The Mansard Style is often called "Second-Empire Style" in America. Homes were first built to the design during the latter part of the 19th Century. The word "mansard" refers to the ornate Continental roof originally employed in Paris in the 19th Century. Homes are designed around the large reception hall beneath a rounded, cupola roof. During the 1960s, Americans celebrated a brief Mansard Revival, not only in residential building, but in commercial architecture where fast-food franchises and service stations borrowed the look. The style caught fire in Florida and Texas.
Although French influenced, the American Mansard Style favors Italianate touches with heavy iron ornamentation, dormer windows and rounded crowns. While the style flourished in governmental buildings and public structures, examples of the Mansard Style home can be found across the country, on farms, in small towns, and in older sections of major cities where their height is well-suited to narrow blocks.
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