During the early 1700s, French colonists settled and built houses in an number of area’s of the USA, including the Mississippi Valley, especially Louisiana. An eclectic “Creole” house architecture evolved, combining building traditions from France, the Caribbean, the West Indies, and other parts of the world.
Creole houses from the Colonial period were especially designed for the hot, wet climate of that region. Traditional French Colonial Creole houses had some or all of the features below:
- timber frame with brick or “bousillage” (mud combined with moss and animal hair)
- wide hipped roof extends over porches
- thin wooden columns
- living quarters raised above ground level
- wide porches, called “galleries”
- no interior hallways
- porches used as passageway between rooms
- french doors (doors with many small panes of glass)
Below are some examples of these Colonial Houses.
French Colonial Plantation Home:
This grand stone mansion combines a variety of styles from France:
After World War I, soldiers returning to the United States and Canada brought a keen interest in French housing styles. Building plan books and home magazines began to feature modest homes inspired by French building traditions. Grand homes like the one shown here were constructed with a fanciful mix of French details. Details vary, but French-inspired homes are distinguished by their distinctive hipped roofs and flared eaves.