaped house with a pyramidal roof and no dormers.
An example shown here is 705 W. Pleasant Street in Corry, although this
house type was noted throughout the County.
The second subset of the American Foursquare are cube-shaped houses
with a cross-gable on the front slope of the roof. Shown here is 147
Park Street in Corry, one of many such houses found throughout the