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Architecture and Interiors.

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American colonists continue to look to English prototypes for architectural design inspiration.  Colonial buildings become more formal with greater design sophistication and now are symmetrical, ordered, and balanced. Classical details and Neo-Palladian design influences increase throughout the period. 

Public buildings include government structures, churches, educational structures, and taverns. After mid-century, new types, such as hospitals and markets, increase.

Floor Plans. Churches follow the earlier British regional forms of a Latin cross plan in the South and a more centralized plan in New England. After mid-century, New England Protestant churches begin to abandon the traditional central meetinghouse plan in favor of the Latin cross in the Wren and Gibbs tradition. In Latin cross plans, the entry is on a center axis leading through the nave to the altar. Crossings are usually absent. Governmental and educational buildings often have a doublepile plan or a variation.

 

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Most large houses have a double-pile plan on both floors. The long center hall or passage, a circulation and living area, has entries at each end to catch cooling breezes and a stairway to the second floor.

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Materials. Common building materials for both public and private buildings are wood, brick, and stone. Selection varies by geographic location and the availability of resources. Brick is the most common material, although some wood-frame construction with clapboard siding predominates in New England areas.

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Windows and Doors. Sash windows are typical on both public and private buildings.  Six-over-six or nine-over-nine glass panes are the most common. Some churches have round-arched or round windows. Windows are often large to admit as much light as possible. Stained glass is rare, as plain glass is preferred to make nature, God’s creation, visible. Windows on dwellings often have exterior shutters, especially after midcentury. Classical details define doorways on public and private buildings. Surrounds vary from simple pilasters and a pediment to Doric porticoes. Doors themselves are of paneled wood and are usually painted a dark color.

 

 Roofs. Hipped or gable roofs are the most common on all structures. Gambrel roofs  are also common on houses. Domes are very rare. Some roofs on houses are accentuated with a classical white balustrade, and dormer windows add variety and allow light into attics.

 

 

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Written by callawayinteriordesign

June 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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