The Architecture and Development of New York City with Andrew S. Dolkart Close
Glossary
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  Art Deco (also called Style Moderne)
A style of architecture popular in New York in the late 1920s and 1930s, found especially on skyscrapers, apartment buildings, and small commercial structures. The stylized geometrical and organic ornament is heavily based on French precedents, especially those seen on the pavilions and decorative exhibits at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Besides French forms, American designers also incorporated motifs from Northern European expressionist architecture and from pre-Columbian design.

Beaux-Arts
A style of architecture popular in New York at the turn of the twentieth century, used in particular on public buildings, mansions, and apartment buildings. The style is based on conservative design ideas taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and used on contemporary French buildings. Beaux-Arts buildings are identifiable by their sculptural massing; carefully laid out, often axial plans; and exuberant sculptural ornament, notably a use of cartouches.

buttress
An exterior structural support—usually masonry—that is placed against a wall.

mansard
A roof with a steep slope and flat top, usually clad in slate and pierced by dormer windows. Named for French architect François Mansart, who popularized its use.

polychromy
multicolored

soffit
The underside of a projecting eave, cornice, or other building element.

spandrel
The triangular space formed when an arch is set within a rectangle.

terra-cotta
Literally "burnt earth"; a clay ornament made in molds and fired. The front of the clay piece is often glazed either in imitation of stone or with decorative coloration.

terrazzo
A flooring material composed of crushed marble and plaster that is poured into frames of metal. Popular for the lobbies of skyscrapers, apartment buildings, and movie palaces during the 1920s and 1930s, terrazzo floors are often highly colored and arranged in complex patterns.

tesserae
The small pieces of glass, marble, or other material that create a mosaic (singular: tessera).

wainscot
The decorative lower portion of an interior wall; often used to refer to wood or marble paneling.