The Italianate is a two to three-floor house that is meant to mimic an Italian villa. It is a style with much ornamentation, in direct reaction to the more austere looks of the previous Victorian houses. While the English tended to stick to just one type of Italianate (which they created, by the way), we Americans adapted it and made it our own.
The first thing of an Italianate that is obvious is it’s striking exterior façade. It has ornately bracketed overhanging eaves, a shallow-pitched roof that is almost flat, cornices, and a cupola that hints at letting in a Tuscan breeze. The cupola is optional, but it’s definitely a trademark of the style. The Italianate sports mansard or low-pitched roofs, deep architraves—molding—around the windows and heavy cornicing.
C.F. Kim was one noted architect who worked in this style. While popular in the early in the mid 1800s, there are not many Italianate style homes in our area, partly because the low-pitched roofs are not conducive to heavy snowfall. This style may also be referred to as the Tuscan style. There are many examples of Italianate style buildings throughout the United States, and it was commonly used for larger buildings such as city halls and libraries.x