An intriguing examination of classic colonial houses, this fact-filled foray explores with remarkable concision the "medieval period" of American architecture. The treatise takes for its examples the first houses built along the Atlantic coast in the seventeenth century. While these early structures were usually based on traditional English and Dutch styles, their design and methods of construction soon acquired a unique character of their own. Geographically remote from the stylistic restrictions of Europe, American architects used new plans and construction elements to create fresh new dwellings with individual beauty and charm. Early American Houses includes over 100 photographs and illustrations that highlight the architecture of young America, with a particular focus on the Tudor and late Gothic styles that ultimately shaped the distinctive house designs of today. Original floor plans and sketches abound—including interior and exterior treatments, elevations, and framing—partnered with detailed descriptions that breathe life into each construction. Accompanying this work is a comprehensive Glossary of Colonial Architectural Terms. Originally published separately, it provides definitions for everything from “arch” to "wainscot,” and it is reprinted here to enhance the overall value of the companion volume.