Within the 1878 North Fitzroy Conservation Study I found there were a number of terms that I was not familiar with, so I have created this glossary to assist others like me that may need some help 🙂 These definitions come from a range of places on the internet – I have provided the link to Buffaloah, while this is an American site, it has lots of images to assist with understanding.

  • Acanthus – A common plant of the Mediterranean, whose stylized leaves form the characteristic decoration on Corinthian and Composite capitals; also appears on acanthus capitals, friezes, panels and modillions.
Acanthus leaf bracket or corbel.
  • Acroterion – Blocks or flat pedestals resting on the apex and on the lowest ends of the pediment to support statues or carved ornaments (Buffaloah)
  • Aedicule – an opening such as a door or window, framed by columns on either side and a pediment above (Collins).
  • Archivolt – One of several parallel curved and often decorated, mouldings on the inside of an arched opening. An arch set immediately inside a larger arch; a band or moulding that surrounds an arch (An archivolt is the equivalent of a curved architrave).
  • Baluster / Balustrade – A railing or wall on a balcony or staircase of upright supports.
  • Columns / Pilasters – A column is a full column where as a pilaster is a shallow decorative pillar attached to a wall. They are often Tuscan, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian in Fitzroy.
This fantastic image from The Early Australian Architects and their Work, by Morton Herman, 1954, p38 is such a great visual image of the differences and how a pilaster differs from a column too!
  • Consoles – a decorative bracket in the form of a vertical scroll that supports a cornice or entablature over a door or window (Buffaloah). Also known as ‘ancone’ which is Greek for elbow or hollow. They are often decorated with Acanthus leaves.
  • Corbel – a bracket usually of stone or brick (Collins). They are generally decorated with acanthus leaf (see acanthus above).
  • Cornice – a strip of plaster, wood or stone which goes along the top of a wall or building (Collins).
  • Dentillated – A small rectangular block with a tooth like cube – used in a series forming a moulding under Ionic and Corinthian and some times Doric cornices.
Dentillated pattern.
  • Façade – the exterior face of a building which is the architectural front
  • Foliated crocket – Decorated leaf carving jutting out at regular intervals. Usually on the top of a column (the capital) or on spires.
Google image – showing the foliated crocket at the top of the columns and pilasters on 39-41 Rushall Crescent, Fitzroy North.
  • Frieze – a decoration high up on the walls of a room or just under the roof of the building. It consists of a long panel of carving or a long strip of paper with a picture or a pattern on it (Collins).
  • Gable – the part of the wall immediately under the end of a pitched roof, cut into a triangular shape by the sloping sides of the roof (Buffaloah).
  • Hoodmold – A projecting moulding above a door, window or archway to throw off rain (Buffaloah)
  • Oculas – A window that has an oval or circular shape resembling an eye; or the round opening at the top of some domes; or the centre of the volutes or spiral scrolls in Ionic Columns (Buffaloah). The latter is the meaning most often used for Fitzroy.
  • Ogee – Is a moulding having a cross section in the form of a letter s (Collins). Below are common verandah finishes:
Image from
  • Palisade – A fence of posts which are driven into the ground (Collins).
  • Parapet – A parapet is a low wall along the edge of something high such as a bridge or roof. (Collins)
  • Patera – A bas-relief decorative oval or circular ornament, resembling a shallow dish. It is similar to a rosette which is not as shallow in depth as a patera (Buffaloah). Also known as a ’roundel’
  • Pediment – A large triangular structure built over a door or window as decoration (Collins). Pediments have different shapes, they can be pointed, curved or broken (to name a few).
  • Pilaster – see column.
  • Polychrome brickwork – is a style of architectural brickwork wherein bricks of different colours are used to create decorative patterns or highlight (Wiki).
  • Quatrefoil – a four-lobed circle or arch formed by cusping. Foil is French for leaf. The number of foils involved is indicated by the prefix.
  • Raking cornice – the sloping edges of a pediment
  • Spandrel panel – in a multistory building, a wall panel filling the space between the top of the window in one story and the sill of the window in the story above. (Buffaloah).
  • Transom – a small window above a door or above another window, this is also known as a ‘fanlight’. (Collins) The transom bar is the piece of timber between the door and the window (Buffaloah).
  • Tympanum – the space inside the pediment. It is ideal for bold sculpture as in Greek temples (Buffaloah).
  • Urn – a vase of varying size and shape usually having a footed base or pedestal (Buffaloah). In Fitzroy these are often on the top of the parapet on the far sides of the terrace. A draped urn is one with the look of material or a veil draped over the top or sides.
  • Vermiculated – Type of emphatic rustication in which the face of each stone is carved with curvilinear formations resembling patterns left by worms (Buffaloah).
  • Verandah / Veranda – a roofed platform along the outside of a house (Collins).
  • Volutes – the spiral scroll as on an Ionic, Corinthian or Composite capital (Buffaloah).
Image from Buffaloah.
  • Voussoir – one of the wedge shaped blocks forming the curved parts of an arch or vault (Buffaloah). The central voussoir is known as the ‘keystone’.


Modified picture of 77 McKean Street showing some of the terms.
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