ITALIANATE (1860-1900)

Using the European Picturesque movement as a model, the Italianate style in America follows the rural form. The Picturesque movement was a reaction to the classical ideologies that had been followed for hundreds of years. In the United States, Italianate promotes a more informal aesthetic with mixes of shapes and features. Italianate homes first started appearing in the United States in the 1830s. Andrew Jackson Downing popularized the style in the 1840s and 1850s in his pattern books. The style continued to be popular until the financial panic in 1873, however the style was still used in Alaska after that date.

Primary Stylistic Features
  • Two to three stories tall.
  • Tall narrow windows.
  • Bracketed eaves.
  • Aligned first and second story windows.
  • Low pitched pyramidal, hip, flat or gable roof.
  • Wide overhanging eaves.
Secondary Stylistic Features
  • Arched windows.
  • Grouped windows.
  • Porches, full width or partial.
  • Cupolas.
  • Quoins.
  • Elaborate window crowns, cornice, porch, and doorway designs.

Evaluation Considerations

Italianate buildings in Alaska will likely be found individually. In some cases, they will be located in mixed style commercial districts. To be individually eligible, Italianates should exhibit a majority of the primary features as well as some secondary features. If the Italianate building is located in a potential district, it should exhibit a majority of the primary stylistic features. Italianate buildings are quite rare in Alaska. Many false front buildings will have Italianate features, however those buildings will not be individually eligible for their architecture since the elements will be applied rather than integrated.