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Second Empire


Second Empire, in the United States and Canada, is an architectural style most popular between 1865 and 1900. Second Empire architecture developed from the redevelopment of Paris under Napoleon III's Second French Empire and looked to French Renaissance precedents. It was characterized by a mansard roof, elaborate ornament, and strong massing and was notably used for public buildings as well as commercial and residential design.

Wikipedia contributors, "Second Empire architecture in the United States and Canada," 

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (accessed June 30, 2021).


Major characteristics of Second Empire architecture:

(taken from the Village of Maple Heritage Conservation District Plan 2007, prepared by Phillip H. Carter Architect and Planner in Association with Paul Oberst Architect).


  • Mansard roof in shingle or slate.

  • Elaborately detailed dormers.

  • Decorative masonry work.

  • Large brackets at eaves.

  • Round-head or segmental- arched double-hung wood windows. 

    • 1 over 1 or 2 over 2.

  • Bay windows.


For more information:

Blumenson, John. Ontario Architecture: A Guide to Styles and Building 1784 to the Present. Markham, Ont.: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1990.

2333 Major Mackenzie Drive_edited.jpg

2333 Major Mackenzie Drive

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