The Mansard roof form that turns an Italianate style house into a Second Empire style house comes from France and was typically called a “French roof” during the 19th century – when all things Parisian were in vogue. This example sits on an island off the coast of Maine but similar houses can be found in many states.
Second Empire is one of 25 historic architectural styles described and illustrated in Chapter 2 of Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners. Understanding the style of a house will help you understand which features are character-defining so you can prioritize their preservation.
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