|The Italianate style began in England as part of the picturesque movement, a reaction to the formal classical styles that had dominated construction for the past 200 years. The first Italianate houses in the United states were built in the early 1840's and were popularized by the pattern books of Andrew Jackson Downing.The Italianate style dominated American houses constructed between 1850 and 1890. By the late 1860's the style had completely overshadowed its earlier companion, Gothic Revival. In New England the Italiante style can clearly be seen in towns and cities that experienced growth during this period. This is the principal style of the "three decker" in so many New England cities.|
The most prominent feature of the Italianate style in the Northeast is the occurrence of large eave brackets under the roof. They have an infinite variety of sizes and shapes. They are usually arranged in pairs and are commonly placed on a deep trim band. The windows commonly have one or two panes and frequently are arched with decorated crowns. Paired and triple windows can be seen. Porches and small entry porches are almost always present.
This is the style of many commercial buildings, town offices and libraries built at this period. Most are wood frame.
Only about 15 percent of Italianate houses have the square tower that characterizes the Italian Villa. In New England it is rare to find a villa style made of stucco with a tile roof but here is one in Cohasset, MA built in 1910 and modeled after a villa in Tuscany.