American Colonial buildings encompass many differing architectural styles that emerged from the colonial period of the United States between the 17th and 19th centuries. A considerable amount of colonial architecture from different regions and cultures is distinctly seen in American colonial architecture. This can include characteristics seen in First Period English from the late medieval era, as well as Georgian, Dutch, French, and Spanish Colonial styles.
The term "colonial is derived from the word colony, and therefor is an adjective to describe the time period in which the 13 colonies existed. Colonial architecture is mainly influenced by the styles and techniques from its mother country, England, and from different traditions and characters brought to the colonies by settlers from other parts of Europe. Houses constructed in lieu of English styles homes were mainly built with wood. Dutch Colonial buildings reflect architectural styles frequent in Holland and uses brick and stone in more extensive ways than the buildings seen in England. "Southern Colonial" is recognized by a central-passage constructed in a way that it represents a parlor but it is utilized as a hallway, often including large chimneys rising from the gable-ends of the house.
The log cabin was introduced to America by Swedish settlers; this style is sometimes called Pennsylvanian Colonial and is influenced by Georgian architecture. Pennsylvanian-Dutch styles emerged from parts of Southeastern Pennsylvania where German immigrants were known to settle in the 1700s. First Period English describes building styles that were utilized in the earliest settlements such as Plymouth, Massachusetts and Jamestown, Virginia.
Different areas of the United States reflect the traditions of the colonial architectural used by the cultures most prominent in that area. For example, in Louisiana the French colonial style is common. In California, Texas, Florida, New Mexico and Arizona the Spanish Colonial style is more frequent- evoking Renaissance and Baroque designs of Spain and Mexico.