Help! I'm looking at a building and it doesn't have any of the styles you mentioned! Or else it has too many!
What do I do now?

Okay, so even though we talked about many styles here, we didn't cover them all. Sometimes a style might have been popular in another part of the country, and not too many buildings in Rochester exist in that style. We don't have a lot of Spanish Mission houses here or Southern plantation houses, for that matter.

Also, we didn't talk much about housing for special purposes, such as apartment houses and the like. Sometimes these are very ornate and in a certain style, sometimes they are unadorned and are simple structures. With a careful eye, you can possibly detect some very standard architectural features. In any case, these buildings are still "home" to the people who live in them.

Rochester apartment house.
Rochester apartment house

Houses on Arklow Street.
Houses on Arklow Street

Sometimes it gets difficult to decide where to draw the line with all the types of architectural revivals. For example, there seemed to be some kind of classical revival every few years. People are people, after all. Sometimes we want things to look completely different and new and sometimes we want things to look "the way they did in the good old days". Sometimes we want something fun and whimsical; sometimes we just want a simple classical look. Architectural trends, like clothing trends, seem to go back and forth over the years.

Which brings us to another thing; sometimes it is hard to identify a house because it has lots of styles going on at once. Maybe an addition is from a completely different time period. Maybe a Federal style house had some Folk Victorian trim placed on it, or had a large porch added on. Maybe an American Foursquare porch became enclosed. Maybe an Art Deco storefront got a modern "facelift" in the 1960's. Sometimes an architect will even intentionally mix up styles to get a certain effect. The word for that is " Eclecticism".

All over Rochester and Monroe County today, you will see "Victorians" built in the 1980's, or Federal style houses built in the 1960's. Just for fun, take a walk around your neighborhood, and see how many architectural styles or features you can identify!

The "Marriage House", Perinton.
The "Marriage House", Perinton


Architectural Styles Introduction | Resources


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