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Château-sur-Mer, Bellevue Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island

Architectural "Styles" and their Conservation — Assignment

You will be provided a American architectural style in class for this assignment.

Sign up for styles here.

Your efforts should result in a paper (about three pages of text) plus illustrations including: "high style" structures (likely from the Web); historic references/resources (when possible/applicable); site examples based on your field work.

Stylistic Analysis

  1. Describe the architectural style.
  2. Define the "ideal" (high-style) stylistic design and elements.
  3. Reference specific contemporary sources (including sourcebooks) that were the basis for the design. Cite all references.
  4. From online resources or publications, provide at least two regional "high-style" examples, drawing in comparisions, or contrasts, as needed. Include illustrations. Identify each structure. Cite all references.

Site Examples and Analysis

  1. Locate examples of the style in the area to illustrate the following...
  2. Describe, and include the distinction between the "ideal" style (from your research, above) and the "vernacular", site-specific variations that you find in your local examples.
  3. Assess the intrinsic factors (causes) that affect building performance and conservation.
  4. Provide photographs with identification: structure, address, view, description.

Background — Syles and Conservation

The development and evolution of architectural 'styles' — in general and relative to a specific building — is dependent on the following influences, and others:

  1. availability of building materials,
  2. contemporary construction technology,
  3. monies available,
  4. influence of architectural "design", both 'vernacular' and 'high-style" (monumental, including socures), and
  5. spaces and structures in the context of socio-cultural and spiritual mores.

The design, construction, and selection of materials for a particular 'style' directly influences the performance of a structure as a whole and, in turn, the diagnosis and conservation of its elements, in part and as a complex, interdependent system. As an architectural conservator you should be familiar with:

  1. The characteristics of each architectural style and the distinction between the 'ideal' stylistic elements (the 'high-style') and the 'as-built' variations (the 'vernacular') of a particular style or combination of varying stylistic elements.
  2. The use of structural and decorative features, production and construction techniques, building materials as they help determine the date(s) and evolution of a structure.
  3. The manner in which the characteristics of construction techniques and architectural styles influence the performance of a building: the materials, the individual elements, the building systems, and its entirety.
  4. The uses (programs) of the structure, over time. An assessment of the contemporary uses, their compatibility to the building (and vice versa), and recommendations to meet future, changing program needs.


  1. Study of Architectural History
  2. Architectural Sourcebooks
  3. Architectural Styles
  4. Locating Area Examples

Books (Amazon links)