Festoon on 1400 Block of Broadway Street

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 string or garland hanging in a curve between two points, appearing tied on each end with a ribbon. This is a type of classical ornament, so it is very popular on Classical Revival styles throughout Indianapolis, although it can be found on other architectural styles including the Tudor Revival and Queen Anne. The garland might feature ornament including flowers, fruit, or foliage.

This Victorian residence in the 1400 Block of Broadway Street features an excellent example of festoon. The foliage ornament is connected between two ornamental posts along the gabled end of the residence. This smaller example uses six festoons together, creating a band of ornament.

Another example is found on this Tudor Revival residence in the 5700 Block of North Pennsylvania Street. The festoon is more classical in nature, using two festoons together with a simple cartouche in the center over the primary entrance of the residence. The garland features a floral motif, while the ends feature limestone ribbons.

Festoon over entrance in the Tudor Revival residence on the 5700 Block of North Pennsylvania Street

Add it to your vocabulary – how might one use today’s Building Language term in their everyday life?

The festoon featured limestone fruits, including intricately designed apples and grapes.

One response to “Building Language: Festoon”

  1. basil berchekas jr says:

    Will stay with festoons and other articles like this…very interesting!

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