When the English Puritans settled in America during the first half of the seventeenth century, they brought with them the architectural styles of England. Their homes and meetinghouses would be constructed in what is now known as the English Colonial style of architecture. These homes, along with their variations, were constructed until the mid-1850s.
The Saltbox style of architecture began as a variant of the English Colonial style around 1650. By looking at the main faÃ§ade of the house, you will think that it is just a normal English Colonial-style house. It has all the same features here, such as the symmetrical fenestration and central chimney. Once you get to the rear of the house, though, you will find that it is very different from your standard English Colonial-style house.
Typical English Colonial-style houses were often just one room deep with the same amount of rooms on the second floor. When more space was needed, residents would often have extra rooms added to the rear of the house. The roof's slope would be unchanged, so the additional rooms on the second floor had a low ceiling and were often only used for storage. The additions of these rooms led to this new type of house being called the Saltbox, as it was reminiscent of boxes used to hold salt at the time.
Originally, the Saltbox was created due to additions to the English Colonial style. Soon, the Saltbox began to be used as the primary design for houses. The construction of Saltboxes ceased along with the construction of English Colonial-style houses in the mid-1850s. There aren't many Saltbox-style houses remaining on Staten Island some do make a home in the Silver Lake community, but they're easy to spot with their lean-to additions.