Types Of Houses Conch House

Conch House

A Conch House is a style of architecture developed in Key West, Florida in the 19th century and used in Miami in the early 20th century. The introduction of the conch house style is credited to migrants from the Bahamas. These Bahamian immigrants are known as “Conchs”.

The conch house is built of wood and set on posts or piers, which allows air to circulate under the floor. Conch houses are rectangular in dimension and one of the floors usually has a porch across the full width of the front of the house. Other characteristics are horizontal weatherboarding, low gabled or hip roofs, and double-hung sash windows. Roofs are usually made of metal or shingled. Conch house designs were often influenced by Classical Revival or Neoclassical architecture. Other than carved brackets and/or rafter ends on porches, conch houses generally lack enhancement.

History Of Conch House

The conch house style was developed in Key West by Bahamian immigrants, known as "Conchs". Bahamians are experts in Boat building and the earliest conch houses were built like boats using timber framing. In the 1880s timber framing was replaced with balloon framing. Houses in the conch style were also build in Miami, in particular, in the Coconut Grove and Overtown neighborhoods. The term "conch house" has been applied to houses built in a variety of styles in Key West, but the most common usage is for houses built in a Bahamian style. About half of the historic houses in Key West have been classified as being in the Classical Revival style. The Bahamian immigrants in Key West were accustomed to building houses in the Bahamian clapboard house style. This style placed houses on posts or piers, used timber framing, had large windows and high ceilings to allow cooling by available breezes, and had louvered shutters hinged at the top ("Bahamas shutters"). The Bahamian clapboard house style has influenced housing in many areas with tropical climates.

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