Historical Architectural Styles: Which one is your favorite?


Historical architectural styles range from quaint and inviting to intimidating and forbearing, delicate and refined to stately and prominent, traditional and elegant to funky and modern.  Which one is your favorite?

After you answer our poll, you can go take this very fun quiz that determines which architectural style reflects your personality.

[polldaddy poll=6646588]

Art Deco Architectural Style

Art Deco Historic Architectural Style
Photo by bollilaurent on flickr

Art Deco architecture (a modern movement occurring in the 20th Century) is characterized by smooth wall surfaces, usually of stucco; zigzags, chevrons, and other stylized and geometric motifs occur as decorative elements on a facade; towers and other vertical projections above the roof line give a vertical emphasis.


Arts & Crafts Historical Architectural Style

Arts & Crafts Historic Architectural Style
Photo by mark.hogan on flickr

The Arts & Crafts movement (late 19th and early 20th Century Revivals) of historical architecture is characterized by low pitched, gabled roofs (that are occasionally hipped) with wide, unenclosed eave overhang; roof rafters usually exposed; decorative (false) beams or braces commonly added under gables; porches, either full- or partial-width, with roof supported by tapered square columns or pedestals frequently extending to the ground level (without a break at level of porch floor).


Colonial Revival Historical Architectural Style

Colonial Revival Historic Architectural Style
Photo by Beedle Um Bum on flickr

Colonial Revival historical architecture (late 19th and early 20th Century Revivals; Georgian Revival) is characterized by an accentuated front door, normally with decorative crown (pediment) supported by pilasters, or extended forward and supported by slender columns to form entry porch; doors commonly have overhead fanlights or sidelights; facade noramlly shows symmetrically balanced windows and center door (less commonly with door off-center); windows with double-hung sashes, usually with multi-pane glazing in one or both sashes; windows frequently in adjacent pairs.


French Renaissance Historical Architectural Style

French Renaissance Historic Architectural Style
Photo by mharrsch on flickr

French Renaissance historical architecture occurred from the late 19th Century through the Early 20th Century revivals and is characterized by chateauesque features. Steeply pitched hipped roof; busy roof line with many vertical elements (spires, pinnacles, turrets, gables, and shaped chimneys); multiple dormers, usually wall dormers extending through cornice line; walls of masonry (usually stone).



Georgian Historical Architectural Style
Photo by road_less_trvled on flickr

The Georgian historical architectural style is a Colonial style characterized by paneled front doors, usually centered and capped by an elaborate decorative crown (entablature) supported by decorative pilasters (flattened columns); usually with a row of small rectangular panes of glass beneath the crown, either within the door or in a transom just above; cornice usually emphasized by decorative moldings, most commonly with tooth-like dentils; windows with double-hung sashes having many small panes (most commonly nine or twelve panes per sash) separated by thick wooden muntins; windows aligned horizontally and vertically in symmetrical rows, never in adjacent pairs, usually five-ranked on front facade, less commonly three- or seven-ranked.


Gothic & Gothic Revival Historical Architectural Style

Gothic Historic Architectural Style
Photo by Juan R. Lascorz on flickr

Gothic and Gothic Revival historical architectural styles (mid-19th Century to Early Gothic Revival period) are characterized by steeply pitched roofs, usually with steep cross gables (roof normally side gabled, less commonly front gabled or hipped; rarely flat with castellated parapet); gables commonly have decorated vergeboards; wall surface extending into gable without break (eave or trim normally lacking beneath gable); windows commonly extended into gables, frequently having pointed-arch (Gothic) shape; one-story porch (either entry or full-width) usually present, commonly supported by flattened Gothic arches.


Greek Revival Historical Architectural Style

Greek Revival Historic Architectural Style
Photo by Svadilfari on flickr

Greek Revival historical architecture (mid-19th Century) is characterized by gable or hipped roof of low pitch; cornice line of main roof and porch roofs emphasized with wide band of trim (this represents the classical entablature and is usually divided into two parts; the frieze and the architrave below) most have porches (either entry or full-width) supported by prominent square or round columns, typically of Doric style; front door surrounded by narrow sidelights and reactangular line of transom lights above, door and lights usually incorporated into more elaborate door surround.


Italianate Historical Architectural Style

Italianate Historical Architectural Style
Photo by NapaneeGal on flickr

Italianate historical architectural style (late Victorian, Victorian or High Victorian Italianate) is characterized by two or three stories (rarely one story); low pitched roof with widely overhanging eaves having decorative brackets beneath; tall narrow windows, commonly arched or curved above; windows frequently with elaborate crowns, usually inverted U shape; many examples with square cupola or tower.


Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival Historical Architectural Style

Spanish Revival Historical Architectural Style
Photo by Kansas Sebastian on flickr

(Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals – Spanish Revival; Mediterranean Revival)

Mission style historical architecture is characterized by a mission shaped ormer or roof parapet (these may be either main roof or porch roof); commonly with red tile covering; widely overhanging eaves, usually open; porch roofs supported by large, square piers, commonly arched above; wall surfaces usually smooth stucco.

Spanish Colonial Revival historical architecture is characterized by a low-pitched roof, usually with little or no eave overhang; red tile roof covering; typically with one or more prominent arches placed above door or principal window or beneath porch roof; wall surface usually stucco; facade normally asymmetrical.


Prairie School Historical Architectural Style

Prairie School Historical Architectural Style
Photo by Teemu008 on flickr

Prairie School historical architectural style (late 19th and early 20th Century American Movement) is characterized by low-pitched roofs, usually hipped, with widely overhanging eaves; two stories, with one story wings or porches; eaves, cornices, and facade detailing ephasizing horizontal lines; often with massive, square porch supports.  The best known architecture in this style is that of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.


Tudor Revival Historical Architectural Style

Tudor Revival Historical Architecture
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The Tudor Revival historical architectural style (late 19th and early 20th Century Revivals – Jacobean or Jacobethan Revival; Elizabethan Revival) are characterized by steeply pitched roofs, usually side gable (less commonly hipped or front gable); facade dominated by one or more prominent cross gables, usually steeply pitched; decorative (i.e., not structural) half-timbering present on about half of examples; tall narrow windows, usually in multiple groups and with multi-pane glazing; massive chimneys, commonly crowned by decorative chimney pots.


Victorian “Queen Anne” Historical Architectural Style

Queen Anne Historical Architectural Style
Photo by cliff1066™ on flickr

Queen Anne historical architecture (late Victorian – Queen Anne Revival; Queen Anne-Eastlake) is a Victorian architectural style characterized by steeply pitched roof of irregular shape, usually with a dominant front-facing gable; patterned shingles, cutaway bay windows, and other devices used to avoid a smooth-walled appearance; asymmetrical facade with partial or full-width porch which is usually one story high and extending along one or both side walls; often painted in multiple layers of color.  These showy “peacocks” of architecture are often called “painted ladies”