The French Second Empire style is named after the Mansard-roofed buildings of France constructed during Napoleon III's Second Empire in the third quarter of the 19th century. Mansard roofs, named after 17th century French architect François Mansart, were steeply pitched and provided extra living space under the roof.
Shard Villa, 1872-74, Salisbury
This style, popular in Vermont from the time of the Civil War to the 1880s, was used for houses, public buildings, and commercial blocks. The first French Second Empire style buildings in Vermont were the homes built by wealthy urban manufacturers and village merchants and professionals. Except for the distinctive roof, the style is very similar to the Italianate. Houses are usually cube-shaped, with prominent brackets under the eaves, paired or bay windows, and sweeping porches. High style buildings may have tall central or side towers. Windows have heavy hood moldings or lintels and have one or two panes in each sash. Paint schemes are multi-colored to pick out the ornate detail.
"The introduction of circular-headed windows, circular projections, or verandas, and of curved lines in the design of the roof, and in the details generally, will always have an easy, agreeable effect, if well managed; and curved roofs especially deserve to be introduced more frequently than has hitherto been the practice here."
Calvert Vaux,Villa and Cottage Architecture, 1864
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