Glossary of Architectural Terms




Applied trim – decorative detail added to the surface of a structure.


Architectural integrity – the degree to which a structure retains its original or later historic style and details.


Bay - a major spatial division of a building marked by window and door openings or vertical supports


such as pilasters.


Bracket – a projecting member, often decorative, that supports an overhang.


Casement – a window sash that opens its entire length on hinges.


Character-defining features – original or later historic architectural details of a building that give the building

its unique character, such as clapboard siding, original or later historic windows or slate roofing material.


Column – a structural member, usually composed of a base, a shaft, and a capital, that supports a


horizontal load, such as a porch.


Cornice – any molded projection that finishes a wall; also the upper portion of an entablature, resting on the



Conservation - action taken to prevent decay and preserve the historic fabric of a building.


Deteriorated – features of a structure, which have eroded, usually due to weathering or neglect.


Eaves – the projecting overhang at the lower edge of the roof.


Ell – an addition that extends from the rear or side of a building.


Elevation – one of the sides of a structure; also, referring to an architectural drawing of a particular side of a



Faηade – the primary elevation of a building, generally referring to the front.


Fenestration – the arrangement of windows on an elevation.


Historic – relating to time and age. In context of this local historic district, generally the structure and features

must be seventy-five years or older.


Historic fabric – the original construction materials.


In-kind – material of the same color and composition as the original.


Lintel – the timber or stone that spans an opening and supports the weight above it.


Massing – the three dimensional form of a structure created by the boxlike forms that fit together to create the

overall shape and footprint.


Muntin – a framing member to hold panes of glass in a window; also known as a mullion.


Original – at time of construction.


Pilaster – a column, usually with a capital and a base, that is attached to a building.


Preservation – basic maintenance required for a building to remain functional and in good repair for the current



Repair – in reference to historic materials, the method using the least degree of intervention possible to maintain

architectural character and historic fabric, such as patching, piecing-in, splicing, consolidating, or otherwise

reinforcing according to recognized preservation methods.


Restoration – the return of a building to its appearance at a particular time in history, usually by the removal of

later alterations.


Secondary elevation – any elevation other than the faηade.


Sheathing – the exterior material of a building.


Signage -- Any device, structure, or object for visual communication that is used for the purpose of bringing the

subject thereof to the attention of others.


Spalling - the chipping or scaling of a hardened concrete or masonry surface usually caused by freeze/thaw



Streetscape – a view incorporating several structures and their surroundings.