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  1. Classic: Georgian

    Identifying Features:

    • One- or two-story box with strict symmetry
    • Front panel door is centered, capped with an elaborate crown/structure supported by decorative pillars
    • Decorative mouldings, usually dentil work, embellish the cornice
    • Multi-pane windows are not typically paired
    • Window arrangements are symmetrical (vertically or horizontally)

    Georgian style was one of the first variations of Classic style. Its name comes from the succession of English kings in the 1700s, and was used on American homes throughout the century. The front of a Georgian home is easy to recognize, with its centered and paneled front door, usually with a structure on top and pilasters on either side. Decorative mouldings — the use of dentils was common — were used to draw the eye to the cornice.

  2. Classic: Federal

    Identifying Features:

    • Simple architecture, two to three rooms deep
    • Small entry porch
    • Doors and windows use strict symmetry
    • Three-part Palladian-style windows are common
    • Decorative mouldings embellish the cornice
    • Multi-pane windows are not typically paired
    • Window arrangements are symmetrical (vertically or horizontally)

    Federal architecture followed the Georgian look as the next interpretation of Classic style in America. Federal homes maintain the look of Classic symmetry, but introduce more curved lines, such as a semi-circular fanlight over the centered front door and elliptical-shaped areas for the interior. Some Federal homes even added curved wings to the simple, Classic box style.

  3. Classic: Victorian

    Identifying Features:

    • Irregularly shaped, steeply pitched roofs with patterned shingles
    • Wall surfaces serve as primary decorative elements
    • Expanses of wall are accented with varying textures and elements, including bays, towers, overhangs and projections
    • Porches use ornamental spindlework, most commonly on balustrades
    • Surrounds for windows and doors are simple

    As the Victorian era came into popularity in the United States during the last half of the 1800s, out went the symmetrical look that had, until then, dominated Classic architecture. Advancements in home construction, along with the excess of the time period, resulted in increasingly complex home designs with ornate details. Victorian homes are typically two or three stories, and are designed with multiple textures, decorative trim and even towers.

  4. Classic

    The Classic architecture style has its roots in ancient Greece and was used on a grand scale in America during Colonial times. It was used extensively on government and public buildings, and the look soon became popular for homes. Exterior elements, like columns and arches are also used for the interior — columns and their structures can dictate the proportions for baseboards and mouldings. Over time, Classic architecture has taken on several variations.