• Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Dormer Windows

    Dormer windows on the Ovid Butler House (1306 N Park Avenue) Dormer Windows. A dormer window is a window that projects out from a sloping roof, vertically placed, featuring its own structure with sides and...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Frieze

    Frieze on the Indiana World War Memorial Frieze. A frieze is another architectural term with roots in classical architecture. A frieze is a horizontal band, often decorative or ornamental in nature, located along the top...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Coping

    Coping. The architectural term coping refers to the top course of masonry used to “cap” the top of an exterior wall. Coping is commonly sloped or curved to help divert water away from the building....

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Modillions

    Modillions. The architectural term modillions refers to architectural brackets that are placed horizontally instead of vertically. Typically, like brackets, modillions are placed at the roofline or on a soffit, regularly spaced, and may feature coffers between each...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Steeple

    Steeple. The architectural term steeple refers to the entire tower and spire as found on religious architecture. The steeple will rise above the roofline of the building and can vary in height. The tower is...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Window Sash

    Window Sashes on 1060 Virginia Avenue, Fountain Square Window Sash. You might have heard the term “sash” used in reference to windows, but were you unsure exactly what the term indicated? Have no fear –...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Festoon

    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...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Bay Window

    Bay Window. The bay window is a favorite feature of mine on historic buildings. A bay window is a set of windows that project out from the primary wall of the structure, creating an alcove...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Ornament

    Ornament. I’ve realized I’ve thrown this architectural term around with some frequency without really analyzing what it means to the historic architecture of Indianapolis. Ornament is a broad term that applies to architectural detail that...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Italianate

    Italianate. Driving through the older historic neighborhoods of Indianapolis, you will realize that Indy has some amazing examples of the Italianate style. To give you a better understanding of the Italianate, let’s look at the...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Soffit

    Soffit. A soffitdescribes an exposed underside of an architectural element, such as an arch, cornice, eave, staircase, balcony, or beam. The underside could be elaborately ornamented or unadorned. It’s likely you’ll find a soffit in...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Leader Head

    Leader Head. Here’s a little known architectural term that provides important support to historic buildings. A leader head refers to the box like structure found on a downspout, connected to either the gutter or a...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Muntin

    Steel windows with muntins, Virginia Avenue State Bank building, 630 Virginia Avenue Muntin. I was recently asked about this architectural term and figured it would be a great one to feature for today’s Building Language....

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Brick Courses

    Brick Courses. Everyone has some understanding of brick as a building material. A wide range of building types, from small to large, residential to commercial, old and new, use brick as a primary structural or...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Keystone

    Keystones in South Elevation, Alumni Hall, Indiana School for the Deaf (1200 E. 42nd Street) Keystone. No, today’s Building Language term is not in honor of Keystone Avenue that runs north to south in Indianapolis....

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Gothic Revival

    Gothic Revival. Let’s travel a little farther back in time to discuss the wonderful architectural style of the Gothic Revival. This architectural style was common in the middle decades of the 19th century, featured on...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Rustication

    Rustication. Rustication is found in ashlar masonry, a finished, stone block laid in horizontal courses with mortar. The term rustication applies when ashlar masonry is arranged so that the face of the stone projects out,...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Italian Renaissance

    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...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Chimney

    Chimney. I highly doubt many of you are using today’s Building Language term – the chimney – in the midst of our July heat. Although buildings old and new feature chimneys, there’s still plenty to...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Casement Windows

    Casement Windows.A casement window is a window opened on hinges either on its side, top, or bottom. Those casement windows with hinges on the top are known as awning windows, while those with hinges on...

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