6 of Utah’s Most Common Architecture Styles

UtahLandGuysProperty, Real Estate, Real Estate Information

Utah’s housing boasts a variety of architectural styles from Pioneer to Post-War Modern. Following are the six most common styles arranged by period. The next time you are driving around your neighborhood you will not only be able to spot these styles but know more about their history as well.


  • Pioneer

About the Pioneer Style:

The Pioneer Style was based on early Greek, Roman and English architecture. Often, the houses built in the Pioneer style indicated to others that the owner was wealthy. This style was prevalent in the United States during mid-nineteenth century. These houses feel formal and somber.

Common styles of the Pioneer Period include Federal, Georgian and Greek Revival.

Pioneer style in Utah:

Mormon settlers brought the Pioneer styles to Utah. As such, the living conditions in Utah were more humble than other places in the country and the houses were smaller and simpler as well.

Defining Characteristics:

Pioneer style houses feel stretched out due to their rectangular shape. The front door is usually in the middle of the front of the house with evenly spaced windows on each side.


  • Victorian

About the Victorian Style:

During the late nineteenth century, people came to view the Pioneer styles as artificial and unnatural. They thought that Victorian styles were more natural and honest. The Victorian architecture focused on displaying high craftsmanship through using textures and forms of the materials.

Common styles of the Victorian Period include Queen Anne, Shingle, Eastlake, Victorian Gothic, Stick and Victorian Eclectic.

Victorian style in Utah:

In Utah, the Victorian styles first appeared in Salt Lake City and later spread in popularity to the rural areas. The growth of the Victorian styles in Utah coincided with periods of great economic and population growth.

Defining Characteristics:

Victorian styles feel stretched upward with towers and turrets that point to the sky. In contrast to the Pioneer styles, Victorian houses were asymmetrical with irregular lines and lots of curves and angles.


  • Early Twentieth Century

About the Early Twentieth Style:

At the turn of the twentieth century, Victorian styles were out as people started to see them as ungainly and old-fashioned. The less ornamented, simple and informal early twentieth century styles were now in.

Common styles of the Early Twentieth Century Period include Bungalow, Arts and Crafts and Prairie School.

Early Twentieth style in Utah:

As the population grew in Utah, communities began to accommodate the growth with smaller house lots and in turn, smaller houses. Thus began the era of the Bungalow. Architects from Chicago began specializing in the early twentieth century styles in Salt Lake City and Ogden between 1910 and 1920.

Defining Characteristics:

Although the houses are small, they are low to the ground making them feel stretched out. You can find both symmetrical and asymmetrical designs in Utah. They are often made of stucco, wood, brick and stone.


  • Period Revival

About the Period Revival Style:

Period Revival styles were enhanced by the popularity of photography and outdoor living areas. These styles were built lower to the ground than previous styles to allow for walk out terraces and patios.

Common styles of the Period Revival Period include Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival Cottage, English Tudor and Neoclassical.

Period Revival style in Utah:

Following World War I, the popularity of the Period Revival styles in Utah was due in part to a surge in nationalistic pride, returning soldiers that brought European historical styles with them and the publication of numerous Period Revival designs.

Defining Characteristics:

All period revival styles look like houses from an old story book. However, the two most common styles have some differences. For instance, the Colonial Revival style houses get their inspiration from Colonial America while the Tudor Revival style houses are similar to medieval England. An eclectic variation of the Period Revival styles is also seen in Spanish Colonial Revival, Classic Revival, Georgian Revival, Gothic Revival and more.


  • Early Modern

About the Early Modern Style:

The “modern” architecture first appeared in America in the 1922 Chicago Tribune Tower competition. A world-wide competition held to design an early skyscrapers. Despite protests from more traditionally trained architects, the Early Modern styles were incorporated into architectural teachings by the end of the 1940’s.

Common styles of the Early Modern Period include International, Arts Moderne and Art Deco.

Early Modern style in Utah:

The Early Modern Styles are least popular style on our list. It is unusual to find them in residential neighborhoods, but when you do they are often surrounded by more traditional style houses and buildings.

Defining Characteristics:

The houses feel stretched out and look like they are made of blocks attached to each other. Masonry, often covered by stucco, is the primary material used in the Early Modern styles. There is very little extra ornamentation.


  • Post-War Modern

About the Post-War Modern Style:

Modernism’s influence on traditional housing types increased as the twentieth century progressed. Houses soon became pared down and less ornamented. As the period progressed homeowners and houses began to emphasize the importance of outdoor space.

Common styles of the Post-War Modern Period include Minimal Traditional, Post-War Modern and Ranch.

Post-War Modern style in Utah:

After World War II, houses were constructed to be small and simple. The population grew and people began moving to the suburbs.  Suburban development led to an increase in house size, but the style still remained relatively simple.

Defining Characteristics:

The Post-War Modern styles often feel box-like. The walls and ornamentation usually emphasize straight lines along with right angles. The homes are made out of brick with siding sometimes used to cover exterior walls.