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The original cape cod cottage – old-house online

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Hallmarks of the Cape Cod Cottageº Steep roof: side-gabled, single pitch

º Center chimney; ubiquitous in early examples

º Shingle-sided, and sometimes clapboarded on the front faГ§ade with shingles elsewhere

º Unornamented except for the entry door, which might have a simple transom, fanlight, pilasters, or sidelights. Later examples had austere Greek Revival trim, as on lintels.



º Windows often go to the roofline in early examples, attesting to the low ceiling height

Variations of the CapeFull Cape (or Double Cape)

Apparently the quintessential Cape Cod house, full Capes were actually rare in the 18th century. Those that existed belonged to the most accomplished settlers. They have a steep pitched roof and a symmetrical five-bay façade with a generous entrance door centered on the massive chimney.

cape cod style home


Three-Quarter Cape

Although seldom copied in the Cape Cod revivals that would come many decades later, the three-quarter Cape was a mainstay of 18th- and early-19th-century New England. On the three-quarter Cape as well as the half Cape, the entry was offset slightly from the chimney.

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One-Half Cape (or Single Cape)

The starter house of its day, the half Cape often evolved through subsequent additions into a three-quarter Cape and on to a full Cape as its occupants’ families and fortunes grew. Nevertheless, examples remain throughout New England.

Inside the CapeThe typical full Cape floor plan shows the importance of the keeping room (the kitchen/living/family room):

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