• Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Stucco

    Stucco. Stucco is a type of plaster applied to the exterior of buildings. Stucco is a historic building material that traces its roots from ancient architecture. In historic American architecture, stucco is found on a...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Cupola

    Cupola and Dome, Indiana Statehouse (200 West Washington Street) Cupola. The cupola is a small structure crowning the top of a dome or roof. The cupola traditionally is a circular or dome structure that is...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Beaux Arts

    Beaux Arts. Several notable Indianapolis structures feature the architectural style of the Beaux Arts. Beaux Arts (French for “Fine Arts”) traces its roots from the École des Beaux-Arts, a school of architecture in France. Several...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Shingles

    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...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Truss

    Repeating Trusses in the Main Hall, City Market Truss. The truss is an extremely versatile architectural feature, applied across a variety of properties in many different ways. For today, we’ll just get familiarized with the...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Cast Iron Façade

    East Washington Street at Southeastern Avenue, Cast Iron Storefronts Cast Iron Façade. The cast iron façade is common to late 19th century and early 20th century commercial, storefront architecture. Made of galvanized steel and cast...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Adaptive Reuse

    Kendall Inn at the former Fort Benjamin Harrison Adaptive Reuse. Our last preservation themed Building Language term for Preservation Month lets us examine adaptive reuse. Adaptive reuse is the ultimate building recycling – when a...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Facadism

    Facadism. Our next preservation related Building Language term, in honor of Preservation Month, is facadism. The term facadism occurs when a construction project “saves” the historic façade (or front) of a structure, but demolishes the...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Infill

    Infill. If you live in a locally designated historic district, today’s Building Language term should be a familiar friend. In preservation, infill describes new construction that remains sensitive in design to the surrounding historic buildings....

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Recent Past

    Recent Past. Continuing in our exploration of preservation related Building Language terms for Preservation Month, today we’ll explore the recent past. The recent past is defined as cultural resources that are less than 50 years...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: National Historic Landmark

    National Historic Landmark. The month of May is Preservation Month and to celebrate, I’ll be featuring preservation related Building Language terms for the five Tuesdays in May! We’ll start with National Historic Landmarks. A National...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Fluting

    Fluting. Architectural columns are one of those features found just about anywhere and everywhere you look in Indianapolis. However, columns contain a substantial vocabulary to describe even the smallest of features on each individual column....

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Oxeye Window

    Oxeye Windows, The Wilson, 643 Fort Wayne Avenue Oxeye Window.The oxeye window (also known as an œil-de-bœuf) is a small, elliptical window, typically with four keystones at the four points. The oxeye window frequently appears...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Cornerstone

    Cornerstone. The cornerstone is one of the great features of any historic building. The cornerstone, typically literal in its presentation, is a major stone placed near the bottom corner of a structure. You may hear...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Shed Dormer

    Shed Dormers, 300 Block of North Irvington Ave Shed Dormer. A dormer window is found projecting out from a roof, typically with its own roof, sides, and a window frame on its face. Dormers provide...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Spanish Colonial Revival

    Spanish Colonial Revival. The Spanish Colonial Revival, or as it’s also known, Mission, is a revival style dating from the first decades of the Twentieth Century. Although there are not many Spanish Colonial Revival structures...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Turret

    Turret. Today’s Building Language term should be no stranger to fans of historic architecture in Indianapolis. A turret is defined as a small tower attached to a larger structure, typically found in the corner or...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Pediment

    Pediment on Good Hall, University of Indianapolis Pediment. Following up on previous posts on classical architecture terms, including dentils and egg-and-dart, today’s Building Language term is another classically inspired term: pediment. A pediment is a...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Fractable

    Fractable. Want to impress your friends with your architectural lexicon? Next time you see today’s Building Language, explain to them this little known architectural term. A fractable is a raised coping on the end of...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Colonnade

    Colonnade. A colonnade is a series of columns, spaced evenly apart in a straight line, which supports a roof or entablature (the “stuff” found above the columns). Although colonnades may date from Greek and Roman...

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