Historic Topeka House Styles Historic Topeka home
A guide to historic architectural styles found throughout Topeka's older neighborhoods


          opeka streets and neighborhoods feature a rich collection of widely varying architectural styles. These styles represent the city's development from a small prairie township to the dynamic capital city that it is today.

While using this guide to identify styles, you may find that many homes exhibit features of several different types. These houses are just as architecturally significant as pure examples, because they demonstrate the transition from one period of history to another.

Explore Topeka's neighborhoods and see how many of the following historical styles you can identify:

A Sampling of Topeka's Historic Neighborhoods

Map of historic Topeka neighborhoods

6-Potwin Place
2-Shop District
7-Edgewood Park
17-Holliday Park
3-North Topeka
13-Collins Park
18-Bethany Square
4-Central Topeka
9-Vesper's Addition
14-College Hill
19-Quinton Heights
10-Prospect Hills
20-Highland Park

ITALIANATE 1840-1885 Lower Silverlake Rd in N. Topeka
Decorative brackets under eaves, often paired; low-pitched, hipped roof; window hoods; tall, narrow windows, commonly arched.

EASTLAKE 1870-1900 N.W. Harrison St. in North Topeka
Name refers to style of woodwork: furniture-like, lathe-turned posts, balusters and railings; named for English furniture designer, Charles Eastlake.

 English Tudor
ENGLISH TUDOR 1900-1935 S.W. Fillmore St. in Holliday Park
Combinations of: half-timbering, casement windows, steep gables, prominent chimney, chimney pots, Tudor arch, brick, stone, wood or stucco.

English Cottage
ENGLISH COTTAGE 1915-1940 S.W. High Ave. in Collins Park
Smaller in scale and featuring simpler combination of Tudor details.

Georgian Revival
GEORGIAN REVIVAL 1910-1935 S.W.MacVicar Ave. in College Hill
Formal, symmetrical facade; central, pedimented entry; detailed cornice; classical details, especially around door; commonly red brick.

Italian Renaissance Revival
ITALIAN RENAISSANCE REVIVAL 1890-1930 S.W. Pembroke Lane in Westboro
Series of arches, grouped or singular; green or red tile roof; decorative crests on facade; Palladian windows or openings; often light-colored brick.

Spanish Colonial Revival
1915-1940 W. 1st St. in Central Topeka
Red tile roof; stucco walls; arched openings; often has rustic wood doors and wrought-iron window grilles.

 French Eclectic
FRENCH ECLECTIC 1915-1945 S.W. Westover Rd. in Westboro
Resembles Tudor style except tall, steeply pitched roof has flared eaves and house commonly has prominent, round tower.

PRAIRIE 1900-1920 S.W. Greenwood Ave. in Potwin
Low, spread-out appearance with wide overhanging eaves; wide, horizontal bands of windows; first popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright.

HOMESTEAD 1900-1920 N.E. Twiss Ave. in Oakland
1 1/2- or 2 1/2-story, simple rectangular box with front- gabled roof and columned front porch; sometimes called "Temple-Front" house.

American Four-Square
AMERICAN FOUR-SQUARE 1905-1925 S.W. Garfield Ave. in Elmhurst
Same as 2 1/2-story Homestead house except has hipped roof instead of gabled; dormer window in roof.

CRAFTSMAN 1910-1930 S.E.Virginia Ave. in Highland Park
Simple brackets or exposed rafter ends under eaves; squared porch supports made of wood, stone or brick; broad front porch; broad gable(s).

Airplane Bungalow
AIRPLANE BUNGALOW 1920-1930 S.W. Kendall Ave. in Kenwood
Craftsman-style house with small room(s) used as sleeping porch added to top rear of house; not commonly found outside Topeka region.

ART MODERNE 1930-1945 S.W. Pembroke Lane in Westwood
Flat roof; smooth stucco walls; horizontal railings; curved corners; casement windows; streamlined, industrial appearance.

QUEEN ANNE VICTORIAN 1880-1910 S.W. Fillmore St. in Holliday Park
Steep, irregular-shaped roof; highly decorative mixture of shapes and wall textures, including shingles; asymmetrical facade.

FOLK VICTORIAN 1870-1910 N.E. Freeman Ave. in Shop District
Simpler, often smaller, Victorian homes with less elaborate combination of Eastlake or Queen Anne details.

NEO-CLASSICAL 1895-1950 S.W. Taylor St. in Bethany Square
Full-height entry porch, often pedimented; facade usually symmetrical; classical details, especially columns; often painted white.

DUTCH COLONIAL REVIVAL 1895-1930 S.W. 6th St. in Vesper's Addition
Primary identifying feature: gambrel roof.

symmetrical - balanced, identical on left and right sides

asymmetrical - not balanced

half-timbering - exterior wood framing with spaces filled with stucco


The Shawnee County Historical Society seeks to promote the preservation of Topeka's historic neighborhoods, buildings and sites through education and advocacy. Volunteers have rallied to save countless historic properties in the city, and have sponsored special events, publications, tours, lectures, preservation awards, and fundraising for projects such as the restoration of the 1880 Ross Rowhouses, acquired by Historic Topeka, Inc. in 1993. HTI merged with the Shawnee County Historical Society in 2003.

This information is part of a series on the historic neighborhoods and sites of Topeka published by Historic Topeka, Inc. Written by Max Movsovitz. Edited by Douglass W. Wallace. First published in 1995 in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the founding of Historic Topeka, Inc.

Shawnee County Historical Society,
P.O. Box 2201, Topeka, KS 66601-2201

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