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ABCs of American Architecture (Glossary)

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information



Art Deco - A style of decorative design, characterized by asymmetry, geometrical forms, and (in interiors) bold colors. Popular in the first quarter of the twentieth century.

Art Nouveau - An arts and crafts movement popular around the turn of the century, which featured stylized motifs taken from nature and ancient sources.

Baluster - An upright, often vase-shaped, support for a rail.

Balustrade - A series of balusters with a rail.

Bargeboard - A board, often ornately curved, attached to the projecting edges of a gable roof; sometimes referred to as verge boards.

Bay window - An alcove of a room projecting from an outside wall and having its own windows.

Belt course - A narrow horizontal band projecting from the exterior walls of a building, usually defining the interior floor levels.

Belvedere - A small tower or turret built on the roof of a house for the sake of the view.

Bracket - A support element under eaves, shelves or other overhangs; often more decorative than functional.

Bungalow - A small low house with two gables, one in front of the other, asymmetrically, and a veranda. The type referred to as bungaloid.

Capital - The top decorated member of a column or pilaster crowning the shaft and supporting the entablature.

Carpenters Gothic - Gothic Revival style buildings made of wood and elaborately trimmed with "gingerbread".

Column - A cylindrical pillar.

Corbelled - Furnished with a bracket or block projecting from the face of a wall to bear weight.

Corinthian [Order] The most ornate of the classical orders, characterized by a slender fluted column with a bell-shaped capital decorated with stylized acanthus leaves.

Cornice - Projecting ornamental molding on top of a building or wall.

Crenellated - Furnished with indentations for defense or decoration, as along the parapet of a fort or castle.


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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