A Preservation Plan for St. Louis
Part II:  Property Types 


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a covered porch supported by columns and joined by arches.


  • basket
    an arch with a flat top like the shape of a basket handle
  • flat
    an arch with a flat, horizontal underside
  • pointed
    an arch ending in a central point
  • round
    a half-circle arch
  • segmental
    an arch formed by only a part of a circle

archivolt molding

trim, usually masonry, edging the top of an arch; commonly found in Gothic and Romanesque designs.


stone that has been cut and dressed with even edges. There may be a variety of surface finishes.



a platform cantilevered out from the facade of a building, surrounded by a handrail and sometimes supported by brackets.

Baltimore chimney

a pair of chimneys at the end of a building which are joined together by a parapet wall; an element characteristic of Federal style buildings.


short posts or spindles supporting a handrail.


a short railing, often constructed around porches, with a horizontal handrail on top, and a row of individual vertical members (or balusters) below.


The design of a castle rampart, where higher parts of the wall (merlons) alternated with open areas for shooting (crenels). See crenellation.


any group of architectural features, often used in reference to a row of windows.


the vertical division of a building facade.

belt course

a wide, horizontal band of stone or brick between the stories of a building.  See string course.


an architectural opening attached to a wall (i.e., a window or arcade) which is decorative only and does not pierce the wall surface.


part of a building that is definable as a separate section.

board-and-batten siding

vertical wood siding in which two wide boards are laid side-by-side, the joint between them covered by a narrow wood strip.

boxed cornice

the enclosure between the overhang of a roof and the building facade.


ornamental pieces placed under eaves, cornices, window sills, etc., which appear to provide structural support.

bullnose brick

a brick that is rounded at one end.


a short wall built perpendicular to the main outer wall of a building, supporting or appearing to support, the exterior wall.



an oval ornamental panel.


the decorative top of a column or pilaster.


exterior covering of frame buildings and sometimes masonry buildings in which overlapping boards are placed horizontally.


the side walls of the main part of a church or other building, which extend above the roof of the side aisles and which usually have many windows.


a round pier with a base, shaft and capital, usually supporting a projecting porch roof.

compound arch

narrow arches set one within the other to form a larger arch. Commonly found in church design.


a small, domed structure rising from a roof or tower.

corbel table

a line of corbelling, often forming arches, usually decorating the parapets of Romanesque Revival buildings.


small projections built out from a masonry wall, where each course extends out further than the one below. Most often corbelling in St. Louis occurs at the cornices of brick buildings.

Corinthian order

a classical architectural order with a foliated capital, slender columns and ornate, delicate trim at the base of the cornice.


a projecting decorative element at the top of a wall.


a single horizontal line of masonry on a facade.


a decorative parapet design, seen commonly in Gothic Revival architecture, that replicates the battlement of a medieval castle.


a decorative piece in a leaf shape placed on the edge of exterior features of a building, such as gables and pediments, found regularly in Gothic Revival architecture.

cruciform plan

the form or footprint of a building, usually a church, shaped like a cross, with a long section or nave intersected at right angles by a shorter section, called a transept.



small tooth-like vertical pieces in a simple, rectangular pattern that are most often seen as part of Greek or Classical ornament.

diaper pattern

a diamond-shaped pattern of brick across a facade, usually seen in Jacobethan or Tudor Revival buildings.

Doric order

A classical architectural order defined by a plain capital and a frieze with vertical groves set at intervals across the cornice.


a projecting window from a sloped roof. The most common dormer type in St. Louis has a small gable roof. When the dormer is located in the same plane as the building wall, it is called a wall dormer.

double-loaded corridor

the interior floor plan, usually found in office buildings, apartments and hotels before the 1960s, in which rooms are entered off both sides of a hallway.



the portion of a roof that overhangs the wall.


an individual side of a building.  Also an architectural drawing of a building's face.  See alsofacade.

enclosed stair

a stair encased by walls and accessed through a door. These narrow, usually winding stairs are most often found in older house types.


a heavy, decorative surround at window and door openings

engaged column

a half-circular column that projects from a wall.


the upper part of a classical order, containing a cornice and frieze.



one side of a building.  See elevation.


the boards found on the facing, or outside vertical surface, of projecting architectural features, especially cornices.

fishscale shingles

individual shingles made from wood or other material, with a curved end, which when laid together form the appearance of a fish's scales.


located at one or, more usually, both sides of an architectural element.

flat-iron building

a building whose footprint or floor plan is roughly triangular, or in the shape of a "flat-iron." Often constructed at the intersection of three streets.


a property type in which there are two or more dwelling units, each having its own front door and rear entry.

