Early 19th century revival styles in the US were Romanticized and fanciful. Later in the century, they became more academic and serious. This shift occurred as American architects began attending European schools and some US universities began architecture programs.
With increased knowledge about historic styles in Europe, American architects began producing designs drawing on a wide range of late Gothic and Renaissance styles, often distinguished by regional characteristics – with names that include “Flemish,” “Loire Valley,” or other specific locales.
This is a lovely example of a townhouse in York, PA with a “chateauesque” façade in brownstone. Architectural historians would focus on the details to determine where in Europe the prototypes for them originated.
For homeowners, it is less important to know the origins of the details than to understand that the house is a product of a specific time and place in US history – a time when an increasingly sophisticated and well-traveled segment of the population chose to express their social status with homes reflecting that experience.
Understanding the style of a house will help you understand which features are character-defining so you can prioritize their preservation. Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners will help.
The book is now in stores and available from online retailers (currently 31% off on Amazon! http://ow.ly/Uumq50zRjJ5).
Signed copies are available directly from the author on this site, click here: https://yourhistorichouse.com/shop/.
Bookstores can order copies from W.W. Norton.
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