Mansard Monday ~ The Neo-Classical Exception

Mansard Monday ~ If you’ve followed this page for any time, you’ve read repeatedly that the Mansard roof is the defining feature of the Second Empire style. But, the Mansard roof form can appear on houses that are not Second Empire in style, like this lovely Neo-Classical house on Logan Circle in Washington, DC. Consider it the Neo-Classical Exception.

The late 19th- and early 20th-century Neo-Classical Revival style (also called Classical Revival) is grand and fabulous. The style looked past the classically inspired Colonial styles of the past to their European inspirations, using the architectural vocabulary of the Renaissance, primarily as expressed in Italy, France, and England. These houses were formal and often grand. The style is more commonly found in urban settings but was also used for country houses of the wealthy.

The Mansard roof form was first used on a Renaissance-era palace in France and popularized by the architect François Mansart (1598–1666). It became fashionable again during the Second French Empire (1852–1870).

Neo-Classical Revival is one of 25 styles described and illustrated in Chapter 2 of “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 select preservation and restoration titles by other authors, including Virginia McAlester’s classic “A Field Guide to American Houses.” Save with our multi-book combo packs!

© Scott T. Hanson 2023

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