• Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Egg-and-dart

    Egg-and-dart. This week’s Building Language term explores the extensive terminology associated with classical architecture. Egg-and-dart is a form of ornament standard in classical inspired architecture, including the vastly popular Beaux Arts and Classical Revival styles...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Juliet Balcony

    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...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Ribbon Windows

    Ribbon Windows. The horizontal placement of three or more windows consecutively, separated only by mullions, is referred to as ribbon windows. This should not be confused with a monitor or clerestory windows, which act as a...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Window Hoods

    Window Hood on 1336 North Delaware Street Hood. You might see hoods every day, but not realize the feature has a specific name and purpose. A hood is the piece found above window openings, typically...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Art Deco

    The Circle Tower, 5 East Market St, Art Deco Ornament at Entrance Art Deco. There’s something about the Art Deco style you have to love – I’ve always been drawn to the modern elements of the...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Battlement

    Battlement on 725 Massachusetts Avenue Battlement. Although you might associate this term with medieval buildings or a castle, Indianapolis historic buildings feature battlements as a decorative motif. Historically, battlements served in a defensive function for medieval castles,...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Finial

    Finial. Standing on top of the apex of a roof or spire is the piece of architectural ornament known as a finial. As a reminder, a spire is a tall, pyramidal structure that rises above...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Tudor Revival

    Tudor Revival found at 5734 North Washington Blvd Tudor Revival. Another one of the many revival styles found in Indianapolis is the Tudor Revival. Original Tudor architecture dates from the 15th and 16th centuries in...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Pilaster Columns

    Fountain Square Theater Building, Pilaster Columns Pilaster Columns. This post will attempt to dabble into the many types of architectural columns found in Indianapolis. As each type of column has a different name and standard...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Cartouche

    Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Cartouche, Northeast Corner Cartouche. One might be familiar with the term cartouche as the ellipse frame surrounding a group of Egyptian hieroglyphs. However, the term cartouche can also be applied...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Bargeboard

    314 North Park Avenue in Lockerbie Square with Two Bargeboards on Main Roof Bargeboard. Bargeboard is the term used for the elaborately decorated, often carved, wood boards attached along the edges of a gabled roof....

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Coffered Ceiling

    Coffered Ceiling. A coffered ceiling is created with the placement of several individual coffers. A coffer is a square or octagonal, deep panel, recessed into a ceiling, dome, or vault.  A coffer is also known...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Monitor

    Monitor on Lone Hall, Arsenal Technical High School Monitor. A monitor is a raised section found straddling the ridge of a roof. The monitor commonly imitates the roof form of the primary structure, but includes...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Colonial Revival

    Colonial Revival. Found prominently across Indianapolis residential architecture, the Colonial Revival is an early twentieth century style that draws upon Colonial architectural influences (the Georgian and Adam styles, not known to Indianapolis). The Colonial Revival...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Roof

    Roof. For today’s Building Language, let’s examine one of the most vital elements of a structure: the roof. I think it is safe to assume everyone knows what a roof is on a basic level,...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Voussoirs

    Stone arched entrance with rough-faced voussoirs, Blacherne Apartments, 402 North Meridian Street Voussoirs. The use of arches in masonry is widespread across historic buildings in Indianapolis. However, today’s Building Language term explores the vocabulary associated...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Quoin

    St. Mary’s Academy/Academy of the Arts, 429 Vermont Place with Quoins Quoin. Constantly trying to find ways to use the intractable letter Q into your Scrabble vocabulary? Today’s Building Language term should help your plight....

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Buttress

    Buttress. In its simplest form, the buttress is a pier (column-like solid projection) reinforcement placed on a wall to provide additional structural support. The buttress is primarily found on exterior walls of brick or masonry...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Balustrade

    Indiana War Memorial, Indiana World War Memorial Plaza, Balustrade along staircase to second level. Balustrade. Today’s Building Language term is commonly used as part of the architectural vernacular and an item ubiquitous around Indianapolis. The...

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  • Posted in: Building Language Building Language: Porte-Cochère

    Porte-Cochère. The literal French translation equates to carriage (cochère) door (porte). Originally, porte-cochères provided a covered entrance for individuals to exit horse carriages. The porte-cochère gained prominence in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, commonly found...

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