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Showing posts from September, 2011

The Enduring Foursqaure

When one pictures what a MCM house looks like, most often a low slung bungalow or side-split will come to mind. This makes sense as these were the most popular types of houses built during the mid-century and have become icons for the era.

The less common two-storey house of the period will be the subject of this particular posting, with a focus on the most ubiquitous two-story house design: the Foursquare.


Most mid-century two-story houses have the same basic boxy shape, with a standard arrangement of rooms. The house layout has its roots dating back to early in the 20th century with a style of house called the Foursquare (sometimes called the Prairie Box). Much more simple than earlier Victorian houses, Foursquares are straightforward in their square (or rectangular) footprint, and in their simple exteriors.

Plan from the Aladdin mail-order house catalogue, c. 1930.
The standard floor plan of a Foursquare had 4 rooms on the main floor: Hall and Living Room at the front, and Dining Room …

Campeau in the late 1950s and early 1960s

Below is a collection of floor plans that Campeau built in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
I quite like the first plan with its blank front facade to the right of the front door. It gives the house a modern take on the Cape Cod-inspired 1 1/2 story style. I do not believe that many of this design were built, though.

I also quite like this design below, with its blank facade and large wall of windows in the Living Room. Too bad my only copy of the plan is cut off at the top.