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November 1999 - Page 26


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b y V. S . Rosem a n
Photos and illustra tion by the author unless otherwise indicated

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he S econd Empire Style was a type of house whose styling is considered to be w ithin the broad term of Victorian style. Generally, the Second Empire type was con structed throughout many parts of the U . S . between 1 860 a n d about 1 880. They were seen throughout the count;y but fewer exam ples were built in the West and South. The Polar Lights kit is representative of a free standing Second Empire-styl e house, but townhouses or row houses also exist in most cities. Stone, wood and brick have all been used i n the construction of this style house. A s with most architectural styles (espe cially within the U.S.), most of these homes were actually combinations of several styles, but this distinctive type of house had a num ber of easy-to-recognize spotting poi nts:

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I ) A Mansard roof that is of French lin e a g e . A l l four s i de s are very steeply s l o p e d w i th a very gradu a l s l ope on top T his represents the appearance of the " Bates Ho use" by (or fl at roof above) Polar lig hts as intended. Weatheri ng is mandatory if you that provided a virtu want your house kit to look l i ke this one. P olar Lights photo a l l y ful l -height attic above the structure, usually featuring dorm taller. Some of these houses have a central cupola atop the middle of the roof in lieu of ers (roof windows) that permitted the use of the attic as rooms with no modification of the front tower. the roof. 3 ) P a i re d or t r i p l e w i n d o w b a n k s , although many of these houses h a d s i ngle 2) A tower, often centered in the front of windows as on the Polar Lights kit. the b u i l ding, with symmetrical or nearly 4) B ays, often extendi ng the height of symmetrical window and detail placement. The tower might only be a few feet above several stories are COlmnon, as are porches. S o m e S e c o n d E m p i re h o m e s had an the roof but could also be a story or two

T he Greene house with Ms. Greene bringing in the laundry. This represents the Polar lig hts kit with only the roof of the porch lowered slightly. 26 ... M O D E L RAI LROA D I N G
N O VE M B E R 1999

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