Architectural Styles of Old Arlington


In October 1985, the Upper Arlington Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the Park Service of the United States Department of the Interior, giving that unique area of the city both local and national recognition. Each building, and its placement in the district, contributes to the unique character of the District. If the environment is significantly altered, the district will lose an irreplaceable asset – its visible historic identity. As part of the effort to avoid such a loss, the Upper Arlington Historical Society has created this booklet containing recommendations and suggestions organized in conformity with the 10 basic principles for sensitive rehabilitation as put forth by the Secretary of the Interior. (see page vi for list)

Our Historic District designation was driven by “Old Arlington’s” bountiful variety of quality Twentieth Century Revival style architecture. These are the major architectural styles that can still be seen today:

Arts and Crafts

The style was developed during the early 20th century as part of a renewed interest in artistry and craftsmanship in building design. The designs often featured overhanging, gabled rooflines, sometimes with simple brackets; materials with different textures, including brick, stone, stucco or clapboards (sometimes used together); combinations of window groupings; and an altogether rustic, informal appearance. 

Georgian Revival

The original Georgian style was fashioned after those developed in England during the reigns of all four King Georges and built along the American East Coast in the early 1700s. These gracious homes are known for their simple exterior lines and few decorative devices. The two or three story, usually brick home is rectangular with a chimney at each end.

English Tudor Revival

This style was named after the House of Tudor in England where the original exposed wooden beams were used to hold up the structure. The half-timbering in Tudor Revival homes is decorative and filled with plaster and stucco, brick or stone. They are usually two or two-and-a-half stories, often with diamond shaped, leaded glass-paned windows. The massive decorative brick chimneys, often on the façade, are sometimes topped with terra-cotta chimney pots.

Federal Revival

Encompassing classical Greek and Roman elements, Federal Revival structures were influenced by the simple lines reflected in homes designed by architects such as Thomas Jefferson. There is usually a flat façade and ornamentation that encompasses classical Greek and Roman features. 

Dutch Colonial Revival

Contrary to its name, this style did not originate in the Netherlands but in the United States with early German settlers in Pennsylvania in the 1600s. These houses are of moderate size and two or two-and-a-half stories, with a gambrel roof and flaring eaves that extend over the porches, creating a barn-like impression. There is usually a central entrance and one long dormer with several windows through the roof. 

New England Colonial Revival 

Fashioned after early houses in New England, these homes are two-and-a-half stories with a central hallway. These houses have symmetrical facades, few projections, and often include elaborate cornices. Exteriors are faced with narrow or wide clapboard siding but can be sided with brick and stone. 

English Country Revival

These imposing-looking stone houses, sometimes referred to as “Cotswold” style, are usually two or two-and-a-half stories with steeply-pitched gable roofs. It is not uncommon to find on these types of revival houses that the slates for the roofs are placed with greater surface exposure low on the roof area, and grows narrower as the tows of slates reach up towards the ridgeline of the roof. In doing so the slates help to add an optical illusion that the roof area is larger and steeper than it is. The multiple windows are often leaded glass and the multiple chimneys are often topped with terra cotta chimney pots. The example at 2427 Tremont Road was built by George and May Chennell between 1931 and 1933.

French Normandy Revival

These houses were fashioned after homes in the Normandy province of France where the house and barn were combined into one building. The front turret resembled a silo where grain was stored and in the revival style it serves as the entrance. An example of this style is at 2176 North Parkway and was designed by Robert R. Royce and built in 1932. 

French Provincial Revival

This formal chateau-style home is known for its steep, high, hip roof and protruding French window. It is one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half stories, and often the second story windows have a curved head that breaks through the cornice. Siding is often a combination of stucco with brick or stone. The example at 2237 Cambridge Blvd. was designed by Robert R. Royce. 

Spanish Colonial or Mediterranean Revival

Stucco walls and low-pitched clay tile roofs are hallmarks of the Spanish Colonial Revival or Mediterranean Revival styles. Popularized in California during the early 1900, the style also made use of arched openings, ceramic tile detail and iron-fronted balconies. Before it was demolished in 2001, the house at 2459 Tremont Road had three fountains and hand-painted tiles purchased by the owner in Italy. 

Cape Cod Revival

The Cape Cod Revival-style home was an extremely popular and affordable home in the United States from the 1920s through the 1950s. Based upon the saltbox-type house of the early colonists in New England, the original versions had low central chimneys, but many revival-style designs have end chimneys. There is usually a central entrance and the steeply pitched, gabled roof is shingled. The windows are usually framed by shutters.


This article talks about some of the architectural styles that can be found in Old Arlington. There appears to be a wide variety, though most styles are considered revivals. I think it is important to consider that Old Arlington is listed on the National Register for Historic Places by the Department of the Interior and that the Upper Arlington Historic Society makes a point to caution homeowners about renovating the exteriors of their homes so much that the exterior starts to clash with the overall aesthetic of the neighborhood. I think it is important then to consider this, especially if I’m designing something physical and place-based like a bus stop. On the other hand, the aesthetics of Old Arlington differ from the aesthetics of the rest of the city that is north of Lane Ave, so if I were to design a stop north of Lane I don’t necessarily think these same aesthetic guidelines would apply. I also really appreciated that some of the styles have specific addresses included that the authors of this post believe is a good representation of the style. It might be useful to drive by these locations, or at least find images of the houses online.