Defining Features

This Historic District Profile was developed to help property owners. It explains the typical features of buildings found in Freeland. This can be helpful when you are planning a project that would change your home’s exterior.

All of the homes in the Freeland Historic District are one story in height. Many Freeland homes feature Craftsman-style details. These include prominent front porches with square or tapered porch supports. Low-pitched roofs had wide eaves and exposed rafters. Brackets at the roof-wall junction are also found on many Craftsman houses.

Historic District designations are used to maintain the character of a neighborhood. Once an Historic District is created, certain rules apply to the entire neighborhood. These rules require that changes to properties in the District must be appropriate. In other words, the historic character of the property must stay the same.

In many Houston neighborhoods, deed restrictions require that the neighborhood civic association also approve changes to a property. The civic association’s regulations and standards may differ from those of the City. The information shown here refers only to City requirements. Property owners should check with their neighborhood association before beginning any project.

When planning a building project within the Freeland Historic District, please refer to this chart. It shows which building elements are compatible and which are not. Definitions of common architectural terms can be found in the glossary.

Compatible Incompatible
  • Raised pier and beam
  • Slab on grade
  • Front porch
  • At least 50% of building width(usually full-width)
  • At least 6 feet deep
  • Squared/tapered porch supports
  • Brick porch support bases
  • No porch or small porch
  • Turned porch supports
  • Fluted classical columns
  • Ionic or Corinthian capitals
  • Gable, hip, or hybrid roof shapes
  • Low pitch
  • Gable ornamentation
  • Boxed eave overhang or open eave overhang with exposed rafter tails
  • Wide eaves
  • Dormers
  • Composition shingles
  • Shed, flat, gambrel or mansard roof shapes
  • Steep pitch
  • Dentils or classical eave moldings
  • Cupolas or towers
  • Slate or tile roof
Exterior Wall Cladding
  • Horizontal lapped, bevel, or drop wood siding
  • Vertical siding
  • Corrugated metal
  • Stucco
  • Flat modular panels
  • Half-timbering or patterned stick work
  • Patterned or plain rectilinear wood shingles
  • Brick or stone masonry
Front Door
  • Single door that faces street (door may face side on less than full-width front porches)
  • Single door that faces side property line
  • Double doors
  • Round fanlights
  • Pediments
  • Masonry arches
  • Pilasters
  • Recessed panels
  • Glass lights
  • Sidelights
  • Rectilinear transom, often with a patterned pane
  • Large, vertically proportioned
  • Double-hung, single-hung, or casement
  • Wood or wood clad
  • May have group (ribbon) of two or three windows in a row
  • Patterned upper panes
  • Horizontally proportioned
  • Aluminum
  • Pediments above windows
  • Masonry arches
  • Large plate glass
  • Fanlights

Almost all of the houses in the Freeland Historic District have prominent front gables. A gable is the wall between two edges of the roof. Most of the time, gables are triangular in shape. Some houses have a single front gable that stretches across most or all of the front of the house. Other houses have two front gables, usually with the smaller one covering a front porch.

Most houses built around this time have vents in these front gables. The vents allowed hot air to escape from the attic. They may be any shape or size and are often covered with decorative louvers or wooden screens.

About one-quarter of the homes in Freeland have hip-on-gable roofs. This means that the top point of the roof is folded over the edge of the gable. The folded-over section is called the hip.

Craftsman houses often feature two or more windows placed side-by-side. This is called a ribbon. Almost every house in Freeland has ribbon windows.