Times change, styles change, but in time everything old is new again. In architecture, we see the same cycles. After reaching a peak of popularity a half century ago and then falling out of favor, split level homes in the area are now again receiving increased attention. It's time to take a second look.
Throughout the fifties and sixties, the Philadelphia PA and Delaware suburbs experienced a tremendous amount of growth. One of the primary style beneficiaries of this growth was the development of the split level home.
As homes expanded and families needed additional room to grow, styles shifted from predominately small ranch homes and custom built housing to splits and colonials. Splits in particular were very popular throughout this region due to their flexible floor plans and ease of construction on many land topographies. They were built in every style, shape, and location and proved a convenient alternative to both one level and 2+ story homes. Their flexibility, ease of access, and reduced stairs proved popular with both families and those who were looking for easier access.
Today, Pennsylvania and Delaware continue to contain a rich variety of split level homes in all shapes and sizes. From small to large, city to country, two to six levels, there is an endless variety of configurations. In Delaware County, in addition to entire developments of split level homes, they were also commonly used to infill lots in older developments as well as being built as single family homes on very large lots in the western townships of the county.
Since they are now frequently fifty to sixty years old, many are in the process of being redone: both updated to reflect today's tastes as well as being retrofitted to mirror the styles from when they were built. The beauty of the split level style is that many offer a fairly clean palette that can be modified to reflect almost any time or style.
After being passed on for years to more traditional styles, split level homes are now receiving increased interest as families again are looking at more imaginative and practical living opportunities.
It's about time.