A revival of English domestic architecture from the medieval period (sometimes more correctly labeled Elizabethan), it is based on a variety of prototypes ranging from “thatched roof” cottage (copied in rolled or steamed shingle eaves) to Elizabethan manor houses. The English “picturesque aesthetic” promoted in the First Shaughnessy District was popular because of political and cultural ties to Great Britain.
The massing is irregular or asymmetrical with the distinguishing element being a prominent and steeply pitched side gable roof with one or more cross gables facing the street (and dominating the front façade). Upper stories may overhang the lower stories. Bump-outs in the form of bay windows and oriel windows may also add depth and variety to the massing.
Decorative vertical, curvilinear, and horizontal half-timbering appear in the upper stories and gable ends. Windows are tall, narrow, and grouped together. Leaded panes of glass, sometimes diamond shaped, are typically thought of as Tudor. Arches, including the softly arched and pointed Tudor arch seen in interior fireplace surrounds, are used for doorways and tops of doors are often rounded. Quoins are often used as door trim with masonry veneers in the lower stories.
Earlier pre-1920’s houses generally had wood cladding on the main (or piano nobile) floors with rough-cast stucco and half-timbering on the upper storeys, while after the war, masonry veneering – brick or stone (usually granite) covered the main floor with stucco and robust wood detail above. From the late 30’s on, the Tudor exteriors were predominantly covered in stucco with a vestigial half-timbering left in the gables. Decorative medieval wood details like quatrefoils in panels became part of the half-timbering along with wide bracketed eaves.