Feature Story

Architectural Terms - A Glossary

Allied Arts Publishing Company of Chicago, publishers of Park and Cemetery Magazine during the 1910s and 1920s, also published the Monument Dealer's Manual in 1919. The manual was billed as "The Monument Man's Encyclopedia", and as "A Hand Book of Ready Reference to Useful Information for the Monument Craft." Articles included Cleaning Discolored Marble, Crushing Strength of Granites, How to Make Scagliola, and this article, Architectural Terms - A Glossary. We suggest that you print out the pictures below, and the next time you are conducting a cemetery walk in your town, begin pointing out the fillets, apex, lintels, and triglyphs on headstones, and you will gain great respect and admiration from the attendees!

Abacus— The uppermost member of the capital of a column, immediately under the architrave.

Acroter (also spelled Acroterium) — The ornamental finish to the apex of a gable, generally in Gothic architecture; also, a small pedestal for statues or other ornaments placed on the apex and at the basal angles of a pediment.

Annulets— A small flat fillet, encircling a column, used alone or with other moldings; several times repeated under the Doric capital.

Antefix— An ornament similar to the acroter, but smaller; ranged along the frieze; sometimes concealing the ends of the joint tiles of the roof, or pierced for the escape of water. Occurs on modern monumental buildings in the antique style.

Architrave— The lower member of an entablature, or the part which rests immediately on the column.

Arris— The sharp edge or salient angle formed by meeting of two surfaces; applied particularly to the edges in the moldings, or the raised edges, separating the flutings of a Doric column.

Cornice— a horizontal, molded or otherwise decorated projection which crowns the part to which it is affixed, as the cornice of an order, pedestal, door, window or house.

Corona— The projecting part of a classic cornice, the under side of which is cut with a channel to form a drip.

Echinus— The rounded molding forming the bell of the capital of the Grecian Doric order; the quarter-round molding of the Roman Doric style; a name sometimes given to the egg and dart," or egg and anchor molding.

Entablature— The superstructure which lies horizontally on the columns; it is composed of architrave, the part immediately above the columns, frieze, the central space; and cornice, the upper projecting molding.

Entasis— A slight convex swelling of the shaft of a column.

Fillet (or Taenia) — A narrow, flat member; especially a flat molding separating other moldings; also the space between two flutings in a shaft.

Flute— A channel of curved section; usually applied to one of a vertical series of channels.

Frieze— The middle part of an entablature of an order between the architrave and cornice; a flat member either uniform or broken by triglyphs, often enriched by ornament.

Guttae— A series of ornaments in the form of a frustum of a cone, attached to the lower part of the triglyphs, and also to the lower faces of the mutule in the Doric order.

Lintel— A horizontal member spanning an opening, and carrying the superincum bent weight.

Metope— The space between two triglyphs of the Doric frieze, which the ancients often adorned with carving.

Mutule— A projecting block worked tin-der the corona of a Doric cornice, corresponding to the modillion of the Corinthian and Composite orders.

Parabolic Curve— A curve formed by the intersection of the surface of a cone with a plane parallel to one of its sides. Every point in it is equally distant from a fixed point called the focus and a fixed straight line called the directrix.

Pediment— The triangular space forming the gable of a roof; the triangular space over a portico, door, window, or similar situation.

Pilaster— An upright architectural member right-angled in plan, constructionally a pier, but architecturally corresponding to a column with capital, shaft, and base. The projection from the wall is generally one-third of its width or less.

Rabbet— A longitudinal channel, groove or recess, cut from the edge or face of one body, generally to receive another member; a groove cut for a panel. <

Screen-wall— A dwarf wall or partition carried up to a certain height for separation or protection, as in a church to separate the aisle from the choir.

Shaft— The body of a column, the cylindrical pillar between capital and base.

Stylobate— A continuous flat band, coping or pavement, upon which the bases of a row of columns are supported.

Triglyph— A repeating ornament in a Doric frieze, consisting of a projecting rectangular tablet, divided nearly to the top by two parallel, perpendicular gutters, called glyphs, into three parts or spaces called femora. A half channel is cut upon each of the perpendicular edges of the tablet.

Tympanum— The recessed face of a pediment, within the frame made by the upper and lower cornices; or the space within an arch, and above a lintel or subordinate arch spanning the opening below the arch.