All posts in Building Language

An illustrated historic architectural vocabulary

  • Building Language: Soffit
    September 18, 2012, 2 Comments

    Soffit. A soffitdescribes an exposed underside of an architectural element, such as an arch, cornice, eave, staircase, balcony, or beam. The underside could be elaborately ornamented or unadorned. It’s likely you’ll find a soffit in alm ...

  • Building Language: Leader Head
    September 11, 2012, 3 Comments

    Leader Head. Here’s a little known architectural term that provides important support to historic buildings. A leader head refers to the box like structure found on a downspout, connected to either the gutter or a scupper. A leader head h ...

  • Building Language: Muntin
    September 4, 2012, 1 Comment

    Muntin. I was recently asked about this architectural term and figured it would be a great one to feature for today’s Building Language. A muntin is a term used to describe the piece of wood or metal that serves to […]

  • Building Language: Brick Courses
    August 28, 2012, 1 Comment

    Brick Courses. Everyone has some understanding of brick as a building material. A wide range of building types, from small to large, residential to commercial, old and new, use brick as a primary structural or ornamental material. A brick c ...

  • Building Language: Keystone
    August 21, 2012, 1 Comment

    Keystone. No, today’s Building Language term is not in honor of Keystone Avenue that runs north to south in Indianapolis. A keystone in architectural language refers to a wedge-shaped block or stone that sits at the center of an arch [&he ...

  • Building Language: Gothic Revival
    August 14, 2012, 1 Comment

    Gothic Revival. Let’s travel a little farther back in time to discuss the wonderful architectural style of the Gothic Revival. This architectural style was common in the middle decades of the 19th century, featured on both residential and ...

  • Building Language: Rustication
    August 7, 2012, 2 Comments

    Rustication. Rustication is found in ashlar masonry, a finished, stone block laid in horizontal courses with mortar. The term rustication applies when ashlar masonry is arranged so that the face of the stone projects out, typically accompli ...

  • Building Language: Italian Renaissance
    July 31, 2012, 1 Comment

    Italian Renaissance. Another revival style found in Indianapolis is the Italian Renaissance – which draws its details from traditional Italian architecture. American architects in the last decade of the 19th century and first decades of t ...

  • Building Language: Chimney
    July 24, 2012, 1 Comment

    Chimney. I highly doubt many of you are using today’s Building Language term – the chimney – in the midst of our July heat. Although buildings old and new feature chimneys, there’s still plenty to explore about something as simple [ ...

  • Building Language: Casement Windows
    July 17, 2012, No comments

    Casement Windows.A casement window is a window opened on hinges either on its side, top, or bottom. Those casement windows with hinges on the top are known as awning windows, while those with hinges on the bottom are known as […]