This website makes references to a number of terms that may not be familiar to you. Use the links below to explore this glossary.


Palladian Window

classical window style with a tall, often arched central opening flanked on each side by shorter windows with flat window heads



portion of an exterior wall that projects above the edge of a roof area



recreation area adjoining a dwelling, often paved, and adapted especially to outdoor dining



projecting structure on a facade; often having a higher or lower height and its own roof; usually located centrally or at one or both ends of a facade



triangular element used over doors and windows



ornamental feature that hangs down from a supporting structure or architectural feature


Pent Extension

a short sloped overhang (resembling an eave) found between the eaves on a gable end


Perpendicular Gothic

last phase of Gothic architecture developed in England ca. 1350-1550; a strong vertical emphasis in structure and decorative elements; highly decorative interiors with fan vaults (ceilings highlighted with a lacey network of structural and decorative ribs, or vaults)



architectural style with an assemblage of asymmetrically arranged forms with a variety of textures; picturesque motifs often applied to cottages and Italianate and Gothic style villas



massive vertical support of masonry placed under columns, arches or walls to support a concentration of loads



shallow pier or post projecting slightly from the surface of a wall; resembles a square post attached to a wall



slender vertical structural member bearing a load



small vertical ornament with a spire-like pyramidal or conical shape, usually used to crown buttresses or the corners of parapets and towers



the angle at which a roof slopes from its peak to its eaves



a drawing of the various parts of any floor or storey of a building, projected upon a horizontal plane; general layout of a building


Pointed Arch

arch that is pointed at the top; characteristic of Gothic architecture



composed of more than two colors



structure projecting from a building and located in front of an entrance; usually roofed, often open-sided and occasionally supporting a balcony above



an open-sided porch with a column-supported roof



vertical support member (similar to a column)


Prairie Style (1905 - 1925)

The Prairie Style, or School, evolved around the turn of the century in the work of Chicago architect Frank Lloyd Wright(1869 - 1959). The style emphasizes horizontal lines, low proportions, gently sloping roofs and very wide overhangs and eaves. Elements of the Arts and Crafts movement can often be seen in the detailing. The Prairie Style is most commonly associated with houses but it was occasionally used for commercial and industrial buildings also.



constructed or manufactured, often in a factory, for later assembly at a building site



the relationship of the dimensions, shapes and quantity of individual elements of a building (such as windows and doors) and their composition as a whole building



horizontal structural members that run perpendicularly across the top edges of roof trusses, rafters or beams; the purlins support the roof covering


Pyramidal Roof

hip roof where the sloping ridges (or hips) rise to a single point creating a pyramid-like shape