Mansard Monday ~ Richmond, Maine

Mansard Monday ~ A Second Empire gem in Richmond, Maine packs a lot of punch thanks to its exuberant Mansard roof with elaborate dormers and trim.

The defining feature of a Second Empire style building is the Mansard roof, first used for an addition to the palace at the Louvre in Paris c. 1550. It got its name from 17th century French Baroque architect François Mansart. Contrary to urban legend, the roof form had nothing to do with evading taxes on an additional story. The king of France did not pay property taxes to himself.

It became especially fashionable during the Second French Empire (1852–1870) of Napoléon III, which corresponded with the middle Victorian era in the English-speaking world.

Typically called a French roof in the U.S. during the 19th century, it was popular during a period when all things French were “en vogue” for fashionable middle and upper class Americans. The stacked Mansard on Mansard creating the central tower on this house is particularly fabulous.

Second Empire style is one of 25 styles illustrated and described in Chapter 2 of Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners. Homes from more than 22 states are included in the 720-page award-winning and best selling hardcover book, available in bookstores and from online retailers.

Signed and personalized copies are available from the author in our shop, https://yourhistorichouse.com/shop/.

Note: Orders placed between August 20th to 29th will be shipped on the 30th.

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