When you hear the word 'Tara', many of you will immediately think of the grand plantation house from the movie Gone With the Wind. This type of grand house with a symmetrical facade and centre-hall plan, has long been a symbol of luxury and grandeur.
In the mid-century this type of house was built by many builders in Ottawa. In some areas it was the only type of house built. In this posting I will look at the centre-hall plans built by Campeau and explore how the design changed over the years.
In the 1950s Campeau had very few 2-storey designs, as bungalows and 1 1/2 storey houses were the norm. As such, the centre-hall plan did not appear in their design catalogue until the 1960s.
This is an early example of a Campeau centre-hall plan. It is actually a contemporary take on the design, with a facade that is not perfectly symmetrical because of the staircase placement. The large 4 bedroom design was quite luxurious for the time.
One of the key traditions of the center-hall plan is to have the living room on one side of the foyer and the dining room on the other, with the kitchen behind. This design had 3 exterior options, including a modern option below.
This design and the two below are essentially the same, just with different facades.
This traditional design with dormers, looks smaller than a 2-storey facade, but still has the classic centre-hall plan.
One of my favourite features of a classic centre-hall plan is the large living room with windows on the front and the back of the house.
With the growing popularity of a main-floor family room, the design of Campeau's centre-hall plans was tweaked in the late 1960s to allow this additional room.
While in the past, the centre-hall plan was wide and shallow, by the 1970s, the addition of a large family room, made many of these plans quite deep.
With a large house on a wide lot, the centre-hall plan can be very grand. In this example, the house actually extends behind the garage - which once again allows for a living room with windows on the front and back of the house.
Instead of the garage just being an appendage to the design - like in earlier versions - by the 1970s, the space behind the garage was put to use.
A wider centre-hall plan allows for a grand curved staircase, as in the designs above and below.
|c. 1979. Hunt Club Woods|
Even on the cusp of the 1980s, the centre-hall plan continued to be popular.
In more recent years, lot sizes have shrunk, so the centre-hall plan is often not possible. It appears every so often on corner lots, where the house can be situated along the long side of the lot.