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Beaux Arts

Beaux Arts is French for "Fine Art" and indeed this describes the Beaux Arts architectural style. Artistic touches abound in typical Beaux Arts homes, which date from 1885 to 1925, a period often referred to as the "Gilded Age." Beaux Arts homes often were built to showcase the wealth and prestige of their owners.

Many of the features that distinguish the Beaux Arts architectural style include stone construction, massive size, and touches such as balconies, balustrades, columns, cornices, large arches, and a grand stairway. Beaux Arts homes are lavishly decorated with swags, shields, medallions, and other ostentatious ornamentation. Originally built in large cities such as New York, the Beaux Arts style also can be found in the playgrounds of the wealthy, in upscale resort communities like those in Rhode Island. Examples of Beaux Arts architecture include public buildings such as Carnegie Hall, The Waldorf Hotel, and Grand Central Terminal in New York City, as well as San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts.