Architectural Styles

Italianate

Italiante

One might say this is the style that strives to be an Italian villa. It is very common to see rounded windows at the top, a style that later reappeared in many bungalows. Italianate influenced a number of bungalows, giving some a Mediterranean appearance. Clay roofs are commonly used and decorative stone work became a staple of Chicago masonry for years thereafter, though Italianate also commonly used terracotta decorations and pressed metal.

Atypical of the traditional Italianate building, which usually had low-slung roofs with wide eaves, a uniquely Chicago example of Italianate is manifested in simple brick worker’s cottages with Italianate accents on the more steeply pitched roofline, and in the decorative trim around front windows and doors. Many Italianate structures were built in the years immediately following the Chicago fire, and as such form a tight belt around the heart of the city, with good examples in River West, West Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Pilsen, the Lower West Side, etc. Some good examples are also prevalent in some surviving Loop architecture.

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