Boerne's Historic Architecture

Offers a Wealth of Style and Beauty

Article by Connie McFall Clark

Photography by Connie McFall Clark

Originally published in Boerne Lifestyle

One of the great things about living in Boerne is that it is rich in history and the architecture of the homes and retail spaces take us back to the early days when the town was first created and settled. So many of the stone buildings on the Historic Mile were built in the 1800s and there are many structures that were homes and are now housing businesses. 

In 2011 the Boerne Historic Landmark Commission created a document for historic design and repair guidelines in order to keep the heritage architecture in place. A shout-out to Ben Adams and Paul Barwick for their valuable input! I've included just a few of the architectural styles found in Boerne. “The earliest construction were log houses, based on patterns developed in the upper and lower Southern United States, as well as rural medieval houses in the homeland.” 

“The German Sunday House was a small one- or two-room cottage with an upstairs loft (often reached by an exterior stairway) built in town by farm families who needed a place to spend the night while shopping, visiting friends, or going to church.” 

“The Gothic Revival style was influenced by the formal Gothic designs and forms of Europe. This style was especially popular for churches and civic buildings. The robust masonry forms and rich texture of this romantic style derive from the medieval Romanesque architecture of France and Spain. The characteristic features of the Romanesque Revival, include heavy rough-cut stone, round arches, and sometimes densely carved decoration with interlaced motifs. Constructed of solid masonry, Romanesque Revival buildings were expensive.”

“The Queen Anne style was one of the most common American house forms in the late 19th century and featured a symmetrical floor plan and extensive exterior detailing. This style is generally two-stories in height and often features corner towers, turrets, or projecting bays.” 

“The Homestead or Gable Front dwellings are vernacular or folk housing forms of the late 19th century. These dwellings are typically of frame construction, two stories in height, and have gable roofs. Decoration is often more restrained than found in the Queen Anne style except for milled porch columns and brackets on the primary façade. The Stick style is characterized by the widespread use of decorative milled detailing and varying uses of wood wall surfaces. These dwellings are similar in form to the Queen Anne style and generally have high pitched gable roofs and asymmetrical floor plans.”

“The Two-part Commercial Block is identified by the division of the façade into two well-defined distinct horizontal sections. Though the design works as a whole in rhythm and pattern, each story is distinct from another in finishes, proportions, or scale. The architectural precedent for this building type can be traced to the time when urban buildings contained shops at street level with living quarters being built above. Many examples of the Two-part Commercial Block line Boerne’s Main Street.”

Take time to look at the historic structures along Main Street and the adjoining side streets.

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