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Art Deco Art Deco takes its name from the Exposition des Decoratifs held in Paris in 1925.
It is primarily a style of rectilinear and other geometric ornament. Chevrons and zigzags are often employed, as are floriated patterns. Sculpture is stylized.
Buildings are frequently stepped through a series of set backs. Windows are generally metal, casement type. Omaha’s Union Station is one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the country.
Arts and Crafts The Arts and Crafts style was part of a larger movement that encompassed many aspects of design other than architecture, including the design of fabrics, wallpapers and home furnishings. Rooted in the work of Englishman William Morris, proponents of the style strove for simple and finely crafted work. The Arts and Crafts movement became popular in America primarily through such widely read publications as House Beautiful and Gustave Stickley’s Craftsman magazine.
Architectural details associated with the style include the use of exposed structural members, particularly rafter ends and eave brackets; roofs with broad, sheltering overhangs; and a fascination with various methods of wood joinery for decorative effect.
Chateauesque Irregular outlines composed of steeply pitched roofs with dormers, decorated chimneys and towers are characteristic of the Chateauesque style. Gothic stone tracery, finials and Tudor arches are often utilized.
Always built of masonry, Chateauesque style structures have a massive appearance.
Colonial Revival Colonial revival structures were built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and are based on a variety of Colonial styles. Most are rectangular in plan and symmetrical in composition.
Details are borrowed freely from Colonial models and combined with various degrees of historical accuracy. Features often include columned entry porticos, pediments, side lights at entry doors and eaves detailed as classical cornices. Churches have arched windows. Steeples are often built up in stages, transitioning from square to octagonal.
Commercial Style Commercial style buildings exhibit limited ornamentation.
They have straight fronts with flat roofs and shallow projections. The term commercial style was first used to describe the great office and mercantile buildings of Chicago.
The Chicago window -- a large, fixed central pane flanked by operable sashes -- is a common feature of commercial style buildings.
Italianate Style The Italianate style was very popular for commercial buildings in Omaha in the 1870’s and into the 1890’s.
Distinguishing characteristics of the style include heavily bracketed cornices, and a mixture of window openings that might include a combination of round, segmental and stilted segmental arches, sometimes with decorative hood moldings.
Storefronts were often made of cast iron. Nearly every downtown in America had Italianate style commercial buildings.
Late Gothic Revival The Late Gothic Revival style developed out of the ecclesiastical work of Boston architect Ralph Adams Cram. The historical basis for the style was the Late Gothic architecture of England and France.
Although churches were the most common structures to be built in Late Gothic Revival, designers of educational and commercial buildings employed the style as well. Collegiate Gothic is a term used to describe buildings similar in style to those found at Princeton University, the University of Chicago or Duke University. The pointed arch is the most distinguished characteristic of the Late Gothic Revival. Other features include window tracery, leaded glass, battlements and pinnacles.
Neo-Classical Revival This style is based on the ancient Greek and, to a lesser degree, Roman architectural orders. Pedimented porticos and large-scale columns are frequently employed. Buildings are usually symmetrically arranged and are often of large proportion. Exhibitions such as the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago played a major role in popularizing the Neo-Classical style.
Omaha’s own 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, for which Thomas Kimball and his partner C. Howard Walker served as architects-in-chief, was very influential in the use of this style locally.
Period revival Period Revival style structures were popular during the first forty years of the twentieth century and were patterned after buildings of various earlier periods of architecture both in America and abroad.
Models included: American Colonial English Georgian English Elizabethan (Tudor) French Norman Spanish Colonial Pueblo buildings General characteristics of the style include an irregular outline and an overall picturesque quality. Basic massing and proportion, as well as materials and details were all freely borrowed from historical examples. Designers emphasized overall effect rather than stylistic accuracy.
Prairie Style The basis of all Prairie style architecture is the early twentieth century philosophy and work of prominent American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the acknowledged master of the style. Wright thought that Midwesterners should recognize the natural beauty of the quiet, level prairies and respect this beauty with structures of low, horizontal proportions and sheltering overhangs.
This philosophy resulted in a style of architecture that came to be used throughout the United States for a variety of buildings during its peak period of popularity between 1900 and the early 1920’s. Roofs of Prairie style buildings are generally low pitched and hipped. Overhangs are often pronounced. Stone belt courses are sometimes used to accentuate the horizontality of a design.
Queen Anne Style Queen Anne style houses are characterized by a picturesque irregularity of form and an attitude toward uninhibited decoration.
Many different materials and textures are to create a complex visual effect. Turrets, dormers, multiple chimneys and wraparound porches are common features. The elaborate style was used most often throughout America to display a family’s social success near the end of the nineteenth century.
Romanesque Style The primary feature of the Romanesque style is the use of the semi-circular arch for window and door openings. In the late 1880’s and early 1890’s, many Romanesque revival style buildings were patterned after the work of the famous Boston architect H. H. Richardson.
Richardsonian Romanesque buildings have a massive, solid feel. Color schemes are generally monochromatic.
While many of Richardson’s buildings were all stone, most of the remaining buildings of the style in Omaha are rock-faced masonry in combination with brick. The use of turrets and arched openings in series are also characteristic of the style.
Second Empire This style gets its name from the reign of Napoleon III (1852-1870), the French Second Empire. The dominant element of the style is the Mansard roof. Dormers are featured on the steeply pitched roofs.
Second Renaissance Revival Style The Second Renaissance Revival style, as well as other styles that employed classical details, was very popular around the turn-of-the-century, particularly for buildings such as libraries, courthouses or banks that sought to convey a strong sense of integrity and security.
Borrowing from the architecture of renaissance Florence and Rome, the style was used extensively between 1890 and 1920.
Major expositions, such as the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893, helped to popularize classical and renaissance architecture nationally. Local design was further influenced by Omaha’s own 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, for which Thomas Kimball and his partner C. Howard Walker served as architects-in-chief. Buildings designed in the Second Renaissance revival style show a studied formalism. Large buildings are organized into distinct horizontal divisions and each floor is articulated differently.
Embellishments and details are based on the classical orders.
Spanish Renaissance Revival Style Spanish Renaissance revival style architecture became a national rage in the 1920’s, after architect Bertram Goodhue employed it for the popular Panama-California Exposition at San Diego in 1915.
Omaha had several fines examples of the style well before it reached national popularity because of the work of Thomas Kimball. Both St. Cecilia’s Cathedral and St. Philomena’s Catholic Church exhibit elements of the style -- bell towers, curvilinear gables, niches, tile roofs and decorative carvings and moldings. The style was also used for simpler stucco-walled, tile-roofed houses.