|51. Baxter Residence,
2450 25th St.
Baxter Residence, 1907
4-square on 7th + Marine
Sears Modern Home
| This structure of merit
originally resided at 1140 7th St. It is an intact example of American Foursquare
style. The American Foursquare or the Prairie Box was a post-Victorian architectural
style that was popular from 1895-1930. Its boxy shape provided roomy interiors
for homes on small city lots. Unlike the Bungalow and Craftsman styles,
the Foursquare plan did not flow between interior and exterior living and
entertaining areas - it encouraged a comfortable confinement
The American Foursquare House is one of the most popular styles that emerged from the suburban development in the late 1800's into the 1930's. Popularized by pattern books and Sears Roebuck & Company mail order kits, the Foursquare is found in nearly every part of the United States. Its strong square massing, usually with four square rooms above 3 square rooms and an entrance hall with stairs tucked unobtrusively to the side on the first floor made it economical and practical to build. The cubical shape made the most of every buildable inch, taking full advantage of small building lots and small budgets. It became the most house for the lowest cost with a dignified appearance. The versatility of the Foursquare, usually built without the benefit of an architect, lent itself to endless variations and finish details by individual buyers.
The rules of the American Foursquare were relatively few:
• The typical house was either 30x30 feet, or 30x36 feet, for deeper lots.
• Over the basement there were two and a half stories, with four (more or less equally-sized) rooms on each full floor.
• Under a hipped roof, the attic was quite livable due to at least one requisite dormer, with up to two more on the sides, but never on the rear.
• The porch spanned the entire, or nearly so, front of the house.
• The front door was offset, unless the four-room plan was nudged to the sides in favor of a central hall.
• Exterior walls were plain, with the only encouraged outdoor creativity
released on the windows and porch.