Exuberant trim on a Victorian era Second Empire house. The Second Empire style shares many features with the Italianate style, the principal difference between the two being a Mansard primary roof on the Second Empire. This bay window and cornice trim could as easily be on an Italianate style house.
The paint colors are not historic but do show off the detail nicely. Paint color is temporary and can allow an owner to express themselves without removing or altering historic elements.
Decorative brackets are a defining feature of these styles, appearing on almost all Italianate and Second Empire houses. Brackets are sometimes called “the” defining feature of the Italianate style but examples of the do exist without them. Beyond the brackets, the possibilities are almost endless for what other trim elements you might find on these wonderful houses.
Chapter 2 of Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners includes hundreds of examples of 25 architectural styles and types with the character-defining features of each style listed and keyed on the full-color photos.
Repair and replacement of missing trim is covered in Chapter 13 of the book.
The 720-page best-selling hardcover book now available in bookstores and from online retailers (it is currently 34% off on Amazon! http://ow.ly/N7ba50y4PSL).
Signed and personalized copies are available directly from the author on this site.
Local bookstores can order copies from W.W. Norton.
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