Richardsonian Romanesque 1880 - 1900
of this style are large, asymmetrical, two-and-a-half story, hip or
gable roofed structures with rough-cut stone or brick walls. The chief
feature of Richardsonian Romanesque buildings is the heavily emphasized
round Roman arch. A round or square tower is commonly part of the
composition. Also characteristic are robust columns, deeply recessed
openings, large, low chimneys, and stone banding. Buildings are often
polychromatic (exhibit a variety of colors) through the use of
contrasting colors of stone.
The style is named for architect
Henry Hobson Richardson, who practiced in the 1870s and 80s and who
originated the style. It was based on 11th- and 12th-century Romanesque
architecture of Western Europe, characterized by massive stone walls and
round arches. Richardson was a Boston architect whose buildings
influenced architects throughout the country. Because of its large scale
and heavy appearance, Richardsonian Romanesque was most suited to
public buildings and is less often seen in domestic architecture.
City Hall (1893), designed by local architect Samuel Hannaford, is the best
Richardsonian Romanesque building in Cincinnati. While houses of the
style are rare (they were expensive to build), good examples are found
in Clifton, Walnut Hills, and North Avondale.
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