The City of Canton
Historic Preservation Commission


GLOSSARY TERMS

ANTIQUITIES ACT OF MISSISSIPPI - The Antiquities Act of 1972 was enacted to locate, protect, and preserve sites, objects, buildings, shipwrecks, and locations of historical, archeological, or architectural interest in the state. The approval of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History is required for the transfer of, or construction activities on, state, county, or municipal lands or water which may affect objects, buildings, ship- wrecks, and locations of historical, archaeological, or architectural interest.

ARCH - A means of spanning an opening by use of small units of masonry. Typically, a curved structural element which spans an opening and supports weight above.

ARCHITRAVE - The molding around a door or window opening; also in classic architecture, the lowest member of the entablature resting on the capital of the column.

BALUSTER - A short post or pillar in a series with a top and bottom rail.

BALUSTRADE - A series of balusters, or posts, with a top and bottom rail, as along a staircase.

BAY - The regular division of the facade of a building, usually defined by windows or other vertical elements.

BEADED BOARD - A siding of narrow boards with beads run between boards, usually used on exterior ceilings.

BELT COURSE - A horizontal band around a building, often of a contrasting material.

BOARD AND BATTEN - Vertical siding consisting of flat members with narrow projecting strips to cover the joints.

BOND - The pattern in which bricks are laid to increase the strength or enhance the design.

BRACKET - A small carved or sawn wooden projecting element which supports a horizontal member such as a cornice.

CAPITAL - The top member of a column or pilaster.

CASEMENT WINDOW - A window hinged on the side that opens outward.

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS - A document evidencing the approval of the preservation commission for work in the historic district proposed by an applicant.

CERTIFIED LOCAL GOVERNMENT - A federal program authorized by the National Historic Preservation Amendments Act of 1980 that provides for the participation of local governments in a federal/state/local government preservation partnership. The federal law directs the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) (in Mississippi, the director of the Department of Archives and History) and the Department of Interior to certify local governments to participate in this partnership.

CLAPBOARD - Siding consisting of overlapping horizontal boards, usually thicker at one edge than the other.

COLUMN - A vertical support, usually supporting a horizontal member or roof above.

CORNERBOARD - A vertical strip of wood placed at the corners of a frame building to terminate the wood siding and give the comer a finished appearance.

CORNICE - A projecting ornamental molding along the top of a wall, window, or door.

DORMER - A window that projects through the slope of the roof that is sheltered by its own small roof.

DOUBLE-HUNG WINDOW - A window with two sashes, one sliding vertically over the other.

EAVE - The overhang at the bottom edge of a roof surface that projects beyond the wall surface.

ENTABLATURE - In classic architecture, the horizontal group of elements immediately above the columns or pilasters and consisting of an architrave, frieze, and cornice.

ELEVATION - A drawing of a building facade or object, without an allowance for perspective. An elevation drawing will be in a fixed proportion to the measurement on the actual building.

FACADE - An exterior wall of a building; an elevation; commonly referred to as the front wall.

FANLIGHT - A semi-circular window over a door with radial bars in the form of a open fan.

FASCIA - A horizontal board that covers the ends of rafters.

FENESTRATION - The pattern of windows and doors on an elevation.

FLASHING - A sheet, usually of metal, used to make an intersection of materials weather tight.

FRIEZE - A horizontal band located beneath the cornice at the junction of the exterior wall and roof eaves.

GABLE - The triangular section of a wall that carries a pitched roof.

GABLE ROOF - A roof with a central ridge pole and one slope at each side.

GINGERBREAD TRIM - Pierced curvilinear ornament made with a jig or scroll saw; such as a bargeboard or vergeboard.

HIPPED ROOF - A roof with uniform slopes on all four sides.

HISTORICAL EVIDENCE - Any documented evidence such as newspaper articles, historic photographs or other historic descriptions describing or illustrating how a structure looked during some specified point in its history.

HISTORIC REHABILITATION TAX CREDITS - The Tax Reform Act of 1976 established the first tax credits to encourage rehabilitation of older historic buildings. Currently, a 20% tax credit is available. To qualify for receive tax credits, the building must be income producing, such as commercial space or residential rental. If only a certain portion of a structure is income producing, the tax credit may be received, but only for the percentage of the building that is income producing.

