During the late 1960s, a rebellion against modernism and a longing for more traditional styles influenced the design of modest tract housing in North America. Builders began to borrow freely from a variety of historic traditions, offering neoeclectic (or, neo-eclectic) houses that were “customized” using a mixture of features selected from construction catalogs. These homes are sometimes called postmodern because they borrow from a variety of styles without consideration for continuity or context. However, neo-eclectic homes are not usually experimental and do not reflect the artistic vision you would find in a truly original, architect-designed postmodern home.

Home Styles: Neoeclectic

Critics use the term McMansion to describe a neo-eclectic home that is oversized and pretentious. Coined from the McDonald’s fast food restaurant, the name McMansion implies that these homes are hastily assembled using cheaply-made materials and a menu of mix-and-match decorative details.

Typically have no porches, most have covered entryways. Usually have front facing gables. The main roof is usually a hip roof. Main roof ridges run both parallel and perpendicular to street. The exterior is clapboard or masonry (brick, stucco, stone).

A Neoeclectic home borrows characteristics from traditional styles such as:

  • Second Empire
  • Colonial Revival
  • Greek Revival
  • French
  • Spanish Revival
  • Tudor
  • Queen Anne