Shingles. Although this architectural term should be well-known to most, I thought I’d explore some of the quirks and attributes of shingles you may not be as familiar with. As a reminder, shingles are standard cut wood pieces, typically with one end thicker than the other, used to cover the roof or exterior walls of a building. On historic houses, you might find a wood clapboard house with a small gabled end featuring scalloped shingles. Shingles can be cut to a variety of shapes and sizes and I’ve created an illustration to highlight the different shingle styles you might encounter.
Although most wood shingled roofs are a thing of the past, the use of wood shingles as a roof covering was popular well into the 20thcentury. However, contemporary roofing materials replaced many original, wood shingled roofs. If anyone knows of any wood shingled roofs in Indianapolis, I would love to hear where they are located!
One example of shingles in the gabled end of a roof is located at 605 Lockerbie Street. This use of shingles is as an accent covering and includes a fishscale pattern. Nearby, at 609 Lockerbie Street, the accent shingles in the gabled end feature both a fishscale and diamond patterns.
One of my personal favorite residences in Woodruff Place is this house on the 600 Block of Woodruff Place Middle Drive. This is one of two almost identical houses that feature a one of a kind element – terracotta shingles. The second floor shingles are a simple, coursed pattern, but wonderfully contrast the limestone of the first story.
Another residence on the 500 Block of Woodruff Place Middle Drive features a wonderful shingled porch. The coursed, wood shingles used as part of the arched opening add a lot of character to this residence.
Add it to your vocabulary – how might one use today’s Building Language term in their everyday life?
We opted to paint the shingles a complementary color to the rest of the house.