close print view
Italianate Style Architecture along I-94 BL in Marshall
This style of architecture is the most common historic commercial architecture found in Michigan. It was built from the 1860s - 1890s. The commercial form of the Italianate style was popular for several reasons. By the late 1800s bricks were being manufactured in many Michigan communities and were readily available as a building material. The issue of public safety was also an important driving force in the trend toward brick construction. Fires were a constant danger, and once ignited easily spread through entire downtown sections comprised of wood frame structures. A town only had to experience such devastation once to be convinced that brick construction was preferable.
Another example of Italianate Style Architecture along I-94 BL in Marshall
- The typical Italianate Commercial structure is two to three stories high and one to two storefronts wide. (In large cities the structures tend to be grander in scale).
- The buildings were constructed side by side often with a shared common wall.
- The windows are tall and narrow and evenly spaced on the building with decorative hoods over the top.
- The cornice line is the most embellished part of the building.
- Bricks laid in a geometric pattern project out from the wall and spires often rise up from the corners.
- The cornice is lined with brackets and other carved features which extends away from the roof.
- At the time of construction the ornamental features of the building would have been painted a contrasting color.
- The building itself even though constructed of brick, would have been painted. Locally produced brick varied in quality and the application of paint helped protect it from the elements.