Was the last Southern Colonial-style home you saw in “Gone With the Wind”? Not surprising, since the iconic, boxy, colonnaded genre of architecture is far outnumbered in Southern California by tract, Mid-Century Modern, bungalow, Spanish Colonial, and even Victorian homes. (Perhaps ironic, too, since the Colonial-style mansion of Tara was built and filmed on a Hollywood studio lot.)
There are enclaves of Southern Colonial homes around SoCal, notably in L.A.’s Hancock Park neighborhood, Glendale, Toluca Lake, and Coronado. So owning a Southern Colonial style home is not out of the question. Working with a great real estate agent is the first step to locating a Southern Colonial style home on the market. Just make sure you know what kind of house you might be living in. In addition to older Southern Colonial homes that may or may not have been renovated, some newer homes in the United States have been built to look like the real thing.
Which brings us to describing what characterizes Southern Colonials. These homes draw their influence from those of European colonists who settled in America’s northern and southern colonies during the 1600s. As it evolved, the architecture aspired to the ideals of the Greek Revival movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Barron’s Real Estate Dictionary defines it as “a large, Early American style, 2- or 3-story frame house with a characteristic colonnade extending across the front. The roof extends over the colonnade.” Homes originally were built from brick, wood, stone, or combinations of the three.
You can tell if a house is Southern Colonial or Colonial Revival as you approach it from outside. Main features of a Colonial house include:
Southern Colonial home styles have made their way to the landscapes of California, adding a touch of Southern elegance to the West Coast. These timelines designs have found their place in various cities, captivating homeowners with their charm and grace.
Los Angeles embraces the allure of Plantation-style homes, reminiscent of the grand mansions that once graced the Southern plantations. These homes feature sprawling porches, majestic columns, and meticulously crafted details. In neighborhoods like Hancock Park and Bel Air, you’ll discover the timeless charm of Plantation-style architecture.
Pasadena is known for its architectural diversity, one style of which includes the classic elegance of Colonial Revival homes. These homes draw inspiration from the traditional American Colonial style, with their symmetrical designs, prominent entrances, and refined details. Take a drive along Orange Grove Boulevard, known as Millionaire’s Row, and marvel at the enchanting Colonial Revival residences that line the street.
In the coastal beauty of Santa Barbara, you’ll find the enchanting Spanish Colonial Revival homes. Inspired by the architecture of Spanish settlers combined with a mix of Colonial style, these homes boast red-tile roofs, arched entryways, and stucco exteriors that radiate warmth and Mediterranean flair. Imagine strolling through the charming streets lined with these captivating homes, feeling as if you’ve stepped into a Spanish oasis.
San Francisco is a city renowned for its architectural treasures and embraces the Southern Antebellum style. These homes exude sophistication with their stately facades, elaborate ornamentation, and gracious balconies. Wander through neighborhoods like Pacific Heights, and you’ll be captivated by the Southern charm that these Antebellum-style homes bring to the City by the Bay.
George Washington lived in a Southern Colonial, so why shouldn’t you?
As with any home purchase, a thorough inspection should be completed to assess any construction issues, such as foundation cracks, mold, termites, and other potential future problems. This is especially true with older homes. However, remodeled or newly constructed Southern Colonials are more likely to have been brought up to modern construction codes with energy and green standards in place. Your California real estate agent will be your best source for helping to assess a home’s condition and recommend vendors if needed.
Still searching to find your perfect Southern California home? Start your search today.