Georgian Style – popular 1700-1830

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Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House

Vassall-Craigie-Longfellow House, 105 Brattle Street Cambridge, MA 02138, built circa 1759, Photo: National Park Service.

More Architectural House Styles

Influenced by Dutch architecture and the Palladian movement, the long-time popular Georgian style was constructed with a variety of regional differences but characterized throughout America by its square or rectangular symmetrical structure and aligned windows.

Multi-paned double-hung windows with thick muntins were aligned horizontally and vertically with five second floor windows positioned directly above the first story windows with the center window placed above the front door. The upper story windows were set very close to the cornice or roof.

Roofs were gabled, gambrel or hipped. Usually found in Pennsylvania, the "pent" roof was built, hung from the front exterior wall without supporting posts sometimes extending across the front facade. Cornices with decorative moldings along the roof line were usually accented with dentil molding.

A paneled front door was most often centered, accented by decorative pilasters and crowned with a pedimented entablature. A transom light could be found either above the door or within the top of the door. In later years, sidelights and elliptical fanlights were added to enhance the front entry.

Paired interior chimneys were common in all the colonies. High-styled homes featured paired double end chimneys. In the South and middle colonies, paired end or paired interior chimneys were popular.

Northeastern Georgian building materials were usually clapboard or shingles. In the mid-Atlantic colonies brick or stone was readily available. Brick was used most often in the South.

After 1750, corner quoines became popular. In brick structures, belt courses defined the separation between stories. More elaborate embellishments included centered gables, two-story pilasters, and roof balustrades. Windows and doors were enhanced with pediments. Some buildings also featured louvered blinds and third-story dormered windows.

The refined Georgian style with its classical details continue to inspire the architecture of today.

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