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French Eclectic Style — 1915 to 1945

1936 French EclecticFrench Revival Characteristics

The short answer

The French Eclectic is found in several variations. A symmetrical version is a rectangular box with a steeply pitched, hipped roof with the roof ridge parallel to the front of the house. The assymetrical style house is cross-gabled with the entry off center (shown in illustration).

A third version is what is commonly referred to as the Norman Cottage. It is cross-gabled with the hipped roof, but usually has a tower that serves as the entry. There is a tremendous amount of variety in this style which shares much in common with the English Cottage and Tudor styles.

The popularity of the French Eclectic was due in part to the exposure to city and rural French residential architecture by American WWI veterans as well as an ongoing flirtation with the more ostentatious Beaux Arts and Chateauesque styles popular at the turn of the century. Though never as popular as many of the other Revivals, the French styles are very distinctive. Paradoxically, they often manage to be both rustic and sophisticated at the same time.

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