Flemish bond

a brick wall with a pattern of alternating headers and stretchers at each course. Often, some of the headers are burned or glazed to form a decorative pattern on the facade.


decorative designs shaped like leaves that adorn interior or exterior architectural elements.

frame construction

a building supported structurally by wood members.


a flat, horizontal band that extends below a cornice or pediment.  Found most often in Greek and Classical Revival designs.



the triangular end of the exterior wall of a building with a two-sloped or gable roof.  See also roofs.


a long-roofed porch. This term is derived from the French gallerie, to describe a porch associated with French Colonial architecture, often built above the first story.

gingerbread trim

wood trim boards usually found at gables and porches with delicate curves and scrolls.


half-timber framing

the use of heavy timber for building construction, typified by vertical, horizontal and diagonal wood braces.  Trim pieces that counterfeit this construction are called false half-timbering. Most commonly in St. Louis, such false half-timbering appears on the exterior of houses in the Tudor Revival style.


the top horizontal member of a window or door opening.


the short side of a brick laid on its wider side.


the placement of similar designs on a building, such as windows, that become larger and more elaborate at each story of the building.

honeycomb brick

a brick pattern in which space is left between some of the bricks for decoration or for ventilation.


the cover at the top of a window or door that extends out from a facade, usually ornamental.



the horizontal block at the end of an arch.

incised ornament

delicate ornament scored into a facade found commonly around window and door openings on Second Empire or Italianate stone or stucco facades.

Ionic order

a Classical order characterized by scrolled capitals and plain geometric trim.


jack arch

a flat arch above a window or door opening, composed of brick or stone members, in which the dimension of the top is wider than that of the bottom. The center is marked by a decorative triangular keystone.


the point where two pieces of masonry are placed together.  Joints are filled with mortar and the exterior of the joint is formed or "struck" with a chisel to a particular shape.



the center member of an arch, often larger than adjacent members, or decorated.



a molding over doors and windows common in Gothic Revival designs, with a straight line over the window and symmetrical lines extending vertically down on either side.


a pane of glass. See windows, multi-light.

light court

an open, narrow shaft constructed in high-rise buildings to provide light and ventilation. An interior light court is fully enclosed by the building; an exterior light court is open on one side to the street or alley.


a horizontal architectural member above a door or window, often decorated, that provides structural support for the opening.



found commonly in Greek Revival architecture, the part of a battlement that projects upward.


large, ornamental blocks placed below the overhang of a cornice.

molded brick

brick that is shaped before being placed in the kiln, used for ornamental treatments such as cornices and moldings.


architectural designs which are commonly used on interior and exterior wood pieces, such as baseboards, crown moldings, cornices and chair rails.

motif (pl.: motives)

a main element or feature of a design

mouse hole

a narrow passage from the front of two or more attached buildings, allowing access to the rear yard and entry to the rear units.


a vertical piece, usually wood, that separates grouped windows from each other.


vertical, horizontal or other decorative members that divide panes of glass in the same window.  See windows, multi-light.



infill, which may be of various materials, between structural wood timbers in vertical or horizontal log and half-timber framing.


Palladian window

a grouping of windows found commonly in Colonial and Colonial Revival architecture, comprised of a large central window flanked by narrower windows, with a semi-circular window above. A detail devised by Italian architect Antonio Palladio in the Renaissance.


the part of a wall which extends above the roof line.


an architectural element, usually found around doors and windows and above porches, that has a gable set upon an entablature, with the same decorative molding running along the gable sides.


a row of columns that surround a building or open space.


a solid masonry support; also refers to the mass between windows or other openings in tall buildings.


a flat, rectangular post, attached to the side of a building, and configured in the same manner as a column.

pillow capital

a capital found commonly in Romanesque architecture that is square at the top, with a rounded base. Sometimes called a cushion capital.


a small turret-like end on the top of spires, buttresses, etc.


a large and important doorway generally surrounded by dense, heavy decoration, found most often in Gothic Revival architecture.


a large porch supported by Classical columns or posts, forming the entrance to a building.

projecting bay

an architectural element consisting of a bay which extends forward from the main plane of a building facade.



dressed stones, placed at the corners of a building, alternating in size.



an architectural element, usually a molding, that extends from one exterior surface or plane to a different one; for example, the part of a front cornice which extends around to the side elevation is called a return.


