Famous 19th century pioneering Shingle style architects

Set in the middle of impressive gardens or overlooking the dunes that led to sea. New England was revived by shingle style architects creating an iconic revival of colonial style architecture that would be admired for centuries. 

Below are the most influential architects of that era

Shingle style architects that perfected the New England style colonial designs in the late 19th century

Originally shingle styles architects would create timeless elaborate houses in opulent east coast seaside towns such as Cape Cod and Rhode Island, amongst others. These majestic colonial designs built as vacation homes for the wealthy, required woodwork and masonry experts to create the distinctive shingle cladding and their distinctive weathered look. As this American style caught wind, shingle style architects started creating these homes all over the country in mostly rural settings.

McKim, Mead and White

Before the renowned 19th century American shingle style architects formed their firm McKim, Mead and White, they travelled around Europe and brought inspirations from medieval architecture as well as that from the new world. Upon returning they embarked on providing visionary designs sculpting landscapes with sophisticated buildings setting the benchmark for American architecture.


Renovating the White House, building iconic buildings still standing today as well as seaside summer mansions are embedded in American history. Beautiful wide porches inviting long gazes towards the ocean or the elegant landscaped garden surrounding the property.

Henry Hobson Richardson

Many of the designs by Henry Hobson Richardson have been immortalised in the register of National Historical Landmarks in America. Richardson was responsible for the American revival of the gambrel roof which is characterised by its two slopes on either side of this symmetric roof, the top slope was quite shallow and the second one more steep. This was not only a beautiful aesthetic feature but it also maximised headroom capacity on the top floor of the houses.

Peabody and Stearn

Peabody and Stearn was another architectural firm trailblazing Shingle style architecture in the late 19th century, designing and constructing arguably the most iconic shingle style house in the USA, the Kragsyde. Although it has since been demolished, it’s V shaped footprint making the most of the sea breeze and views on its coastal cliff setting, regal archway and immaculate attention to detail incorporated the maximum amount of shingle features and has not been forgotten.

Modern shingle revival

The famous Corbin Norton House (below), know as the flagship of Ocean Avenue in Martha’s vi was magnificently rebuilt after burning down, staying true to its original shingle style.

Shingle style introduction to Australia

While shingle style architecture was intrinsically Eastern American by its international reputation, Canadian-born architect John Horbury Hunt was instrumental in introducing this style to Australia.

Some key shingle style characteristics were first introduced to Sydney and later other parts of the country:

  • The skin of the exterior in mostly cedar wood shingle shaped cladding most popularly in grey tones but often also in red, green and yellow
  • Asymmetry of the house
  • Open plan interior spread over mostly 2 or 3 floors with grand living spaces and impressive staircases
  • Wide porches
  • Arches surrounding the entrance
  • Small casement as sash windows

To learn more please read Shingle Style: Inspiration from Famous Architects Today