Historic American architecture still shines in homes of today


Examples of unique, regional architecture in the United States are as varied as the country’s landscape that stretches for thousands of miles, from forests to plains and swamps to deserts.

These historic buildings were influenced by a similar array of styles from around the globe, melding together into homes that are truly all-American.

And many of these are still inspiring the architects of today’s luxury homes, as seen below.

Mizner Mediterranean

Taking cues from the architecture of Spain and Latin America, architect Addison Mizner created an unmistakable style all his own in the resort homes he built for the social elite in 1920s Palm Beach, Florida. The success of his Everglades Club led to commissions from the wealthy: Homes which incorporated tiles, wrought iron and cast-stone trim and columns crafted in his own workshops mixed with antique materials imported from Europe.

View Bella Mezzo (pictured above), a modern-day, Mizner-inspired masterpiece in Sewall’s Point, Florida, by searching web code HPTL on luxuryportfolio.com.

Cape Cod

Named after the coastal region in Massachusetts, Cape Cod homes have been around since the 1700s – an East Coast adaptation of English styles that has since spread throughout the country. The style is classic cottage, with a steeply pitched roof and shake siding. The dormered and shuttered windows frame a door centered in the home’s rectangular silhouette.

Image courtesy of Sandpiper Realty, Inc.

View the brand-new version of the Cape Cod above, built for today’s family vacations in Edgartown, Massachusetts, by searching web code VLQE on luxuryportfolio.com.

Desert modern

The midcentury modern style is well-known and well-traveled, found in different forms all over the world. In Palm Springs, California, a special variety bloomed during the 1940s to ‘60s. Blending artfully into the desert, these low-slung ranch homes featured clean lines, open floor plans and floor-to-ceiling windows and glass sliding doors that merged the indoors with outside, opening up to concrete-block breezeways and swimming pools perfect for relaxing and entertaining.

Image courtesy of Bennion Deville Homes

View the 21st-century update of the desert modern home above in Rancho Mirage, California, by searching web code OLWD on luxuryportfolio.com.


In the early 1900s, the craftsman style took hold on the West Coast, especially in California and Oregon, and is now found across the nation. A response to society’s new reliance on machines, these homes emphasized the handmade with natural materials, exposed beams, wood trim and doors, and patterned or stained-glass windows. The exteriors have long eaves that extend far beyond the house, horizontal lines and large bay or picture windows in the front.

Image courtesy of John L. Scott Real Estate

View the modern craftsman with mountain views above in Ashland, Oregon, by searching web code YFAH on luxuryportfolio.com.

Pueblo revival

In the 1920s and ‘30s, Southwestern architects, especially in New Mexico, began to mimic an age-old building style – that of the Pueblo people, who have constructed multi-tiered and terraced buildings with adobe since 750-900 C.E. The 20th-century renditions were made from stucco with flat roofs, gently rounded walls and exposed beams that extend through the outside walls called vigas – traditionally used to support the roof.

Image courtesy of Santa Fe Properties

View the contemporary interpretation of a Pueblo revival home above by searching web code IHVT on luxuryportfolio.com.