Sunday, September 4, 2016

Royal Barry Wills Crush

Looking for a house that is oozing with charm but also works well for today's living?  The classic Cape Cod homes that dot our landscape were an inspiration for the renowned architect Royal Barry Wills.  Though he also designed cutting edge modern homes, his traditional designs helped to catapult the Cape style home to the forefront of Colonial Revival American architecture during the first half of the 20th century.  Wills, born in Melrose Massachusetts in 1895, established his architectural practice in 1925.

Historic New England has Royal Barry Wills archive

A graduate of MIT in architectural engineering, Wills pulled inspiration from the language of traditional architecture for his cape style homes.  They evoke the feeling of a quieter time but incorporate modern kitchens and baths and the necessary garage of the mid 20's century.  He was a master of proportion and his homes can be recognized by their easy relationship with the surrounding landscape.

Online Archive

Now antiques in their own right, they can be the perfect home for someone looking for a unique, high quality home complete with nooks and crannies, without having to shoehorn a bathroom under the stairs.

Royal Barry Wills died in 1962.  However, if you want a new home, the company Wills founded continues designing magnificent homes today as Royal Barry Wills Associates.

Already have a Royal Barry Wills home? Lucky you!!  You can research original plans and drawings at Historic New England's archives.  Royal Barry Wills Associates generously donated their archive to Historic New England in 2014.

For a current list of pre 1962 Royal Barry Wills homes:

pre 1962 Royal Barry Wills for sale on Cape Cod

More info:

Jeff Wilkinson, "Royal Barry Wills"; Old House Journal July-August 1992

November 2009, Retro Renovation blog post Royal Barry Wills

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