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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Italianate (architecture)


a style popular ca. 1850-1880, characterized by distinctive wide eaves with numerous brackets, gently-sloping hipped or gabled roofs, and, frequently, a polygonal or square cupola atop the roof. Typically square with boxy proportions, sometimes these houses are "L"-shaped and wrap around a square three-story tower. Frequently, windows have hoodmolds or even pediments, and sometimes they are round-headed. Bay windows are common, as are balconies with balustrades. Examples include the Tallman House (NRHP 1970) in Janesville, Villa Louis (NRHP 1966) in Prairie du Chien, is a fine Italianate house dating from 1872, although it. Nearly every Wisconsin city and village has its examples, often surviving in near-original form in upper-story wood, stone, or iron hoodmolds, brackets, and cornices. Substantial portions of commercial areas in Stoughton, Ripon, Janesville, Brodhead, and a number of other cities are composed of Italianate stock. View more information elsewhere at  

View pictures relating to architecture at Wisconsin Historical Images.

[Source: Cultural Resource Management in Wisconsin (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1986). ]
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