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Allegany County
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ABCs of American Architecture (Victorian Period)

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


because of its impression of strength and massiveness. The Allegany County Courthouse is an outstanding example.

Roman influences in residential building were manifested in Italianate and Italian villa styles. They are cubical, symmetrical and ornamented with brackets around the edge of the shallow roofs. The villa style has a square tower tucked into an angle of its wings. It is an attractive and delicate style.

The Renaissance Revival style was the most formal of the Victorian styles and was popular following the Civil War, particularly for commercial buildings.

The Second Empire, or Mansard, style was one of the most beautiful of the Victorian styles and was distinguished by the double-pitched roof with dormers. It is well-represented in the Board of Education building.

The Stick Style used exterior braces and brackets, reminiscent of Alpine chalets. It was a style frequently combined with other motifs.

The Queen Anne style is one of the most prolific. It is generally large and sprawling, asymmetrical and boasting a variety of surface textures—brick, shingles, tiles and boards. An outstanding characteristic of many of the homes is the round tower or turret.

A later variation of Queen Anne was the Shingle Style, quite popular in New England.

Victorian architecture represents the most creative era in American building. There was a wealth of building materials and money to buy them. There were fine craftsmen and new types of tools. It was a time of opulence, elegance and experimentation.

Several other styles of architecture were developed during the latter part of the nineteenth century, and although they are not well represented in Allegany County, it behooves us to take a look at them at this time because they were precursors of the new forms of twentieth century building.

Art Nouveau was an arts and crafts style that emphasized the forms of nature in stylized forms.

Beaux Arts classicism was in direct contrast, a product of Ecole des Beaux Arts, the Parisian style-setter. It represented grandeur and elegance and return to historical tradition. It was very popular in the public buildings in Washington, D.C., and in the opulent mansions of the wealthy.


Page #:

Cumberland Historic Preservation Commission

City of Cumberland


Collection Location:

Original Size:
22 x 29 cm.

Helene L. Baldwin, Joy W. Douglas, Gary Bartik and John Eiser

Historic buildings, Maryland, Allegany County; Historic buildings, Maryland, Cumberland.

Cumberland (Md,); 1742-1980

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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