By the 1920s, Hawaii largely developed a unique style all its own, no longer reliant upon the mainland U.S. for inspiration (although some parallels to the cottages can be found in San Francisco at the time). The growing economic success tied to the pineapple and sugar industries led to a population boom. Indeed, Hawaii saw a 22% increase from 1910 to 1925 with Oahu's populace rising more than 50% during that same period. As such, increasing numbers of architects arrived and the cottages arrived soon thereafter.
Though the fifteen houses draw significantly from the 1920s English Tudor/French Norman style of architecture, the homes are modified to suit Hawaii's climate. For instance, only a few of the houses have fireplaces, but the Carl H. Duhrsen Residence did have a mock chimney arising from its roof to reflect the stereotypical cottage appearance. Additionally, the vast majority of the fifteen cottages include decks, screened sun porches, and lanai to accommodate the Hawaiian outdoor culture.
The fifteen homes are what remain of the era, but the Carl H. Duhrsen residence was actually the twenty-sixth house to be built in the St. Louis Heights region of Oahu near Waikiki. The single-story residence enjoys a half-timber and stucco facade, asymmetrical massing, and steep gable roofs that cover each section of the house. The interior features multiple floors and ceiling levels due to its position on a hillside. The deck added to the rear of the house arrived in 1966.
The cottage-style boom slowed dramatically during the Great Depression, and then all but ended after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and subsequent involvement in World War II, which altered almost every aspect of Hawaiian life. Thus, the cottages represent a unique part of Hawaiian history that pre-dates its role in the War and eventual transition from U.S. territory to statehood.