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Architectural Style Identification and Building Stories (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

Task:Identifying architectural styles. The sample essay is a report essay compares buildings in different streets and how housing and other features and styles of architecture are presented in the these streets.

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Content:

Architectural Style Identification and Building Stories
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Institutional affiliation

Introduction
This report provides a comprehensive description of the architectural style of houses number 68 to 84 on Alexandra Avenue, Waterloo, Ontario. A comprehensive description of the architectural style as well as the historical context of the development will be provided. Identification of the date of construction of the houses is instrumental in developing a chronological profile for the houses. The street developed over the years and earned a change of name back in 1942 from Park Avenue to Alexandra Avenue. Details of infrastructural changes along the streets are providing backed by evidence available. Moreover, a streetscape architectural analysis of the area is provided.
Neighborhood development
It is evident that Park Avenue was developed from farm land that was under the county of Waterloo. According to the map provided below dating 1853-54 the area was an undeveloped farm land. Following infrastructural development in the county the area was surveyed and subdivided into portions of land ready for development. Based on the map provided below dated the area was categorized into different figures. Figure 1 and 2 covers the houses 68 to 84.
According to the 1925 data obtained from the city’s directory the occupants of the houses were middle class individuals in the area. The occupations included an employee of the furniture manufacturer Globe furniture company which had moved into the area about a decade into the new century. House 82 was occupied by an excise officer whereas houses 70 and 72 were owned by a one person who operated a grocery. The occupations of the occupants of the street in the 1920s are a clear indication of the living standards in the area as well as the development outlook.

Figure 1 map of section 12

figure 2 of map of section 12
A map dated 1942 after the change of the avenue from Park Avenue to Alexandra Avenue captures the multiple developments on the different physical locations. The architectural design of the houses was highly influenced by the different designs from North America. Moreover, the architectural styles adopted from English vernacular cottages were eminent in the developments in the area. Some of the unique characteristics include a steeply pitched roof with different variations. The roof was also characterized by a cross-gabled architecture.

A map showing the change of name of avenue from Park to Alexandra (1942)
Italianate architectural style
In the area there are house that are designed based on the Italianate architectural design. This was a common architectural style in the area for both residential and commercial buildings. However, the house photo below provides a clear representation of the Italianate architectural design.
Mennonite Georgian
This architectural design is evident in the area. This was an architectural style that was predominant in between 1820s to 1900. This design was common with farm houses in Canada. In most instances the building ranged between two and three storeys. The style was influenced by German culture in the country. Though the front porches are open in some designs enclosed porch houses created impressive porches as the one in the picture below. Moreover, the style was characterized by expansive verandas. The roof designed from different variations of a bell shaped roofs. The gables are characterized by return eaves on different elevations of the building. This being a derivative of the classical Georgian architectural style small paned windows is observable around the building. The basement was another unique feature of the architectural design. Entrances were centrally located with different variations of their designs. The kitchen entrance is located at the basement since the architectural design is mostly developed for sloppy areas. The significance of this architectural design as remained even with modern world. Houses build almost a century ago in Waterloo have remained elegant with minor repairs over the years.

Picture: 1
Georgian architectural style
In Waterloo the simple and symmetrical Georgian style was a longstanding style that span over a century between 1780s and 1860s. However, the style continued to be visible in the twentieth century. The picture below is a one of the existing houses that exhibits the characteristics of the style. This was a style that was easy to develop since most of the elements of the building were plain. The stringent geometrical forms adopted in the house were also a key contributor to their uniformity. The walls of the houses were mostly made of bricks. An end gable roof was predominant in houses developed using this style. Chimneys were symmetrically located on the roof on either side. Most of the roofs are symmetrically gabled. The windows were uniformly distributed around the walls of the house.
Moreover, the windows are characterized by multiple panes and a symmetrical arrangement. A single door is another eminent characteristic of the style. Along the Alexandra avenue houses that exhibit this style are mostly the oldest in the area. They were mostly put up in the late nineteenth century or early twentieth century. This as a result the architectural style was preferred by the early settlers of the area (Mikel, 2004).

Picture: 2
Prairie architectural style
The prairie architectural style is observable in the area of interest. This is an architectural style that is considered predominantly American. The style is characterized by horizontal geometrical formation of elements of a building. This related to the origin of the word prairie. The styles adopt an open plan of rooms around the house. It is pertinent to note that this architectural influence was amongst the last to be adopted in Waterloo. This was mostly through people ready to break the norm of the Victorian and Georgian architectural styles in the area. This architectural style has been in tandem with modernization since it helps in enhancing unification of the family. It is eminent that this style has been adopted in the area by new settlers in the area (Melvin, 2006). The house built using this style most have been built recently. The use of natural materials in its construction is also eminent. A photo of one of the houses exhibiting characteristics of this style is provided below.

Picture: 3
Street landscaping
It is pertinent to note that the diametrical opposition of natural style and architectural styles form the basis of interactions of buildings and the landscape. From the photos and maps of the houses it’s evident that a harmonious arrangement of the houses was put into consideration in the initial development. However, subsequent modification of houses and redevelopment has distracted the harmony. The exterior accessories of different buildings in the area inhibit the contiguity of the developments along the avenue.
There is a compromised naturalistic landscaping across Alexandra avenue, has development in some areas seems to be uncontrolled. Uniformity and congruence of the buildings and the gardens is eminent. However, some architectural styles in the area have made concessions to adopt nature’s unique features. An example is the Mennonite Georgian basement and front doors taking care of slop...
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