The earliest and simplest floor plan for a dwelling, especially used in 17th century and beyond; consisted of a single room, usually called a hall or keeping room, that served as a combination living room, dining room, kitchen, and workroom; cooking was done in a large fireplace set into a massive chimney. In some regions, the front door of the house opened into a small vestibule called a porch, but in other regions, the door opened directly into the hall; access to a loft above was provided either by a staircase in the vestibule or by a ladder in the hall. Many such houses were enlarged by the addition of a second room at ground level, called the parlor, giving rise to the hall-and-parlor plan; the parlor served as a combination living room and sleeping room for the parents. Also see one-over-one, 1.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.