Boston College. Color slides copyright Prof. Jeffery Howe.

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The following styles are illustrated by groups of examples:

Chronology of Styles in American Architecture

The Seventeenth Century:

17th Century Colonial
        Term applies to both New England and Virginia architecture.  Note
        regional differences, however.

The Eighteenth Century:

Georgian (1714-1776)
        English-inspired colonial architecture.  Marked by a greater concern for
        style and higher standards of comfort.  Fairly homogeneous in both New
        England and Southern colonies.

Neoclassicism (c.1780-1820)
        There are several variations:
        Federalist:  Especially common in New England; a traditionalist
        approach to classicism, heavily influenced by English models.  Charles
        Bulfinch, Samuel MacIntyre.
        Idealist:  An intellectual and moral approach to classicism, at first
        linked to Roman models.  Symbolic and associational values stressed.
        Best example:  Thomas Jefferson.
        Rationalist:  Emphasized structure and classical building techniques,
        such as stone vaulting and domes.  Benjamin Latrobe.

The Nineteenth Century:

The period is characterized by Romantic revivals and eclecticism.

Greek Revival (1818-1850)
        The first truly national style in the United States.  Strong associational
        values.  Permeated all levels of building.

Gothic Revival (c. 1820-1860)
        Strong associational values of religion and nature.  Found in both ecclesiastical
        and residential architecture.  A wide range of archaeological accuracy, from
        Richard Upjohn's urban churches to "Carpenter's Gothic" cottages.

The "Corporate Style" (c.1800-1900)
        Practical architecture for engineering and commercial purposes; especially
        early factories.  In its time thought to be a "style-less style."

Egyptian Revival (1820-1850)
        Used primarily for memorials, cemetaries, prisons, and later, warehouses.

Italianate, or Italian Villa Mode (1840-1860)
        A residential style used by A.J. Downing and others; a Renaissance revival.

Second Empire Baroque (1860-1880)
        French origin; used for public and residential architecture.

High Victorian Gothic (1860-1880)
        English origin; used for ecclesiastical, public, and residential architecture.

Richardsonian Romanesque (1870-1895)

Shingle Style (1879-1900)
        Used for residential architecture.

Chicago School (1885-1915)
        Commercial architecture; skyscrapers.

New York Style Skyscrapers (1875-1910)
        Typically use a historical style; block and tower format.

Classical Revival (1885-1920)
        Also called Academic Classicism, or Beaux-Arts Classicism.
        Related revivals:  Renaissance, French Renaissance, Flemish.

Gothic (Collegiate Gothic) (1885-1930)
        Boston College is a good early (1913) example.

        Traditional styles continue; Modernism arises.

Prairie School (1893-1920)
        Frank Lloyd Wright and his followers.

Wrightian, or Organic Architecture (1920-1959)
        F.L. Wright's later style.

Historicist Skyscrapers (1900-1940)
        Gothic, etc.

Setback Style Skyscrapers   (1920-1950)

Art Deco (1925-1940)
        Also called Art Moderne, Streamlined Modern.

International Style:
        International Style I (Early Modern) (1929-1940)
        International Style II (1945-1970)

Formalism (1957-1996)
        A renewed interest in monumental qualities and an interest in form for
        expressive  purposes.  Eero Saarinen.

Brutalism (1957-1996)
        Style inspired by LeCorbusier's late works; characterized by the use of
        rough-cast concrete and massive forms.  Boston City Hall.

Late Modern (International Style III) (1970-1996)
        Philip Johnson (before his conversion to Post-Modernism) and I.M. Pei, among

Post-Modernism (1964-1996ff.)

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