Italian Renaissance residence on North Meridian Street at 46th Street

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 the 20th century used Italian architecture as the inspiration for major residential projects. Visits to Italy by American architects during the period directly resulted in the Italian Renaissance style employing more traditional Italian features. Residential architecture, primarily in large metropolitan areas, were most likely to feature the style. An Italian Renaissance residence typically features a low-pitched, hipped roof, commonly with ceramic tiles. Wide eaves allow for the use of decorative brackets. The doorways and windows commonly feature arches, while the entranceway may be further emphasized with decorative columns or a recessed porch.

Some commercial or non-residential examples of the Italian Renaissance style do exist, typically featuring a stone rusticated first floor, with arched windows on the upper floors. These structures commonly use a flat roof, with top stories underemphasized while middle stories may appear to look taller through the design of window openings. Ornamental features can include quoins, columns, or pedimented openings.

Italian Renaissance style on the Tyndall Armory

Although the Italian Renaissance was not widely employed throughout Indianapolis, you can find a few examples if you look hard enough. Our residential example is found on Meridian Street at 46th Street. This residence features many typical Italian Renaissance features, including a hipped roof with tile, arched windows, eaves with brackets, and an elaborate entranceway with columns. The exterior features stucco, a common wall covering of Italian Renaissance residences.

A non-residential example of the Italian Renaissance is found on the Tyndall Armory at 711 North Pennsylvania Street. The armory features typical Italian Renaissance characteristics, including a flat roof, stone rusticated façade, tall, arched windows on the second floor, a pedimented window, and underemphasized third and fourth floor windows.

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

We decided to replace the asphalt shingle roof with a terracotta tile roof to return the roof to its Italian Renaissance design.


One response to “Building Language: Italian Renaissance”

  1. basil berchekas jr says:

    I beleive there are some Italian Renaissance homes along Washington Blvd and Cold Spring Rd as well; I’m no expert here!

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