April 06, 2011

Arts & Crafts Homes in Salisbury North Carolina

Homes in Salisbury, North Carolina are rich in the Arts & Crafts period style of architecture. From the turn of the 20th century to World War II was the unique period in American architectural history where ordinary people could afford finely crafted detail such as rich wood trim, art glass, and colorful mosaics in their homes. The Arts & Crafts movement made rich detailing a mainstay of home design. The Arts & Crafts architectural styles — Prairie, Craftsman, Mission, Four Square — are purely American styles. Unlike previous house styles that designers adopted from European models, American Arts & Crafts homes are homegrown. No other nation, with the exception of Canada, has anything like them.

Owners of Arts & Crafts homes possess a true gem — an American original — full of handcrafted details that are rarely seen in modern housing. Newly built homes are full of 1/2" gypsum board walls, painted MDF moldings, and carpeting over OSB subflooring. The Arts & Crafts home is full of thick, plaster walls, varnished quarter-sawn oak moldings with oak strip flooring over a thick pine subfloor - a work of art.

The Arts & Crafts movement began as a rebellion against the heady excesses of the late Victorian age. Victorian architecture, also prevalent in Salisbury NC, celebrated the abundance made possible by mass production and industrialization. Inexpensive trim and moldings could suddenly be made by machines, could be easily shipped anywhere in the U.S. on our newly built railroad system, and were used with elaboration to embellish Victorian architecture. By the end of the 19th century, ornamentation had reached its zenith, but by the 1890s many had had enough of industrialization. A widespread rebellion against mass mechanization and a longing for simpler times fostered the Arts & Crafts style. The thought prevailed that the former days of villages, craft shops, and artisans were healthier and more humanizing than assembly-line work in factory towns shrouded in smoke and dust.

Before finally dying out around 1910, the Arts & Crafts Movement in America spawned a stunning revolution in architecture and design that largely dominated the 20th century until the 1940s. The Arts & Crafts home styles are generously represented in Salisbury’s older and established urban neighbor¬hoods. The architecture lasted just 50 years, then, with the end of the 2nd World War, Arts & Crafts styles quietly died. Challenged to build unheard of numbers of houses to meet the ravenous postwar appetite for new housing, homebuilders quickly abandoned the leisurely, handcrafted detailing of the Arts & Crafts period. While it was sad to see such wonderful artisanship go by the wayside, it was a new era. America had changed, and so had its housing needs.

The legacy of the Arts & Crafts movement is still alive in Salisbury, North Carolina in the form of hundreds of Arts & Crafts houses throughout the area. Salisbury is a town of just over 30,000, conveniently centered between Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem, NC - about 45 minutes from each. It is close to major shopping and sporting or arts events. Its housing prices are very attractive when compared to the rest of the country, and it offers a moderate climate. It has a historic downtown mere blocks away, and ten Historic Districts. To see an Arts & Crafts listing in Salisbury, or to list your gem with a Realtor, contact Greg Rapp at 704.213.6846 today.

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