Characteristics Of Virginian Architecture

By on December 18, 2013

Beautiful Virginia is filled with history, lovely rolling hills, mountains, fields, brooks, and best of all, beautiful Architecture. Virginia’s current architectural trends date back to the early 1600’s. When Jamestown was founded, the first homes were two story frame homes made of timber. Over the years, European designs and luxury appeared in Virginia Architecture. Bygone eras of American history have left their mark in Virginia, her people, and the state’s monumental architecture.

Traditional Virginia Brickwork

Many buildings in Virginia are made of brick, including government buildings, businesses, educational facilities, and homes. The traditional Virginia brickwork is the Flemish Bond style. Flemish Bond is a unique brickwork pattern that alternates the headers and stretchers of brick to create a beautiful, strong, pattern. Flemish Bond brickwork in Virginia often has rows of all headers at the story line of the building. All header brick lines around windowsills and door frames are common in Virginia as well. Some windowsills are wooden, even with a brick structure. Traditional red-colored bricks add a historical feel to the architecture.

Characteristics Of Virginian Architecture

Virginia Roofing Styles

Roofing styles in Virginia include shingle roofs with steep pitches. Virginia is a state that gets a fair amount of snow, so the pitch has to accommodate snow efficiently. Tile roofs in this colder climate are rare, but in countryside homes, there will be an occasional tin roof. In the Victorian and Georgian styles common in the Virginia architecture, the roofs are steep and shingled. A new trend in Virginia Architecture is a grassy or “green” roof. These types of roofs are efficient for insulation and good for the environment. Gables are common in Virginia roofing, with two story buildings featuring a loft in the upper area.

Windows Found in Virginia Architecture

Virginia weather requires durable windows that provide insulation and allow strength to protect from strong, howling winter winds. Double paned windows are normal in Virginia, as are muntins. Muntins are thin strips of wood that separate small panes of glass, strengthening a patchwork of smaller pieces of glass into a larger window. Before the current picture frame window trend, muntins were very common, and they remain popular in Virginia. Windows in most Virginia buildings open up and down, as opposed to the western side-sliding window opening. Many of the windows in Virginia Architecture are long and tall, opening with a crank handle.

Georgian and Victorian Styles in Virginia

New England states, including Virginia, followed Great Britain’s architectural trends, including the Georgian and Victorian architectural eras. The Georgian era occurred during the initial founding of Virginia and it’s early years, while the Victorian architectural age lasted from the mid 1800’s until the early 1900’s. These eras coincided with the reigns of the English monarchs King George and Queen Victoria. The architectural styles stuck in Virginia, and many newer buildings are reminiscent of these periods. Many plantation homes in Virginia are of the Georgian style. A special trait of Virginia architecture is the landscaping and countryside. Large yards, beautiful views, and stands of noble trees create a great setting for the amazing buildings of Virginia.

Eric Scranton writes on architecture, real estate, renters insurance, home improvement and other related topics. Those who’d like to learn more about Virginian real estate should view the Arlington VA Realtor – Darian Cochran.

Image credit goes to Retronaut.

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