Glossary of Architectural Terms
asymmetrical. Not symmetrical
balustrade. An assembly consisting of a railing or capping supported by a series of balusters.
bay. A regularly repeated main division of a building design. A building whose facade is five windows wide may be described as a five-bay building.
bay window. A window structure projecting beyond the main wall plane; if attached to the building above ground level, properly called an oriel.
blind. A louvered shutter that excludes vision and direct sunlight, but not indirect light and air, from a house.
bond. The setting pattern of bricks or stones, such as common bond, Flemish bond, etc.
bracket. A projecting support placed under an architectural overhang such as a cornice; often ornate.
casement sash, casement window. A window sash which is side-hinged; a window having casement sashes.
casing. The exposed architectural trim or lining around a wall opening.
clapboards. Narrow boards applied horizontally to an exterior wall, each of which overlaps the one below it to create a continuous skin over the wooden frame.
column. A long vertical structural member that supports a load; in classical terms, a cylindrical support having a base, shaft, and capital. (Note: In the Doric order the column has no base.)
cornice. Strictly, the upper projecting part of an entablature; in carpenter/builder terminology, any projected molding (crown molding) which crowns or finishes a horizontal fascia; the exterior assembly which closes the joint between the wall and roof of a building.
dormer. A roofed structure with a vertical window that projects from a pitched roof.
double-hung sash window. A window with two vertical sliding sashes, each closing half of the window opening.
elevation. The perpendicular view of a side of a building; an accurate drawing of one side of a building that represents its true dimensions in the plane perpendicular to the line of sight.
ell. A wing or addition extended at a right angle from the principal dimension of building, resulting in an L shaped plan,
entablature. The horizontal member carried by columns, composed of architrave (bottom), frieze, and cornice (top).
fanlight. A half-circular or half-elliptical window; often placed over a door.
fascia. Any long, flat horizontal band or member.
fenestration. The arrangement and design of window and door openings in a building.
French door. A door with a top and bottom rail, stiles (sides), and glass panes throughout most of its length.
frontispiece. An ornamental portal or entrance bay around a main door.
hip. The external angle at the intersection of two roof planes; a hip roof has roof planes that slope toward the eaves on all sides of the building.
hood. A projecting cover placed over an opening to shelter it.
lintel. A horizontal structural member that spans an opening, for example a window lintel.
mass. Bulk or three-dimensional size of an object.
massing. The combination of several masses to create a building volume; organization of the shape of a building, as differentiated from wall treatment, fenestration, etc.
mullion. A vertical member separating windows, doors, or panels set in series; often used for structural purposes.
muntin. A slender member separating and encasing panes of glass in a window sash.
oriel. A window structure projecting beyond the main wall plane attached to the building above ground level.
pane. A flat sheet of glass cut to size for glazing use in a window; also called a light.
parapet. A low guarding wall at the edge of a roof or balcony; the portion of a fire wall or party wall above the roof level.
parge. A coating
of cement-based mortar (stucco) applied over rough masonry work.
pergola. A garden structure with an open wood-framed roof, often latticed.
picket fence. A fence formed by a series of vertical pales, posts, or stakes and joined together by horizontal rails.
pilaster. A flat vertical element applied to the wall surface that simulates a classical column.
pitch, roof. The slope of a roof; usually expressed as a ratio of vertical rise to horizontal run (inches vertical in 12 inches horizontal).
plan. A two-dimensional view of a building, or horizontal section of it, seen from above; hence, a precise drawing showing the arrangement of design, including wall openings and dimensions.
porch. A structure attached to a building to shelter an entrance or to serve as a semi-enclosed space, usually roofed and generally open-sided.
proportion. The relation of one dimension to another; usually described as a numerical ratio; in architecture, proportions determine the creation of visual order through coordination of shapes in a design.
ridge, ridge line. The horizontal line formed by the juncture of the upper edges of two sloping roof planes.
segmental arch. An arch in which the arched portion is less than a semi-circle.
shed roof. A single-pitched roof over a small room; often attached to a main structure.
shutter. An external movable screen or door used to cover a wall opening, especially a window; originally for security purposes; often confused with louvered blinds.
sidelight. A framed area of fixed glass alongside a door or window opening.
sill. The horizontal lower member of a window or other frame.
single pile. A floor plan that is one room deep.
site plan. An accurate scaled drawing of a site (lot) as if seen from above, describing the property boundary and orientation, the location of buildings, driveways, walks and other constructed site improvements, the retained vegetation, and new plantings and finished grade contours.
skylight. A glazed opening in a roof plane that admits light.
stoop. An uncovered platform and steps at an entrance.
streetscape. A setting or expanse consisting of the street, landscaping, and buildings along a street, as seen by the eye in one view.
stretcher. A brick laid with the long side visible in the finished work.
string course. A horizontal course of masonry or wood trim which projects from a wall.
symmetrical. A similarity of form or arrangement on either side of a dividing line.
B. THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIORS
STANDARDS FOR REHABILITATION
1. A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building and its site and environment.
2. The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal of historical materials or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided.
3. Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.
4. Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.
5. Distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a historic property shall be preserved.
6. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary, physical, or pictorial evidence.
7. Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used. The surface cleaning of structures, if appropriate, shall be undertaken using the gentlest means possible.
8. Significant archaeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.
9. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.
10. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.
Copyright © Frens and Frens, LLC 2002. Visit the 'About this Site' page for other information. Visit the 'Acknowledgements' page for other important notes about contributions to this project.