Hodgson’s Low Cost American Homes was published in 1905. The house plans shown are representative of the majority of houses built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The buildings range in size from small, four-room cottages and capacious early foursquare farmhouses to palatial late Queen Annes and Victorian Stick Style homes. In addition, there are plans for churches, schools, and even an Iowa barn.
Amenities often included some built-in closets and a bath room, but just as often the bathroom housed only a tub. Other necessary business was presumably still a short hike to the outhouse on the other side of the lot.
Fred T. Hodgson was began his career as a carpenter eventually becoming notable for helping to popularize the small, bungalow-style houses of the first two decades of the 20th century.
Hodgson, a Canadian from Collingwood in Ontario, was born in 1838. From 1878 to his death in 1919, Mr. Hodgson edited the American Builder, as well as writing and editing scores of books on carpentry, house building, and architectural design.
The Glen Flora
The 1905 Hodgson house plan for the Glen Flora features an ornate Queen Anne with a front facing gable, turret, and covered wraparound porch. The steep, tall roof line with lower cross gables and ornate spindlework are clearly holdovers from the 1890s.
The Pontiac plan offered in the 1905 Hodgson book is a Dutch-style Colonial Revival with a gambrel roof. A large veranda and balcony add character to this traditional home.
The modest Essex shown in Hodgson’s 1905 book of plans is a typical Queen Anne cottage. One story with spindlework and lace brackets decorate this small Victorian era design.
The 1905 Hodgson house plan book shows many home designs that reflect the previous century. The American is a small Queen Anne style house with a parlor, living room, and just one bedroom on the main floor.
A bath room with a tub and sink allow the residents to bathe, but other calls of nature were more likely relegated to the backyard privy.
The Watkins plan is a free classic Queen Anne with its classical porch columns and revival style porch. A five sided gable adds a little extra style in addition to the decorative brackets below the roofline and second story bay.
In the Stafford house plan, spindle work, palladian windows, steep roof line with cresting, and stick work carry over into the early 20th century in this marriage of Victorian stick style and Queen Anne.
Hodgson’s 1905 house plans featured many plans that incorporated much of the 19th century styles.
In the 1905 Hodgson book of house plans, the Rae model is considerably simpler than many of the other plans.
A simple two story house, with forward facing gable, a lower cross gable over bay windows, and minimal ornamentation makes this a free classic Queen Anne that echoes the popularity of the Colonial Revival that was popping up in neighborhoods across the US in the first decade of the 20th century.
The 1905 Hodgson Nadler house plan exhibits a number of the more ornate characteristics of the Queen Anne style which was popular from about 1880 to 1910.
Two distinctly different corner towers with stick and spindle decoration, a large veranda and many odd shaped rooms were bound to confuse any spirits that might have sought to beleaguer its owners.
The pleasant Columbia house plan shown in the 1905 Hodgson home plans books shows many elements that mark it as a Queen Anne style home. Typical is the irregular shape, forward facing gable and asymmetrical porch.
Roof cresting and spindlework decorate the Drake house design shown in the 1905 Hodgson house plans book. Street facing wall surfaces show an abundance of decorative columns and lace-like bracketing.
A forward facing gable, conical corner tower, and asymmetrical porch adorn this late Queen Anne style house. The Brookdale, shown in the 1905 Hodgson catalog is typical of the home styles carried over from the previous century.
The 1905 Waukegan model shown in the Hodgson house plans book has a number of elements that tie it into the Greek Revival style of the previous century and anticipate the Colonial Revival style as it evolves in 20th century American residential architecture.
The rooms are generous and pleasant … the only missing amenity? The bathroom.
In 1905, home owners had more choices than ever in their selection of home plans.
The Minnetonka house plan shown in the 1905 Hodgson book of plans carries over the odd shaped rooms of the previous century, but is considerably more symmetrical in both layout and ornamentation than many other Queen Anne or Victorian style homes.
The spindlework alone assures the viewer that the Minnehaha house plan shown in the 1905 Hodgson book was Queen Anne in many elements. It begins to anticipate the symmetry of the more refined classical styles despite its heavily ornamented facade.
The 1905 Hodgson Moseley house plan is a Queen Anne style cottage with decorative half timbering and an integral porch off to the side.
Regardless of how small a Queen Anne style home was, the walls always presented on opportunity for decoration. This was no less true on the 1905 Hodgson Pomeroy house plan. Stick and spindlework tie this plan into its Victorian antecedents.
This is a very small house with only about 700 sq. ft. on the main floor. Without an indication of where the stairs might be located, it begs the question of where precisely the sleeping quarters were located or how they were accessed.
The Queen Anne style, popular from about 1880 to 1910, was all about its towers, turrets, and odd shaped rooms. After all, one could never have too many towers.
On the Foster plan from the 1905 Hodgson book of house plans, external ornamentation includes spindlework on the porch, columns, brackets, and decorative siding.
The Newark home plan shown in Hodgson’s 1905 plan book is a gracious, free classic style Queen Anne home. Though the exterior is fairly plain compared with other Queen Anne’s, the curved porch, decorative railing, and classical columns are enough to define it.
The facade is further broken up by the second floor bay windows. The interior with its odd shaped rooms ensures the definition.
The 1905 Hodgson Cosy house plan might equally be described as a folk Victorian or a Queen Anne cottage. It’s a simple, small house designed to accommodate a small family. It’s essential character is derived from a modest amount of ornamentation.
The 1905 Oregon plan shown in the Hodgson plan book is a good example of a small Queen Anne style house at the turn of the 20th century. A modestly turreted cover front porch, some stick and spindlework, and the irregular roof line define the character of this little home.