Spotlight on Tudor-Revival Architecture

Tudor style dates back to medieval times. It’s strongly associated with the House of Tudor, whose most famous monarch was Henry VIII. (He probably spent more time getting in and out of marriages than appreciating good architecture.)

The style was marked by frequent use of low arches, large windows, big fireplaces, and long galleries. While brick and stone masonry were common in construction used for nobility and clerical purposes, commoner classes often used pronounced timber framing on Tudor-style buildings, particularly on the upper levels.

Tudor was eventually replaced with other styles, but enjoyed a strong resurgence in the 19th century. The Tudor-Revival style borrowed heavily from traditional Tudor architecture but also blended in elements from Elizabethan and Gothic traditions.

Tudor-Revival architecture often features roofs with steep pitches, soaring chimneys, and large interior pillars. Tudor-Revival style is typically expensive to build, though there are more modest examples featuring timber framing in lieu of stone, and even thatched roofs.

Built in 1913, the University Club of Saint Paul’s Summit Avenue Clubhouse is a prime example of grand Tudor-Revival architecture. Perched high on a hill overlooking the Mississippi River Valley, the building’s grand façade, steeply pitched dormers, and low-arched door have made it a landmark. The Club’s interior features classic millwork, characteristic arches and multiple fireplaces.

The University Club is certainly one of the grander historic buildings in St. Paul, and that’s no accident. The Club owes its design to architects Charles A. Reed and Allen H. Stern, who also designed New York City’s Grand Central Station. (Fortunately, the University Club is a little quieter.)

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