Architecture

There are few better ways to learn about the world outside your doorstep than to stop and look around. All buildings have stories to tell, and learning to recognize some key architectural elements can help you understand what a building has to say about its history.

This page is in its infancy and will likely be changing dramatically in the coming months. The images shown here are a grab bag of building features pulled together in an afternoon to help me determine how I might go about creating a visual dictionary for architectural explorers. For those intrepid explorers who cannot wait for the finished product, I would suggest consulting the Pennsylvania Architectural Field Guide or picking up a copy of Virginia and Lee McAlester’s A Field Guide to American Houses.

Roofs

Brackets
Italianate (1840-1885)

Cornice Return
Federal (1780-1840)

Mansard Roof
Second Empire (1855-1885)

Walls

Board and Batten Siding
Gothic Revival (1840-1860)

Pilasters
Federal (1780-1840)

Windows

Elliptical
Federal (1780-1840)

Pointed Arch
Gothic Revival (1840-1860)

Segmental Arch
Italianate (1840-1885)

Doorways

Federal
(1780-1840)

Victorian Gothic
(1860-1890)

Porches

Greek Revival
(1725-1860)

Italianate
(1840-1885)