  • bellcast
    a roofline that is curved out slightly as the roof meets the facade.
  • catslide
    a roof type found commonly in Neo-Tudor Revival buildings that has a very steep slope; often one side is longer than the other.
  • false mansard
    a roof which has the steep pitch of a mansard on the front, but does not cover a third, or attic story.
  • gable
    a roof with two slopes meeting a a center ridge. A front gable roof has its gable ends oriented to the front and rear facades; a side gable roof has its gable ends perpendicular to the front facade.
  • gambrel
    a gable roof with a double slope on each side; sometimes called a "barn roof."
  • helm
    a tall roof with a steeple above a four-sided base.
  • hipped
    a roof with four sloping sides, meeting at a center ridge.
  • mansard
    a roof composed of a steep section, topped by a nearly flat section, and providing an additional attic story.
  • pyramidal
    a hipped roof in which four equal roof slopes meet at a single point.
  • truncated hip
    a hipped roof whose slopes meet at a flat surface instead of a ridge, as if the top of the hip was cut off.


masonry blocks dressed on the sides but left in an unfinished condition on the front

rose window

a circular window, usually seen in church architecture, often containing stained glass and tracery.


a small bulls-eye or circular ornamental panel.

rubble stone

stone which may have been slightly worked to shape but has basically an unfinished surface when laid.

rusticated stone

masonry laid in large blocks with deep joints, usually on the basement or first story of a building.



architectural ornament in the shape of a scroll. Scroll-work is most often found on the capitals of Ionic columns.

shaped parapet

a decorative parapet projecting above a roof line, with a rectangular or curvilinear top edge.


exterior covering of a building or roof.


one or more narrow, usually fixed windows that are placed at the side of a door or window.


a non-structural horizontal member, usually found in tall buildings, below the windows of each story.


a small, narrow spire.


a narrow, unroofed porch, commonly built of stone, brick or concrete.


the space between any two floors of a building, as expressed on the exterior.


the long side of a brick, laid on its wide side.

string course

a narrow band of stone or brick that extends across a facade between the stories of a building.  See also belt course.


plaster work on the exterior of a building.


moldings or other ornament around window and door openings.


the identical placement of architectural elements on a building on either side of a central axis.


temple front

the construction of a Greek Revival front facade, with a gable roof in the form of a pediment and columns or pilasters.


a multiple unit  building housing large numbers of low-income families.

terra cotta

a form of masonry made from fine grained clay, that is often heated in a mold and used for ornament.


a narrow structure extending above the roof of a building.


intricate, delicate trim, often in stone, that is commonly found around porch roofs and gables, and in stained glass windows in Gothic Revival and other picturesque architectural styles.


the part of a cruciform church plan that is at right angles to the main portion of the building, or the nave. Also refers to each wing on either side of the nave. Transepts usually contain secondary entrances and/or side chapels.


a small, narrow window placed above a door or window.  Usually an awning window, the transom may be opened for ventilation.


found commonly in church architecture, three circular ornamental pieces grouped together in a triangular shape.


posts or balusters shaped by a lathe into decorative designs.


a slender tower with a conical roof popular in residential and commercial buildings 1860 through the 1890s.

Tuscan order

a Classical order defined by its simplicity: without fluted columns or elaborate capitals and with a simple cornice and frieze.


the triangular piece that forms the top of a pediment; also the triangular or arched area above a church door, often highly decorated.


variegated brick

brick on the facade of a building generally the same color, with slight variations in value.


the application of a finished material such as brick over other material, often used to give a richer exterior appearance, as in stone veneer on a brick building.


an exterior, open porch, most often found on the first story of residential buildings. The term is often used interchangeably with porch and gallery.


water table

a brick or stone course extending across the front facade of a building between the basement and first story.


  • awning
    a single sash window hinged on the top that swings out or inward.
  • casement
    a window hung on one side and opening either outward or into a room.
  • doublehung
    a window with two sashes, one above the other, that may both be opened.
  • fixed
    a window that does not open or move.
  • industrial sash
    a multi-light window of metal with many small panes set in a rectangular grid and generally combining fixed windows and casements. Usually seen in industrial designs of the mid- to late-20th century.
  • multi-light
    windows with more than one pane of glass within a sash. Windows with decorative patterns are described by the number of panes or lights at each sash. For example, a six-light casement window has six small panes of glass separated by muntins. Doublehung windows are described by the number of panes in the top sash being "over" the number in the bottom sash, as in: two-over-two, or six-over-one.
  • paired
    two windows separated by a mullion, under a single arch or lintel.

wing wall

an extension of a wall which projects out beyond the building itself.

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