Romanesque Revival, Richardsonian Romanesque

Romanesque Revival: 1820-1860
Richardsonian Romanesque: 1860-1900

Corbel tables and round arches distinguish buildings in the Romanesque Revival or the Round-arched Style, which originates in Germany in the early 19th century. The Romanesque Revival is a less popular alternative to the Gothic Revival that diminishes by the 1860’s. During the 1870’s, American architect Henry Hobson Richardson creates a personal style that becomes known as the Richardsonian Romanesque.

Design Characteristics:
Romanesque Revival and Richardsonian Romanesque look to the past for inspiration.
-Romanesque Revival: round arches and corbel tables used as stringcourses or to define rooflines. Other characteristics include: smooth walls, round doorways, round windows, gabled facades on churches, deeply recessed doorways with layered colonnettes, and towers. They borrow inspiration from the Italian Romanesque, Early Italian Renaissance, Early Christian and Byzantine eras.
-Richardsonian Revival: rough-faced stone that gives a weighty, massive appearance. Facades usually are asymmetrical with one or more towers and bands or groups of windows.

Remember the numbers below and you can spot the differences between a Romanesque Revival buildings and a Richardsonian Romanesque building.

1. Types: Romanesque Revival characterizes chruches, schools, libraries, museums, hospitals, train stations, courthouses, and city halls.
2. Site Orientation: Public structures usually are located outside of city centers as a part of newly developing suburbs.
3. Floor Plans: serve the function of the building
4. Materials: most often of brick in various colors for economy and ease of construction. Details may be of colored brick.
5. Windows: round arches but a few are rectangular or pointed. Windows may be single or grouped in doubles, triples, or more.
6. Doors: Plain or carved wooden doors, like windows, usually are set within round arches.
7. Roofs: flat or low-pitched gables or cross gables. Domes are rare.

1. Types: state capitols, offices, courthouses, department stores, warehouses, train stations, libraries, churches, and bridges.
2. Site Orientation: urban settings near city centers or near transportation
3. Floor Plans: new and original openness and fluidity of space. Large public buildings show his assimilation of Beaux-Arts planning concepts of modules or units arranged along main and subsidiary axes and facades developing from the ground plan. Residential homes are asymmetrical and arranged around the stair hall.
4. Materials: load-bearing masonry walls, cast iron, rusticated stone and boulders.
5. Facades: asymmetrical with a horizontal emphasis
6. Windows: round-arched or rectangular or a combo of the two
7. Doors: a large Syrian arch or triple arches often announce the entrance

WOW! That was way too much information to read….NOW PICTURES! YEAH!

1. Romanesque Revival and Ricardsonian Romanesque rooms feature medieval-style furniture.
2. Richardson is one of the few American architects to design furniture.
3. Richardsonian furniture varies in design from a heavy, rugged appearance like the exteriors to a slender from with spindles recalling early vernacular pieces.
4. Designed to suit particular spaces, the furniture repeats the form and elements of the architecture.

Finally, symbols, motifs, and decorative arts.
Common motifs include round arches, corbel tables, hood moldings, battlements, and rose windows for Romanesque Revival. Round arches, Syrian arches, floral capitals, lozenges, chevrons, and terra-cotta panels of floral ornament identify Richardsonian Romanesque.
Now enjoy some imagery!

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