The most popular of the Italian styles (which included Italian Villa and commercial Italianate), had its origin in provincial farmhouses of central Italy and owed its popularity, as did many other styles, to the widely circulated pattern books. The stately Italianate, found in every Midwest city and town, appeared at a time of prosperity for the second generation of pioneering families.
FORM: cubic, sometimes rear or side wing(s), usually built later; formally balanced elements, often symmetrical; 2—3 stories, seldom 1; exposed Michigan stone basement.
ROOF: low pitch hip, or medium pitch gable facing street; broad eaves, richly ornamented brackets, often paired; hip roof, sometimes crowned with belvedere (cupola), or widow’s walk with wood balustrade or iron cresting; commercial Italianate has flat roof, short overhangs, often an elaborate cornice.
WINDOWS: tall, double-hung, often with arched heads & prominent hoods; sometimes paired under a single hood.
DOORS: usually paired, with curved tops and glass panels.
PORCHES: often at main entry only, or across entire front with colonade of brackets, knee braces, and arches.
TRIM:projected window jambs and sills; cornice banding under/around eave brackets on hip roofs, ornamental bargeboards on gable roofs; pilasters or quoins on late masonry or stucco examples.