Oriel. An oriel is a bay window that is suspended from the upper story of a building, rather than rising from the foundation. The use of oriels in the United States was inspired by Medieval English architecture. Oriels are common on Queen Anne style buildings, adding interest to the asymmetry, which is a hallmark of this style.

Oriels extend the interior space of the room to which they’re attached, often with a window seat placed against the interior walls of the window. The origin of the word “oriel” is not known, but, according to the Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture they have been used as a design element in English architecture, primarily on residences, since at least the 12th Century.

This oriel window rests atop corbels and is found on the Queen Anne residence at the corner of Central Avenue and 13th Street.

One response to “Building Language: Oriel Window”

  1. Vanessa says:

    My childhood home in upstate state New York had an oriel window in it’s den
    , with an accompanying window seat . Many thanks for reminding me how much I liked sitting there : )

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