The Romanesque Revival style of architecture is stuff that American dreams of castles and fantasies are made out of. In fact, this style of architecture is exactly what was used in the creation of many of the old mansions (American castles) from the 1840s to 1900. These mansions were made in a time when American industry was making both our country and certain citizens a lot of money, and before our country was scarred by the First World War.
Because of how grandeur this style of architecture was it was a huge undertaking, so other than the mansions that were built during this time it was usually only found on large buildings like churches and government buildings.
Like other architectural styles, Romanesque Revival can be identified by specific features that it is known for.
The Style of Romanesque Revival
This style was started in the 1840s in America, but was made popular in the 1870s by an architect in Boston by the name of Henry Hobson Richardson. In fact, he was so known for working with this style that Romanesque Revival is sometimes also called Richardson Romanesque.
Romanesque buildings are most known for their wide, rounded arches over the windows and entryways like what was seen in the architecture of the buildings in ancient Rome; which is where the name Romanesque came from.
The entryways were also cavernous and the facades are usually asymmetrical with brick and stone. The larger of the Romanesque style buildings have towers that are either rounded or square, but always have a cone-shaped roof on them
The Windows in Romanesque Revival
Buildings of the Romanesque Revival style are built with many windows in them. Windows in this style of architecture are used as a decorative part of the style and as a source of natural light for the cavernous interior, and less as functional windows to open and close.
The top part of each window is in the shape of an arc that flows with the arch that is built above the window. These arches above the windows match the arches above the entryways.
While many of us will never own one of the old mansions that were built in this style, we can still enjoy the many public buildings in our cities that were.
So, here’s to dreaming and to the appreciation of beautiful architecture.