American Foursquare, Prairie Box, Box House: A Classic Efficiency
Maximize Home Space Cheapest Cubic Space: Inexpensive Floor Plans Part 1
Celebrating the Classic American Foursquare (“Prairie Box” or “Box House”) 1890-1930
The classic American “Four-Square” architectural style is the closest example of the pragmatic cube. This simple “box house” often starts with 4 rooms per floor (imagine a square divided into 4 squares) and a symmetrical “hip roof” (pyramid, i.e. no gables), with possible embellishments of dormer windows or a roofed front porch. Foursquares are ideal for a central chimney where hypothetically every room could have a fireplace. Many are 2-story houses but the “workingman’s foursquare” home is 1-story. Sears sold 15 different styles of foursquare houses as kit homes.
Sears Roebuck Inc. Modern Home No. 52: foursquare 5-bedroom home kit with building plans for $1,995
This model has a kitchen attached outside the cube but that is not necessary (especially in colder regions) and the kitchen could be "moved inside" to replace, say, the dining room. The ingenious floor design provides 5 bedrooms in 1,630 square feet (1,500sqft without the offshoot kitchen)--and a central staircase might have allowed a 6th bedroom to replace the old-fashioned hall reception area (potentially 6 bedrooms in 1,500sqft).