Cape Cod House Designs from the Historical American Building Survey

View and print photos and measured drawings of floor plans, exterior elevations and construction details.



Classic Cape Cod Cottage


Cape Cod Home Designs from the Historic American Buildings Survey


According to the Library of Congress, the Cape Cod house is the simplest of all New England Colonial houses. It's generally a rectangular frame house (usually shingled or clapboarded) with a straight unadorned ridge roof, and a massive chimney centrally located in line with the front entrance. The type developed from the last quarter of the 17th century to about 1830, and later enjoyed a resurgence in post-World War II America. The wide appeal of the Cape Cod cottage makes it one of the best known forms of traditional American architecture.

The Library of Congress list of Cape Cod home designs, shown in photos and measured drawings, includes seventy three homes built throughout New England. Although most of the designs are classic gable-roof cottages, the list also includes homes with gambrel and round or bow roofs.


The Historic American Building Survey is a joint effort of the Library of Congress and the National Park Service. Read more about their efforts to preserve America's heritage by visiting their website: Built in America  To learn more about any of the designs listed here, search for it by its card number. Then, explore the vast and ever-growing HABS collection to view related building designs.




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