Types Of Houses Hall and Parlor House

Hall and Parlor House

Hall & Parlor house is a type of vernacular house found in medieval to 19th century England and colonial America. North American house types such as Cape cod, Saltbox and i-house are presumed to be modeled based on Hall and parlor house. In England it perhaps was the origin of other types such as the Wealden hall house.

The hall and parlor style have a rectangular two room configuration. The style began in medieval England and it was often a timber-framed structure. A smaller area in the rear of the house by putting up a wall in a room is called a parlor. These are private room usually contains a bed and are used as Guest rooms. In early examples, these houses were one room wide and two deep. The two adjacent rooms are connected by an interior door. An exterior door leads to the hall, the larger of the two rooms and the one in the front of the house. Behind the hall is the parlor.

In colonial America, hall and parlor houses were two rooms wide and one deep. They were often one and half stories tall with a steeply slanting side-gabled roof. The style was at one time so omnipresent that it was known colloquially as the 'Virginia style'. In the southern colonies there were usually flush or exterior gable-end chimneys on one or both sides of the house. Northern examples often featured a central chimney. The houses were most often of wood-frame construction on a brick or stone foundation, but sometimes the entire structure was masonry. The windows were often asymmetrically placed. Common dimensions for the entire house were between 16 to 20 feet deep and 20 to 40 feet wide. The larger hall was the general purpose room and, if a loft existed, it contained a stairway or ladder to it. The parlor was the smaller of the two rooms and more private. It commonly used for sleeping.

The central-passage house, also known as the hall-passage-parlor house, is believed by architectural historians to have developed out of the earlier hall and parlor house-type. In fact, many examples are known where an earlier hall and parlor house had an additional room added to the side to form a central-passage house.

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