Home Contact Us
Who We Are Preservation Programs Preservation Education Get Involved Fall Tours Events Book & Gift Shop


Halsey Map
Preservation Progress
Preservation Glossary
Links To Other Resources
Join Our Mailing List


Acanthus - A conventionalized representation of an acanthus leaf, that of a perennial herb in some of the warmer regions of the Old World. It is a distinguishing characteristic of the Corinthian capital.
Allee - (French - Pronounced "al-lay") A sheltered garden walk or drive.
Ancon - A scrolled bracket or console which supports a cornice or entablature over a door or window.
Apse - The eastern or altar end of a basilica or church, usually semicircular in plan and vaulted with a half-dome.
Arch, Tudor - A four-centered pointed arch, common in the architecture of the Tudor style in England.
Architecture - The art or science of designing and building a structure or large groups of structures in keeping with aesthetic and functional criteria.
Architrave - In Classical architecture, the lower part or bottom third of the entablature. The term more commonly is used to refer to the decorative molding around a window or door a surround.
Art Deco - A decorative style stimulated by the Paris Exposition International of 1925, widely used in the architecture of the 1930’s. Art Deco is characterized by sharp angular or zigzag surface forms and ornaments.
Art Nouveau - (French) A phase of reaction against tradition, originating in France and Germany about 1900, in which designers glorified the curved line.
Balcony - A projecting railed platform in front of a window or door, sometimes sheltered.
Balloon Framing - A type of timber framing in which the studs are continuous, without a girt for second floor joists.
Baluster - A turned or rectangular upright supporting a stair rail, sometimes called a banister. (pl) A balustrade.
Batten - when exterior wooden boards are used vertically, a thin wooden strip, or batten, is used to cover the exposed seam between the boards. The building is said to have a board-and-batten exterior.
Bay - A regularly repeated spatial element, within a structure, defined by beams or ribs and their supports.
Bay window - A projecting bay with windows that forms an extension to the floor space or the internal rooms. On the exterior, the bay should extend to ground level.
Beaded weatherboard - A weatherboard finished with projecting rounded edge.
Beaux Arts - the term refers to l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, the French academic art schooling based on Classical studies. Beaux Arts training emphasized historical Greek and Roman models, and the term often refers to Classical architecture and to the Renaissance revival styles that are based on it.
Belfry - A room at or near the top of a tower which contains bells, and their supporting timbers.
Bell tower - a tall structure, either independent or part of a building, to contain one or more bells.
Belvedere - A rooftop pavilion or gazebo from which a vista can be enjoyed.
Board and Batten - A type of siding for wood-frame buildings
Bond - The pattern in which bricks are laid for the sake of solidity and design.
·American or Common Bond Courses of stretchers, breaking joints, with each sixth course one of the headers.
·English bond Alternate courses of headers and of stretchers.
·English Garden Wall bond Three courses of stretchers followed by one of headers.
·Flemish bond Alternate headers and stretchers in each course.
Bracket - a support-real or decorative-beneath an eave, balcony, or overhang.
Castellated - having battlements and turrets that imitate a castle.
Classical architecture - referring to the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome, both of which have well-described structural and stylistic elements and standards of proportion. This historic architectural language has been imitated and adapted in various “revival” styles, and analogies to it are also used by architectural historians to describe more recent developments in architecture.
Colonnade - an extended row or façade of columns.
Column - a vertical support, usually round.
Dentil - a series of decorative small projecting squares or “teeth” that often adorn a cornice or interior molding.
Dormer - a structure that extends outward from a roof, and contains a window. The dormer usually has a gable roof, but it may also have a hip roof, a shed roof or even an arched roof.
Eastlake style - An architectural history term referring especially to the “gingerbread” wooden decorative elements that are often found applied to Stick style buildings, as well as to Queen Anne style buildings.
Eave - the edge of a roof that extends beyond the wall of the building.
Eave return - a roof edge that makes an acute inward turn for a short distance on the gable end of building. The is a decorative element of the Greek revival style.
Entablature - a term used in Classical architecture to describe the part of a building supported by columns, termed the cornice, the frieze, and the architrave.
Façade - the main or front face of a building.

Frieze - generally, a horizontal band or strip on a wall or façade; in Classical architecture, the middle part of an entablature.
Gable - the triangular portion of an exterior wall that is formed by the slanted pitch of ridged roof. A gable roof has a ridge line from which the two sides or the roof extend; the gables are at each end.

Jerkinhead roof - a ridge roof with gable ends, in which the ends are slice off to give the appearance of a fold or turndown.
Jerkinhead roof - a ridge roof with gable ends, in which the ends are sliced off to give the appearance of a fold or turndown.
Mansard roof - a very steeply sloped, straight or concave roof that frequently is pierced with projecting dormer windows and sometimes with towers. The mansard roof is a key characteristic of the Second Empire Style.

Palisade - a wall of vertically-set poles for defense, often pointed at the top.
Pillar - a support similar to a column, but of variable shape, such as rectangular or elephantine (a four sided pillar that widens toward its base).
Richardsonian Romanesque style - an American architectural style designed for stone or brick construction, named for Boston architect H.H. Richardson. It is associated with an appearance of great mass and weight, round-arched doors and windows, flat roofs, and rough-faced stone.
Second Empire Style - an architectural style sometimes known as the French mansard style after its most distinctive characteristic, the mansard roof. The name derives from the French second empire of Napoleon III (1851-1870).
Shingle - a small, thin sawn wooden board, thicker at one end, that is installed with overlapping edge as exterior siding or roofing. IT differs from a shake, which has similar function but is split rather than sawn; a shake is thicker and rougher than a shingle.
Shiplap - horizontal wooden siding that is installed with overlapping edges to shed rainwater, clapboard siding is similar
Vernacular Style - “Vernacular architecture” is a term used to describe traditional building methods and materials, especially of domestic (houses), agricultural (barns, silos) and industrial structures (mills, factories, warehouses). Carpenters and builders learn the methods by training and observation, rather than through formal schooling, and decoration may be absent or may also be traditional.

© 2015 Preservation Society of Charleston
| Privacy Policy
147 King Street Charleston, SC 29401

Mailing Address
Post Office Box 521
Charleston, SC 29402

Phone 843-722-4630 Fax 843-723-4381