Second Empire Style (1860-1890)

Defining Elements of the Second Empire Style:

  • Similar in detail to Italianate Style, but with a Mansard roof, often with dormers.
  • Modillions or cornice brackets supporting the overhanging eaves.
  • Symmetrical or asymmetrical façade.
  • Side hall or center hall plans.
  • Decorate quoins at the corner.
  • Projecting bays, one or two stories in height and elevated porches are very common.
  • Tall narrow windows, some arched or curved at the top. Sometimes paired. 2/2 sashes are common.
  • Projecting hoods supported by brackets above doors and windows.
  • Square tower or turret common.
  • Wood frame or masonry construction.
  • Very common in Portland for buildings constructed after Great Fire of 1866, commercial and multi-family buildings from this period are usually masonry.
  • Commercial buildings often have elaborate wood or cast iron storefronts.
  • Multi-color slate roofs common.

Examples of Second Empire Style Architecture in Greater Portland: