Beautifully Detailed Second Empire Townhouse

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. The use of different shapes and colors of slate or wood shingle was common on Second Empire roofs and preservation of such roofs should be a priority where they survive.

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.

The 720-page hardcover book is now available in bookstores and from online retailers. Signed copies are available directly from the author on this site.

If your local bookstore doesn’t carry the book, please ask them to contact their W.W. Norton rep to order copies.

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