ALFRED M. SYLVESTER HOUSE

With 321 examples, the Colonial Revival style was the clear favorite of homeowners building in Nakoma. These include some of Nakoma's oldest as well as its newest houses, but the vast majority were built between 1920 and 1940, and while some are somewhat larger than others, owners were invariably content to build houses that fitted the lots that the suburb's developers offered. Consequently, these houses are generally similar in size, which might lead one to expect that many would be very similar if not identical in design. In fact, the opposite is true. Nakoma is actually an excellent place in which to study the almost infinite variety of designs that the builders and architects of the period could fashion from what might at first seem to be a limited number of design elements.

The Sylvester house is a good case in point. Alfred Sylvester was a contractor and builder, and his house is a two-story asymmetrical variant of the Colonial Revival style that has a T-plan main block and an attached two-car garage. The first story is clad in brick while the second story is clad in clapboard and slightly overhangs the first story. Compare this house with the very similar Junginger House at 1201 Seminole Highway designed by Frank Riley to see what two different designers made of the same basic idea.

 

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