As a history major, history lover, and (amateur) history buff, It goes without saying that I am a huge fan of Pre-War Homes. That is, homes built pre-1945 or so, or before the end of the World War II. The reason being that building practices changed drastically around this time, and the era of mass production and big development began, and mid century architecture and styles supplanted the earlier styles and techniques.
Homes built before 1945 have myriad styles, as they span decades from the late 1800’s up through the 1940’s. Homes in the same style and vintage can also be incredibly diverse, as they reflected the different styles of their owners.
Local economic conditions such as the Silver Crash of 1893 influenced construction, as did national events like roaring 20’s and the Great Depression.
Homes built in the Pre-War period are character-rich, and are characterized by:
- brick exteriors or real stucco over brick
- exterior ornamentation
- old growth hardwood flooring
- interior detailing and millwork
- wood burning fireplace(s)
- high quality materials: plaster walls, brass or glass knobs, cast iron tubs, hand made tile, solid doors, etc.
Fortunately for us Denverites, the city is rife with neighborhoods loaded with these gems. To learn more about the history of Denver’s pre-war homes and the history of old homes in general, check out these two great sources:
A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia Savage McAlester can be found at Tattered Covered. I recommend purchasing this as its over 700 pages and a great reference book.