Mansard Monday ~ In Charleston, South Carolina.
At a glance, this classic Charleston double side gallery house appears to have been built in the Second Empire style in the post-Civil War period. The Mansard roof, which is the defining feature of that style, is clearly present. A closer look brings this into question due to the Federal style entrance and simple window and eave trim – suggesting an earlier house that was “updated” and enlarged with a Mansard roof after the war. However, Federal style doorways were also a common feature of the later Colonial Revival style and might have been added to a Second Empire house in the early 20th century.
When a house has character-defining features from multiple styles, it is important to understand whether it is a transitional house built that way or a house that has been altered over time. In many cases, changes made long ago are as historic as a house’s original features and help tell the house’s story. Identifying modifications may also help explain structural issues a house is suffering from.
Identifying how a house has been changed over time is covered in detail in “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.”
Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available from the author in our shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.
Our shop also carries other authors’ select preservation and restoration titles. Save with our multi-book combo packs!
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