Juliet Balcony Detail on 5800 Block North Delaware Street

Juliet Balcony. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I wracked my brain of architectural knowledge, consulted architectural dictionaries, and conferred with my architectural minded friends to determine the best architectural term with some connotation with love. Although it may be a bit of a stretch, I think today’s choice is a fitting selection.

The Juliet balcony is designed for placement in front of tall window or door openings, typically on a multi-story building. The Juliet balcony may only slightly protrude from the wall, giving the false impression of an actual balcony. The Juliet balcony acts as a visual and physical barrier for full height window and doors at openings designed only for ventilation.



The 'infamous' Juliet's balcony in Verona, Italy

The term draws its name from the balcony in the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet. In my own personal travel to Verona, Italy, I saw first hand the infamous Juliet balcony, said to be where a real-life Juliet lived. However, it has no actual connection to Romeo and Juliet or Shakespeare and just serves as a tourist attraction. However, the design gave the name to our featured architectural term for today.



In the 1920s Badger Wire and Iron Works Catalog, the company provided examples and sold cast iron Juliet balconies. Many historic and contemporary Juliet balconies are designed in a similar manner. Styles you might find a Juliet balcony include the Spanish or French eclectic of the early Twentieth century.

Unfortunately, I could only find one historic structure with a Juliet balcony in Indianapolis. This Spanish Eclectic house in the 5800 block of North Delaware Street features two Juliet balconies on its primary façade, each is placed in front of tall, casement windows. Both balconies are cast iron and only slightly project out from the stucco wall, giving the false impression that the windows are actually doors.

Juliet Balconies on 5800 Block North Delaware Street

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

We initially thought our eighth story hotel room had a door and balcony, but it was actually a Juliet balcony with tall windows.

2 responses to “Building Language: Juliet Balcony”

  1. Chuck Schafer says:

    Isn’t there a Juliet Balcony in Lockerbie on College just South of Vermont St. ? A matching one is in Fletcher Place at the corner of Lexington Street and S, Park Avenue (circa.1860). Both look like they were added to the Federal style, two story, brick homes to modernize their exteriors. Maybe they are too deep to be considered Juliet?. You certainly would not be able to set a chair on them and watch the world go by.

  2. Raina Regan says:

    Chuck – its very possible the properties you speak of feature Juliet balconies. Based on your description, it sounds likely. This was the only one I could find while out and about. I am sure there are others out there in Indianapolis!

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