To qualify for Historic Tax Credits:

  1. A building must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as a contributing building or structure in a National Register district
  2. The rehabilitated building must be income producing, either for commercial or residential rental purposes.
  3. The rehabilitation work must be done in accordance with the Secretary of Interiorís Standards for Rehabilitation.
  4. An application must first be processed and reviewed by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History before submittal to the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

JAMB - The side of a doorway or window opening.

LATTICE - An openwork grill of interlacing wood strips, usually in a diagonal pattern, used as screening.

LIGHTS - A section of window, the pane or glass.

LINTEL - A beam that spans an opening and is supported on vertical posts at each end. A horizontal element over a window or door opening that supports the wall above.

MISSISSIPPI LANDMARK - A public site, object, building, ship-wreck, or location of historical, archeological, or Architectural interest officially designated a landmark by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History as empowered under the provisions of the Antiquities Act. An easement in perpetuity is filed with the deed in the chancery clerkís office in the county where the landmark is located. Approval of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for any construction activities or transfer of property ownership.

MULLION - The strip of wood separating the lights of a window.

MUNTIN - The strip of wood separating the lights of a window.

NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK - A district, site, building, structure, and/or object that has been formally designated as a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior and possesses exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States in history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture and that possesses a high degree of integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association. Designation of a National Historic Landmark status automatically lists a property in the National Register of Historic Places.

NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES - The official list of the nationís cultural resources worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archaeological resources. The National Register is administered on the federal level by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, and on the state level by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Certified Local Governments now also have to approve National Register nominations.

NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION - The only national, private, nonprofit organization chartered by Congress with the responsibility for encouraging public participation in the preservation of sites, buildings, and objects significant in American history and culture. The National Trust no longer received federal financial assistance. Its income derives from membership dues, endowment funds, contributions, grants, and proceeds from program services.

PALLADIAN WINDOW - An arched window flanked by two smaller square-headed windows.

PARAPET - The uppermost portion of the exterior wall which extends above the roof line. It forms the top line of the building silhouette.

PEDIMENT - A low pitched gable above a portico, doors, windows, usually with decorative elements or carvings inside the gable portion.

PIER - An upright structure, usually of masonry, which serves as support for the floor joists and walls.

PILASTER - A shallow rectangular pier projecting only slightly beyond a the wall surface and normally treated as a column with a capital and a base.

PITCH - The degree of the slope of a roof.

PORTICO - A roofed space, open or partially enclosed, forming the entrance and center piece of the facade, often with detached or attached columns and a pediment.

QUOIN - Units of stone, brick, or other material used to accentuate the comers of a building.

RAFTERS - Structural supports placed at an angle to carry a pitched roof.

RIDGE - The line at the top of a sloped roof.

RISER - The vertical face of a stair step.

SASH - The movable framework holding the glass in a window or door.

SCROLLWORK - Open woodwork produced by a jigsaw.

SECRETARY OF THE INTERIORíS STANDARDS FOR REHABILITATION AND GUIDELINES FOR REHABILITATING HISTORIC STRUCTURES - A federal document delineating ten standards and numerous guidelines for the sensitive rehabilitation and preservation of historic buildings. These ten standards are the ten commandments of preservation theology and are integrated into most of Americaís preservation ordinances.

SIDELIGHT - A narrow vertical window usually found on both sides of a door.

SIDING - The material used to cover the exterior of a building to weatherproof it.

SILL - The horizontal water-shedding member at the bottom of a door or window frame.

SOFFIT - The underside of a cornice.

STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICER/OFFICE - The official within each state who has been designated and appointed by the governor to administer the federal and state historic preservation program in a state (in Mississippi, the director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History ); that agency of the state which provides administrative and technical support to the state historic preservation officer in carrying out federal and state historic programs. In Mississippi, the state historic preservation office is the Historic Preservation Division of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

STUCCO - A type of exterior plaster applied as a two or three part coating directly onto masonry, or applied over wood or metal lath to a wood frame structure. Stucco is sometimes scored and colored to represent large stone blocks.

TERRA COTTA - Cast and fired clay units, used as decorative ornamentation.

TRANSOM - A small operable or fixed window located above a door or window.

TREAD - Horizontal part of a stair step.

TURNED COLUMN - A column that has been turned on a lathe to form rounded bands and shapes.

TRELLIS - Lattice work as an outdoor screen, often a support for vines and other plantings.

TURRET - A small slender tower with a conical roof.

VERGEBOARD - The vertical face board following and set under the roof edge of a gable, sometimes decorated by carving.

VERNACULAR - Indigenous, characteristic of a locality.


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