Home>Discussions>YOUR HOME>House Styles>1861 historic home-Whats the Style? 2nd Empire or Italianate?
5 posts / 0 new
Last post
busymom2407
1861 historic home-Whats the Style? 2nd Empire or Italianate?

I was wondering if anyone knew the correct style of my house some say 2nd Empire but it does or did have some Italianate features there was a tower with 4 square windows it was finished in 1861 but started in 1851 it is all brick with a mansard roof some say the roof is convex and some people say it is concave there seem to be both shapes in different places. Please help me come up with a good description. Thanks for any info!

Blue Moon
Re: 1861 historic home-Whats the Style? 2nd Empire or Italianate?

Second Empire. Mansard roof is a dead giveaway. They didn't do those with Italianate.

Edited this--now considering the date of construction, it "may" have been an Italianate that someone decided to update in the 1880's with the Mansard roof routine. I will still say at this point it has more 2nd Empire than Italianate features.

oldhouseluvr
Re: 1861 historic home-Whats the Style? 2nd Empire or Italianate?

Your house is a Towered Second Empire with a convex mansard roof. Many Second Empire houses have italianate features below the roof line, but as Blue Moon already said, the defining feature of Second Empire is the mansard roof.

Re: 1861 historic home-Whats the Style? 2nd Empire or Italianate?

Second Empire. The mansard roof is the defining feature. Second Empire and Italianate are very similar. Mansard roofs were brought into fashion because during the Second Empire the real estate was taxed on how many floors you had. If it was a roof then it wasn't a wall or an additional floor for taxing purposes.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.