Second Empire Style, also called Napoleon III Style, was the predominant Architectural Style during the second half of the 19th century, in Europe and internationally.
WHO WAS NAPOLEON III?
Napoleon III, also called (until 1852) Louis-Napoléon, in full Charles-Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte was born in 1808 in Paris and was died in 1873.
He was the only President (1848-1852) of the French Second Republic and, as Napoleon III, the Emperor (1852–70) of the Second French Empire. He was the first President of France to be elected by a direct popular vote.
Napoleon III modernized the French banking system, greatly expanded and consolidated the French railway system, and made the French merchant marine the second largest in the world.
Beginning in 1866, Napoleon had to face the mounting power of Prussia, as Chancellor Otto von Bismarck sought German unification under Prussian leadership. In July 1870, Napoleon entered the Franco-Prussian War without allies and with inferior military forces. The French army was rapidly defeated and Napoleon III was captured at the Battle of Sedan. The French Third Republic was proclaimed in Paris, and Napoleon went into exile in England, where he died in 1873.
ABOUT the STYLE:
The Second Empire style was borrowed from France. Under the emperor’s direction, much of Paris was rebuilt with wide avenues and striking monumental buildings replacing medieval alleys and structures. The reconstruction of Paris in the Second Empire style had a major impact on building design throughout Europe and the United States.
The prototype for Second Empire style is the Opera Garnier, in Paris, designed by Charles Garnier.
Info source: https://architecturestyles.org/second-empire
In Europe, this style is particularly prominent in:
- Paris and Vienna, both of which were both heavily redeveloped on the late 19th century.
- Rome also saw a huge expansion after the Risorgimento, where the Bank of Italy designed by Gaetano Koch is a notable example.
- in Britain, at the end of the nineteenth century, the style is exemplified by Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, designed by Edwin Alfred Rickards.
- In Germany the style characterizes most of the apartment and public buildings of the period, including the Reichstag building, Berlin.
Info source: https://www.britannica.com/art/Second-Empire-style
UNITED STATES AND CANADA
In the United States, representative buildings include the Old City Hall, Boston (G.F.J. Bryant and Arthur D. Gilman, 1862–65) and the State, War, and Navy Department Building, Washington, D.C. (Alfred B. Mullett with Gilman, consultant, 1871–75).
Although great variations exist, general characteristics can be identified:
- Mansard roof (straight, straight with flare, concave, convex, S-curves) with dormers.
- Entry porch with stoop
- Marble fireplaces with arched openings
- Tall arched windows with decorative cornices
- Two-over-two double-hung sash
- Windows flanked by columns or pilasters
- Columns were usually paired and supported entablatures that divided the floors of the building
- Exterior veranda with balustrades