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Search : Archive for CIRCA School

CIRCA School: Ionic Columns

by Jon Valalik (photo by New Jersey City University) Grab your No. 2 pencils, everyone! It’s time for CIRCA School, where we uncover the fascinating facts behind everyone’s favorite old house details.   The ionic column is one of the most popular among all types of buildings in American architecture. It’s part of the larger Ionic order, which includes several other elements and guidelines, but the column itself, specifically its unique capital, is the most recognizable

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CIRCA School: Hood Molds

by Jon Valalik (photo by Inspectapedia) Grab your No. 2 pencils, everyone! It’s time for CIRCA School, where we uncover the fascinating facts behind everyone’s favorite old house details.   A hood mold, more accurately called a dripstone when applied on the outside of the building, is a type of molding which projects outward above a door, window, or archway in order to deflect water away from the opening underneath it. They first appeared over 1000 years ago in medieval Europe, in Romanesque style architecture and continued to be used as a functional architectural element for centuries. They were widely applied to Italian, and Tudor buildings, but gained much of their popularity in Gothic

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CIRCA School: Bargeboards

by Jon Valalik (photo by By Tom Parnell) Grab your No. 2 pencils, everyone! It’s time for CIRCA School, where we uncover the fascinating facts behind everyone’s favorite old house details.   Have you heard of the writer and landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing? Google him now! He’s been a recurring theme in CIRCA School, and for good reason. Though the man himself didn’t invent many of the architectural elements about which he wrote, he did aid in their popularization. This week we’ll learn about fun & whimsical bargeboards, a feature that appears in numerous Downing-designed and inspired

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CIRCA School: Chimney Pots

by Jon Valalik (photo by By Wdo) Grab your No. 2 pencils, everyone! It’s time for CIRCA School, where we uncover the fascinating facts behind everyone’s favorite old house details.   The chimney pot is maybe one of the most humble embellishments that can be added to a building, yet it has the potential to change the entire look of a chimney. They can be small, smooth terracotta cylinders or elaborately-designed iron structures, and their effect on the look of a home, though sometimes overlooked, can be

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CIRCA School: Towers + Turrets

by Jon Valalik (photo by Mr.TinDC) Grab your No. 2 pencils, everyone! It’s time for CIRCA School, where we uncover the fascinating facts behind everyone’s favorite old house details.   Towers + turrets — two of our favorite things! These terms are often used to describe the same type of structure, but they do mean different things. Do you know what separates one from the

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CIRCA School: Tabby

by Jon Valalik (photo by Low Country Africana) Grab your No. 2 pencils, everyone! It’s time for CIRCA School, where we uncover the fascinating facts behind everyone’s favorite old house details.   I was recently able to visit some friends in my old college town of Charleston, South Carolina, where I was reminded of the beauty of tabby cement construction. Although most tabby construction in the United States was created using techniques developed and perfected in Beaufort, South Carolina, numerous examples exist around Charleston, including Fort Dorchester, which was built in the late 17th

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CIRCA School: Board + Batten

by Jon Valalik (photo of Cocke-Morris House by Universal Pops ) In CIRCA School, we uncover the fascinating facts behind everyone’s favorite old house details. Today we’re looking at board and batten, that very vertical way of laying wooden siding found on Carpenter Gothic homes!   The humble beginnings of the board and batten technique in American architecture illustrates the middle class craving for high style that’s found throughout history and extends to the present. It’s a common theme in most societies. This practice is only one example of one period in one corner of the world, but it’s a pretty neat

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