Hottest Architectural Styles in Geneva

Hottest Architectural Styles in Geneva

Along the tranquil waters of the Fox River lies the picturesque town of Geneva, Illinois. This charming little city is only about an hour away from downtown Chicago. Although not as famous as the windy city, Geneva somehow found its way to being featured on a postage stamp. A Dutch windmill from the 1800s was selected to represent the town on the stamp.

Like a window through time, Geneva's rich past is displayed in its fantastic architecture. Geneva architecture is varied. Besides the mill, many other historic buildings can be found in the city. Some of the more popular styles are listed below.

Federal Revival

The Federal Revival style can be found throughout the United States. It is similar to the Colonial style and rose in popularity after the Revolutionary War. Federals have a grand, stately quality and are made of different materials based on what was available in the region at the time of its inception. Federal buildings are typically made of brick in the southern part of the country and clapboard in the northern sections.

Federal-style architecture is symmetrical, which is one way to identify the style. The windows are lined up and evenly spaced. If there is a window on one side, there will be a matching one on the other. Most Federal-style houses do not have a front porch, but many do have stylish trim around the entrance door and a fan-shaped window over the door. The Isaac Wilson House, built in 1853, and the George Patten House from 1857 are examples of this style in Geneva.

Gothic Revival

The Gothic Revival style is from the Victorian era. It typically has a medieval castle-like look. The structures have pointed arches, arched windows, steep-pitched roofs, and sometimes towers with parapets. Many churches and schools were built in this style.

Although it does not resemble a medieval castle, the Loveday House in Geneva is a Gothic Revival. It has touches of the style with its arched window and high-pitched roof with dormers and carved details.

Greek Revival

Greek Revival style is reminiscent of ancient Greece. The architecture is all about symmetry and simplicity. In the United States, the style flourished in the 1800s. Most people during that period could not afford architects, so the style was altered to reflect the talent, tastes, and availability of materials available.

Many homes and buildings were made from wood, stucco, or brick. Prominent buildings often have white columns, sloped roofs with gables, and trim around the windows. Inside they usually have decorative plastered ceilings and open layouts. In many cases, the windows are low to the ground. The Unitarian Church in Geneva, built in 1843, exemplifies this style.


Italianate style is considered to be in the family of Victorian architecture because it came out of that era. The style can be attributed to the Italian Renaissance and is reminiscent of the homes in the Italian countryside. Italianates are usually designed as two-story homes and can be rectangular, U or L-shaped. Many are constructed of clapboard or brick.

Many row homes in cities like New Orleans and New York are Italianate style. They can often be identified by the tall narrow windows, decorative brackets near the roof line, and cast iron trim. Some of the homes have columns on the front porch. There are a few Italianate-style homes in Geneva. The Plato House, built in 1857, the Augustus Herrington House in 1851, and the Moore House in 1864, are all Italianate-style buildings.


The Neoclassical style of architecture is grand in scale and uses geometric forms. It often borrows from Roman and Greek styles by using columns. Sometimes the roofs are flat, and other times domed.

There are several Neoclassical styles, the classic Block, Temple, and Palladian. The White House and the U.S. Capitol Building are examples of the Palladian Neoclassical style. Locally, the Charles B. Wells House, built in 1850, is also an example of the style.

Prairie School

He may not have invented the Prairie School style, but Frank Lloyd Wright is responsible for popularizing it. The P.D. Hoyt House in Geneva was made in the Prairie style and was designed by Wright in 1906.

Prairie homes are usually low profile because they are supposed to blend in with nature instead of competing with it. Flat roofs with overhangs and horizontal lines are hallmarks of the style. The Prairie style incorporated the idea of blending indoors and outdoors, which is still popular today. The interiors are known for having built-in features, open floor plans, and oversized windows that sometimes span an entire wall.

Queen Anne

When someone hears the term Victorian, they often think of the Queen Anne style. Victorian points to the era rather than the style. That is why so many structures that look nothing like Queen Anne are also called Victorian.

The Queen Anne style is a reflection of English architecture. People of the time would start building a small house and then make an addition, sometimes years later when they needed more room or had the financial means. This is why homes of that period had multiple roof lines and were irregularly shaped.

Queen Annes are typically ornate with decorative porch spindles, bay windows, stained glass, scalloped shingles, etc. The Queen Anne style recreates that look by purposely implementing multiple roofs and oddly shaped sections. The Davis House in Geneva is an excellent example of a Queen Anne. The home is over one hundred years old and has a wrap-around porch, elaborate spindles, and over a dozen stained glass windows.


The vernacular style of architecture is more of a method than a style. Vernacular buildings were designed locally without the aid of an architect. Builders used multiple design elements, usually from several different styles. Vernacular structures were built with whatever material could be found in the area. That is why some are made of wood, others of brick, stucco, etc.

The Vernacular style can be found throughout the country and the world. Two homes, the Walter House and the Eban Conant House, are registered in Geneva as historical examples of the Vernacular style.

The Kohler Group's difference

Geneva does not have neighborhoods filled with cookie-cutter houses. Rather, Geneva architecture has a wonderful variety of styles giving it an eclectic look. If you are searching for houses for sale in Geneva, IL, you are in luck. The Kohler Group are experts in the field and the Geneva market. The Kohler Group is passionate about helping people achieve their real estate goals and works tirelessly for each client.

If you have questions about property in Chicago or the greater Chicago area, in places such as Geneva, St. Charles, or Naperville, contact Kari Kohler and the team. They have the knowledge and talent to help and will give you the first-class service you deserve.
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