All posts in Building Language

An illustrated historic architectural vocabulary

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November 27, 2012

Dormer Windows. A dormer window is a window that projects out from a sloping roof, vertically placed, featuring its own structure with sides and a roof. The dormer window may feature a small gabled end over the window depending on […]

Building Language: Frieze

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November 20, 2012, No comments

Frieze. A frieze is another architectural term with roots in classical architecture. A frieze is a horizontal band, often decorative or ornamental in ...

Building Language: Coping

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November 13, 2012, 3 Comments

Coping. The architectural term coping refers to the top course of masonry used to “cap” the top of an exterior wall. Coping is commonly sloped or ...

Building Language: Modillions

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November 6, 2012, 1 Comment

Modillions. The architectural term modillions refers to architectural brackets that are placed horizontally instead of vertically. Typically, like br ...

  • Building Language: Steeple
    October 30, 2012, 1 Comment

    Steeple. The architectural term steeple refers to the entire tower and spire as found on religious architecture. The steeple will rise above the roofline of the building and can vary in height. The tower is determined to be the base [&helli ...

  • Building Language: Window Sash
    October 23, 2012, 1 Comment

    Window Sash. You might have heard the term “sash” used in reference to windows, but were you unsure exactly what the term indicated? Have no fear – we’ll clear that up in today’s Building Language. A window sash is one […]

  • Building Language: Festoon
    October 16, 2012, 1 Comment

    Festoon. Recently, I covered the term ornament as it pertains generally to historic architecture. Today’s Building Language is a specific type of architectural ornament that is certainly fun to say! A festoon is ornament representing a s ...

  • Building Language: Bay Window
    October 9, 2012, 1 Comment

    Bay Window. The bay window is a favorite feature of mine on historic buildings. A bay window is a set of windows that project out from the primary wall of the structure, creating an alcove within an interior room. Bay […]

  • Building Language: Ornament
    October 2, 2012, 1 Comment

    Ornament. I’ve realized I’ve thrown this architectural term around with some frequency without really analyzing what it means to the historic architecture of Indianapolis. Ornament is a broad term that applies to architectural detail th ...

  • Building Language: Italianate
    September 25, 2012, 4 Comments

    Italianate. Driving through the older historic neighborhoods of Indianapolis, you will realize that Indy has some amazing examples of the Italianate style. To give you a better understanding of the Italianate, let’s look at the major feat ...