American Architecture

Topics: Skyscraper, Colonial Revival architecture, American colonial architecture Pages: 2 (641 words) Published: February 2, 2009
17th-century English colonial architecture resembles the late medieval forms that survived in rural England. Houses were built in a range of sizes. Gables, overhangs, and lack of symmetry reflected the late medieval style of Europe. In Virginia and Maryland, brick construction was preferred for the typically story and a half homes with chimneys at both ends and a more nearly symmetrical facade. Aside from fortifications, the principal nondomestic structures in the 17th-century colonies were churches. Cities founded in the 17th century, such as Boston, were chaotic in plan. With the turn of the 18th century, the colonies began to take on a more permanent and established character, as the hardships of the wilderness were overcome, and increasing commerce and production permitted the growth of prosperous cities. Newly founded cities, such as: Williamsburg, Virginia; Annapolis, Maryland, and especially Philadelphia, were laid out on a regular grid, with public squares the kind of logical organization that had eluded planners in London during the same period. Civil Engineers began building larger and much more ambitious buildings that were modest versions of London’s early baroque styles. In the early 1890s Americans began to value their own heritage and architecture, with localities that featured larger neighborhood tracts of colonial revival style residences was the Windsor Farms area in the west end of Richmond, Virginia. In the 19th century, the Colonial Revival took a more eclectic style, and columns were often seen. However, with the popularity of research-based history attractions like Colonial Williamsburg in the 1930s, the subsequent "colonial" architecture took a more scholarly and less pretentious turn, and columns fell out of favor. Local conditions have played a tremendously important part in the shaping of an architectural style. There were two different styles of Colonial architecture in New England and in Virginia which were designated...
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