Colonial architecture is broken into three separate periods. The First Period homes are little more than lean-tos and log cabins—that’s where the working class would have lived. Most of our clients would have lived in Georgian-style homes, and the casing around doors would have included crossette architraves—small horns or rectangular extensions at the head jamb, formed by additional miters in the casing. In more-opulent homes, such as the John Brown home below, ornate entablatures and pediments would have been added above the casing.
Federal period designs are known as “neoclassical” or “newer” interpretations of the classical orders. This style is easy to recognize. Plinth blocks mimic the original plinths or bases on classical columns, and decorative rosettes imitate the capitals, as in this example from the Trousdale home. Fluted casing, sometimes with a single flute, was also prevalent and completed the appearance of a classical column.
The Victorian period combined neoclassical design decorated with a variety of gothic details. The doorway shown in the photo above of the Piru house is cased with plinth blocks and rosettes. An extra rosette was added at the pedestal and chair-rail height. Again, wide fluted casing resembles a classical column. The overdoor is decorated with a spindled sunburst.