Nineteenth Century architecture speaks to what is nineteenth century architecture and define nineteenth century architecture for buildings.
19th century architecture gave North America the greatest number and types of buildings that survive to today. Factors which were responsible were patterns of settlement, industrialization, urbanization, the development of architecture as a profession, social changes and new and exciting architectural styles.
The start of these styles of architecture was after the Napoleonic Wars when there was a great increase in European immigration to North America. At first most of the immigrants settled in the coastal areas and through time migrated to the interior. At the beginning of the century most settlements were agricultural but by the end of the century much of the population was definitely predominantly urban.
Architecture was affected by industrial development in two ways. As the century progressed more of the building industry became industrialized because component parts such as moulding and metalwork was mass produced and the production of lumber was standardized. The improved manufacturing techniques changed the production of most materials used in construction, such as glass, iron and steel structural members and brick.
Industrialization also demanded new categories of building type to serve the needs of an increasing urban population such as water treatment and water filtration plants, fire halls, exhibition halls, factories and many more. This resulted in the construction of buildings whose appearance was different from the previous.
Society now demanded that cities be healthy and safe by addressing the ever present threats of fire and disease. During this time improved heating and ventilating systems were invented, water supply and sewage removal were improved, and the advent of gas and electricity improved home safety and were made bright. Improved methods of transportation allowed people to move away from the dirty commercial and industrialized sections into the cleaner more residential communities.
Nineteenth century style was dominated by three themes, the philosophy of the picturesque, historicism and the survival of traditional forms.
Despite regional differences nineteenth century architecture is easy to recognize throughout North America due t in part this period’s love of ornament which was an essential part of all the predominant styles. It took the form of applied sculpture, pattern work, colour, the play of light and shadow across the surface of the building and contrasting textures. One good side effect of this emphasis on decoration was the revival of craftsmen’s arts such as stone carving, woodworking and the manufacture of stained glass.
By the late 1890s and early 1900s a more disciplined classical school appeared and Victorian architecture was on the way out.