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Richardsonian Romanesque Architecture and Interior Design Elements

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     Richardsonian Romanesque is a style of architecture that was named after Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson  Richardson became famous in the late 1800’s.  One of his most famous and popular works is the Trinity Church in Boston, which is now listed as a historical landmark, protecting it for generations to enjoy in the future.  Most of his pieces originated on the East coast, and Boston would become host to several of these buildings.   This architectural style combines aspects of French, Spanish, and Italian architecture, especially that from the 11th and 12th century.

     Richardson’s style became so popular and unique in the United States that it influenced several architects as far away as Finland.  In fact, its popularity in the United States inspired many people who would go on to become great architects.  Perhaps one of the most famous of these people inspired by him is Frank Lloyd Wright. Other famous Richardson buildings include the American Museum of Natural History’s original 77th Street structure, First Presbyterian Church in Detroit, MI on Woodward Avenue, and the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane in New York State.

     This style is generally considered too elaborate for many homes, but was an extremely popular choice for churches, museums, and other government buildings.  In fact, one of the other most famous buildings in the Richardsonian style is the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane in upstate New York.

     Common characteristics of Richardson Romanesque include;  heavy, rusticated stone materials, semi-circular arches, deeply recessed windows, towers with cone shaped roofs (very castle-like), and low broad arches over arcades and doorways. Most Romanesque buildings are masonry, although there are a fair few wood and shingle Romanesque style buildings.

     Richardsonian architecture doesn’t really follow any particular style, and tends to borrow elements from several different ones instead.  No two buildings are alike, and although they may share similar elements are more like buildings built in two completely different styles.   Richardson’s style can be seen all over the United States, especially in major cities.  His buildings were commissioned by many local and state governments to make a statement as well as provide an eye-catching and functional building for many to enjoy over decades, even centuries.

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Written by antiqueswriter

June 20, 2011 at 9:04 am