The Italianate architectural style began in England in the early 1800's as a reaction to the formal architectural styles of the 1700's. It was inspired by rural Italian farmhouses that featured classic masonry techniques, square towers, and informal details. This style spread to the United States by the 1830's and was popular throughout our growing nation. It offered American architects more creative freedom than previous designs styles and was made most famous by the architectural work of Andrew Downing. He designed homes throughout the country and published several books specifically detailing the Italianate style.
Elements of Italianate style homes include:
- Wide cornices that project toward the front of the home featuring heavy brackets, decorative bands, and panel moldings.
- Ornamented windows, doorways, and porches.
- Brick or clapboard exteriors that feature detailed cast iron door and window hoods.
- Low pitched roofs that often include a square cupola.
- Curved and arched windows.
- Large panes of glass included in the home's front door.
- Square post columns throughout the porch's design.
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