Mail Order Foursquare Houses in Takoma

Takoma Park Library

Mail Order Foursquare Houses in Takoma

From our Takoma History File

Example of a foursquare house
Imagine ordering your house through the mail. Imagine it arriving in a big box of boards, nails and window panes. You could put it together yourself or hire somebody to do it.  
This is what a lot of people did in Takoma in the early 20th century. A lot of these houses were of a design called ‘foursquare.’ Foursquare houses are typified by two stories and a wide pyramid-shaped roof (see image above).  You can see examples of these houses in Takoma near the library on 5th and Butternut streets. 

If you’re interested in learning more about mail order foursquare houses in Takoma, come to the library and read a paper on the subject written by Virginia Jenkins for George Washington University. While you’re at it, peruse the rest of our Takoma History File of archival materials and reference copies.

Opening up our archives is almost as exciting as opening up your new house!

Jenkins, Virginia. Foursquare Houses in the Streetcar Suburb of Takoma Park, August 1987. Takoma History File, File "Homes/Houses [Folder 1]," Takoma Park Library, Washington, DC.
Wischmayer House. 2013. Source: Teemu008, Wischmayer House in the Ouilmette North Historic District (c. 1920), Digital Image. Available from: Flickr, (accessed February 11, 2014).