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Italianate Architecture

current photo of Kennard house Thomas P. Kennard House, Nebraska Statehood Memorial [KH1]

In addition to its historical significance, the Statehood Memorial possesses architectural value. It is one of Nebraska's few remaining houses of Italianate design, a very popular architectural style in America from the mid -1850s to the mid-1870s, Nebraska's pioneer period, and the house is one of the state's finest domestic examples of this style.

The Italianate or "bracketed" style is an American reinterpretation of a nineteenth-century European (mainly English) style, which was in turn a reinterpretation of the Italian Renaissance architecture of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Italian Renaissance design was ultimately derived from classical Rome. Since the design is a reinterpretation, "Italianate rather than "Italian" is a proper designation. Italian Renaissance elements, pure or reinterpreted, of the Statehood Memorial design include columns, the idea of the arcaded porch, paired, segmentally-arched windows, circular lights in the bay windows and door, window hoods, bracketed cornices (a series of ornaments that give apparent support to the eaves), porch and roof balusters, and the cupola atop the roof.

Bracketed cornices     Bracketed cornices Bracketed cornices [KH2, KH3]

Cupola Cupola [KH4]

In a more classical building brackets are small and functional, lending actual support to an overhanging roof. At the Statehood Memorial, however, the brackets and the accompanying cornices are a major focal point for ornamentation. Brackets are paired, are of extended height, and have medieval drop pendants. Also, the window heads have been reinterpreted to their more elaborate molded American forms.

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Last updated 20 March 2000 

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