Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hopper Court in Hopkinsville, KY

Homes with style

The home on the left in this photo is a bungalow. Sometimes its architecture is also called "Craftsman". I know that because James Coursey, a local architect with an interest in Hopkinsville's architectural heritage, wrote an article about bungalow houses in Hopkinsville a few years ago ("Local homes epitomize bungalow style of architecture", in the Kentucky New Era, April 14, 2007.) This home is one of several Hopkinsville bungalows that he cited.

According to Coursey, bungalows originated in California and were popular from about 1905-1925. The style was a reaction to the excesses of the Victorian period. For example, in a bungalow, the front entrance hall of Victorian architecture was eliminated. The front door opened into the living room. Also, stairs were no longer an architectural element. They were hidden away, often in the back of the house.

I don't know the proper term for the architecture of the house on the right, but I like it because it reminds me of Germany. A big, square, stucco home like this would fit right into many German towns, especially if it had one more story and lace curtains at every window.

These two houses are part of Hopper Court, a neighborhood in Hopkinsville that was developed around 1910. If you look closely at the photo, you'll see that the street has a strip of green down the center of it, where some small trees are planted. This mini-boulevard was once the private driveway of a large, red-brick house that still sits at the far end of Hopper Court. has several photos of Hopper Court, then and now.

Hopper Court is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The book, Hopkinsville & Christian County Historic Sites by Gibbs & Torma for the Kentucky Heritage Commission (Copyright 1982 by Gateway Trust) says the following about this site:
The E. H. Hopper house was built about 1885 in a mansard or Second Empire style. About 1907, the land leading to the house was developed as an ideal suburban street, complete with tree-planted median, sidewalks, and stone obelisks marking the entrance. The houses built along the street are mostly frame bungalows. Hopper was a stationer, bookseller, and major property owner in Hopkinsville in the late 19th century.


Ilona said...

I love old neighborhoods with distinctive architecture like that. Craftsman is one of my favorite styles.

Genevieve said...

I like them, too, Ilona. To me, old neighborhoods like this one have a depth of character that is simply not present in most modern subdivisions. And in addition, most of these old houses were built to last. How many houses of today's subdivisions will survive a century as well as these houses? Most will not, I suspect.

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