Tudor Style Houses in Hollywood Hills – an Architectural Overview
Tudor Revival architecture (also known as “Tudorbethan”) emerged in England in the late 19th century, and was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, which rejected the new trend toward mass production and returned to the simple, handcrafted styles of medieval cottages and English country houses. The term “Tudorbethan” refers to the way this style combines elements of the Tudor period (1485–1603) with the English Elizabethan era and the Scottish Jacobean era of the early Renaissance. In the United States, the Tudor Revival Style is often referred to, confusingly, as "Queen Anne style," although it combines aspects of the styles from monarchs other than Anne.
Architect Norman Shaw is credited with founding the Tudor Revival Style with his English mansions “Cragside” and “Leyswood” in the 1860s. These buildings included elements associated with the Tudor period, like half-timbered upper facades, towers, and tall chimneys. Other classic Tudor design details include steeply pitched, multi-gabled roofs and mullioned and oriel windows.
The style was developed further by architect Edwin Lutyens in The Deanery, the home he designed for the editor of Country Life, around the turn of the 20th century. This home Tudor featured details like oriel windows, a faceted staircase tower, an openwork brick balustrade, shadowed windows under the eaves, and prominent clustered chimneys.
First Hollywood Tudor Style Houses and Homes
The ornamental half-timber framing and steeply angled, multi-gabled roof lines of Tudor Revival Style homes make them one of the most recognizable architectural styles in the American landscape. The first Tudor Revival buildings in Los Angeles appeared in the early 1900s, as part of the cultural movement away from the industrial revolution and towards a romanticized historical attitude.
The Tudor style is seen in houses ranging from the grand mansions of turn-of-the-century wealthy businessmen to the more modest houses that are popular throughout the United States, especially in the Midwest and along the East Coast, where the steeply pitched roofs are as well suited to the snowy climate as they were to the rainy weather in England.
Characteristics of Tudor Style Houses
The most distinctive characteristics of Tudor Revival Style houses are the roof lines and the half-timber framing. Tudor roofs are steeply pitched and asymmetrical, with multiple gables that sometimes plunge almost all the way down to ground level. The roofs are often built up to resemble old-fashioned thatching. The exterior half-timber framing uses heavy, squared-off, carefully fitted timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs, and showing the wood frame of the house. Half-timbering is almost exclusively ornamental in modern construction.
Tudor homes are typically built of the “noble materials” of brick, stone, stucco, and slate (again, a reaction against modern mass production). They also tend to feature massive chimneys topped with elaborate chimney pots, and elegant arched entryways decorated with ornamental brick or stone work.
The windows of houses built in the Tudor Revival architectural style are usually tall and narrow, arranged in groups of several together, and constructed with casements rather than double hung. Tudor windows are often multi-paned with diamond-shaped panes, and mullions, or arched vertical decorative elements, separating the panes. Oriel windows are also typical of the Tudor style; they protrude from the walls of upper floors, supported by corbels or brackets, but do not touch the ground like bay windows.
These design details combine to create a style that is easily recognizable as Tudor Revival, and has been popular in Hollywood Hills since the early 20th century.