Glossary of architectural terms

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Glossary of Architectural Terms
Adapted from New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Rowhouse Manual
architrave 1. The lowest part of a classical entablature.
2. A molding enframing an opening such as a window.
areaway The open space between a rowhouse and the sidewalk, usually beside the stoop.
awning A projecting shading device, usually of canvas, mounted on the outside of a dooror window.
baluster One of a series of short vertical posts, often ornamental, used to support a rail.
balustrade A railing composed of balusters and a top rail running along the edge of a porch, balcony, roof, or stoop.
bay A regularly repeating division of a facade, marked by fenestration.
bay window A projecting form containing windows that rises from the ground or from some other support,such as a porch roof; see also oriel.
bracket A projecting angled or curved form used as a support, found in conjunction with balconies, lintels, pediments, cornices, etc.
brick molding A milled wood trim piece covering the gap between the window frame and masonry, which can be rectilinear, curved or composite-curved.
cap flashing A waterproof sheet that seals the tops of cornices and The topmost member, usually decorated, of a column or pilaster.
casement A window sash that is hinged on the side.
cast iron A type of iron, mass-produced in the nineteenth century, created by pouring molten iron into a mold; used for ornament, garden furniture, and building parts.
clapboard Wood siding composed of horizontal, overlapping boards, the lower edges of which are usuallythicker than the upper.
colonnade A row of regularly spaced columns supporting an entablature.
colonnette A diminutive column which is usually either short or slender.
column A vertical cylindrical support. In classical design it is composed of a base (except in the Greek Doric order), a long, gradually tapered shaft, and a capital.
console A scroll-shaped projecting bracket that supports ahorizontal member.
coping A protective cap, top or cover of a wall parapet, commonly sloping to protect masonry from water.
corbel An architectural member which projects upward and outward from a wall that supports a horizontal member.
cornice A projecting molding that tops the elements to which it is attached; used especially for a roof or the crowning member of an entablature, located above thefrieze.
cresting A decorative element, frequently of iron, usually located at the peak or edge of a roof.
crocket An ornamental foliate form placed at regularly spaced intervals on the slopes and edges of the spires, pinnacles, gables, and similar elements of Gothic buildings.
cupola A small dome on a base crowning a roof.
dentil A small, square, toothlike block in a series beneath a cornice.Doric One of five classical orders, recognizable by its simple capital. The Greek Doric column has a fluted shaft and no base; the Roman Doric column may be fluted or smooth and rests on a molded base.
dormer A vertical structure, usually housing a window, that projects from a sloping roof and is covered by a separate roof structure.
double-hung A type of window with two sash, each sliding on avertical track.
drip molding A projecting molding around the head of a door or window frame, often extended horizontally at right angles to the sides of the frame, intended to channel rain away from the opening; also called a drip lintel.
eave The overhanging edge of a roof.
egg and dart An ornamental band molding of egg forms alternating with dart forms.
elevation An exterior face of a building;also, a drawing thereof.
enframement A general term referring to any elements surrounding a window or door.
English bond A pattern of brickwork with alternate courses of headers and stretchers.
entablature In classical architecture, a major horizontal member carried by a column(s) or pilaster(s); it consists of an architrave, a frieze, and a cornice. The proportions and detailing are...