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Gothic Revival Vs Italianate Essay

1593 words - 7 pages

Ebonie Remsey
GHPR 479
11/12/2013
Picturesque Movement: Gothic Revival & Italianette
In the 1840s and 1850s, a reaction began against the earlier architectural styles, like the Greek Revival, which had looked back to Classical models. Instead, a new type of house design, referred to as Picturesque or Romantic, took hold. Emphasizing irregularity in their floor plans and a variety of decorative motifs derived from medieval sources, these kinds of houses would predominate to the end of the nineteenth century. The first two Picturesque styles to appear were the Gothic Revival and Italianate.

As America transitioned into the latter half of the nineteenth century, Gothic architecture grew ...view middle of the document...

. Established in Ann Arbor in 1827, Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church exudes these aspects of the Gothic Revival. By adopting the Gothic style, Saint Andrew’s portrays aesthetic sensibility with the richness of natural forms. Saint Andrew’s exterior is undeniably Gothic. It has a rectangular plan with gabled wall dormers that give the impression of transepts like a Gothic cathedral. Saint Andrew’s façade is constructed of polychromatic granite fieldstone boulders, laid in even courses. The side elevations share the same colored granite boulders, but limestone and sandstone blocks interrupt what would be regular courses. Stepped buttresses surround the church constructed of the same types of stones. They reinforce the outer walls, and were commonly used in Early English Gothic architecture. Saint Andrew’s has a short, yet steeply pitched, front-facing gabled roof covered in multicolored slate shingles set in a diamond pattern and topped with a decorative finial. The ridge of the roof displays cast iron cresting in an ornamental arrow and trefoil pattern. Situated on the roof ridge at the crossing of the transept dormers is a square ventilation cupola. On the apex of the church’s front façade is a replica of the original Greek cross.
During the Gothic Revival, a common component of the churches built was a bell tower with pointed arches and windows being utilized on all sides. St. Andrew’s belfry is composed of two open lancet windows separated by a mullion, and a turret on the northwest side of the tower encloses a tight spiral staircase. The church as a whole reveals an association with the past through natural occurring materials, pointed arches, and buttresses. Typical of Gothic architecture, the overall execution of the church is ornamental and decorative, while still being functional and structurally sound. In Gothic architecture, symmetry and unified forms are traded in for asymmetry and a variety of forms. This is displayed here though expressive forms and proportions of varying roof heights and the utilization of architecture as decoration. Saint Andrew’s and its display of the Gothic style invokes love of nature and old world charm. On the outside, Saint Andrew’s mimics the large stone cathedrals of Europe. Its tower and operable bells signify the start of every service, just like its Medieval predasessors. The steeply pitched roof with its cresting and finial draw the eye up and towards the sky. The stained glass windows reflect light and illuminate images of saints, musicians, and angels.

The Italianate style was initially referred to as the "Italian Villa" or "Tuscan Villa",simply stated, it's a simple box with a lot of ornamentation. This architectural style became more popular than Greek Revival by the late 1860s, its popularity was due to its being suitable for many different building materials and budgets, and the development of cast-iron and press-metal technology made the production of...

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