Along side revival styles, architecture of this century took new directions to address the needs of a growing nation. The Craftsman Style expressed the middle class philosophies of suburban living, back to nature and craftsmanship. The exposed structure as a design element, found in such distant sources as the Alps and the Orient, was introduced to Americans by the international expositions early in the century.
In 1903, California architects Greene and Greene designed the first recognized Craftsman Style, combining simplicity with craftsmanship, structure as a visual element, and furnishings which conformed with the architecture. Gustav Stickley applied Craftsman philosophy to his furniture designs and then to the housing needs of the middle classes by publishing scaled-down versions of the bungalow in his magazine, THE CRAFTSMAN. The public readily embraced his affordable bungalows, soon featured in such popular magazines as LADIES HOME JOURNAL and by mail order through Sear, Roebuck and Company. Although some bungalows were the result of mass production development, the true concept of this “democratic” style was craftsmanship, harmony, simplicity of design, and association with nature.
Exposed beams and rafters, porches for outdoor living, numerous windows, and wide eaves were typical features of the bungalow. The interior was efficiently organized with a minimum of hallways, built-in furnishings, and an important fireplace. When a second story was present, the perimeter was distinctly smaller than the first story, prompting such descriptions as “camelback” and “airplane bungalow”. Bungalow Terrace in Hyde Park is a unique example of a bungalow court, a planned development comprised only of Craftsman Style bungalows and used extensively in California.
The Colonial Revival Style, a gesture to the domestic architecture of the period leading to the American independence, emerged from the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The references range from Dutch Colonial with gambrel roof to the dignified simplicity of the rectangular two-story American Foursquare. The typical material is horizontal wood siding. The plain lines of the symmetrical plan and facade may be broken by dormers, shutters, a balustrade, and a single story entry stoop. Simple classical details found on the exterior may be more extensive inside.
The French Second Empire Revival Style is relatively uncommon in Florida, represented in Hyde Park a single distinguished example, the 1908 Hutchinson House at 304 Plant Avenue. The characteristic feature of this style is the high mansard roof above the second story, often covered with patterned slate and edged with a decorative iron gallery. The plan and facade are often asymmetrical, detailed with curved door and window lintels of contrasting masonry.
A style which adapted readily to the cultural heritage and the climate of Florida and became a visual history of the Florida Boom is the Mediterranean Revival Style. The stucco, tile and cast stone asymmetrical compositions interpreted influences ranging from Italian villas (Tuscan Revival) to Islamic-Spanish palaces (Spanish Revival), to the missions of Spanish Colonial America (Mission Revival). Loggias, arches, decorative scuppers to drain flat roofs, towers, grillwork, decorative ceramic and exposed beams may be found in all scales of residential and commercial buildings.
The typical example of turn-of-the-century Neo-Classical Revival Style is characterized by symmetry, a full-height portico entry, and cornices and pediments, with such classical details as egg and dart molding, dentils, medallions or fret. Since the Golden Age of Greece in the Fifth Century B.C., classical forms have been revived and reinterpreted in cycles, most remarkably in the Greek Revival, which predominated in the first half of the nineteenth century. An early example of the New-Classical Revival is the Taliaferro House at 305 Hyde Park Avenue, c.a. 1893. Influences of this style are found in the use of classical details in several styles, such as the Colonial Revival, Queen Anne Revival, and in simpler vernacular examples.
Another new direction at the turn of the century, the Prairie School, grew out of the Midwest where Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture became a horizontal extension of the prairie, an integration of building and site, Cantilevered eaves and terraces with planters flowed into open spaces centered about massive fireplaces. Horizontal bands of windows, contrasting horizontal trim, low roof pitch, and geometric details were distinctive features. The Leiman House, designed in 1916 by Tampa architect M. Leo Elliott, stands as a unique example of fully developed Prairie Style in Hyde Park. However, influence of early Prairie School work also may be found in the district.
The Queen Ann Revival Style is characterized by asymmetrical massing, varied roof forms, turrets, bays and pavilions. The Queen Anne Revival Style popularized in England in the nineteenth century by Richard Norman Shaw, was based on medieval models rather than on the namesake, Queen Anne period of the early eighteenth century. In America, Queen Anne Revival freely absorbed various influences and adapted them to the needs of a newly affluent middle class. A variety of textures, materials, colors and distinctive millwork contribute to the complexity of such Tampa examples at 341 Plant Avenue, Circa 1889 and at 801 Delaware Avenue, Circa 1911. Some of the Classical and Colonial Revival influences may be perceived in both buildings.
The Tudor Revival Style draws from elements and forms characteristic of sixteenth century England, such as the application of mock half-timbering over stucco, steeply pitched rooflines, casement windows, and dominant fireplaces and chimneys. The typically asymmetrical massing expresses the rambling interior plan. This style, which varies in scale from large estate homes to cottages, is represented at 901 Delaware.
Many noteworthy buildings in Hyde Park which contribute to the character and ambience of the district do not fall into an identifiable stylistic category. Other Vernacular Style or eclectic buildings may embody features from various styles and, while they are not readily categorized, are important elements, created by such features as scale, massing, orientation, landscape, and materials, determines the visual significance of the district. It is the architectural significance, this visible reminder of local history and cultural heritage and this compatible ambience which makes Hyde Park worth of preservation for present and future generations.