Throughout its extensive history, Pensacola, Florida, has flown not one but five flags.
Having been governed by the Spanish, French, British and Americans, is it any wonder that this city contains a wide range of architectural styles within just a few city blocks?
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about architecture and the difference between styles, Pensacola covers them all.
Here are the top 10 types of architecture styles in Pensacola.
Top 10 Types of Architecture Styles in Pensacola
From Greek Revival to Queen Anne and beyond, you’ll find many different types of architecture styles in Pensacola.
Style 1: Greek Revival
Famous throughout the 1830s to 1860s, this architectural style took inspiration from Greek temples.
A Greek Revival building includes,
- A symmetrical shape
- Cornices and friezes
- Porch entry
- A pediment window
You’ll find the best example of Pensacola’s Greek Revival architecture at the Clara Barkley Dorr House.
Built in 1871, this home’s exterior features dentil (tooth-shaped molding). In addition, its porch features columns and a decorative style border (meander) around the bay window cornice.
Style 2: Vernacular
One of the most famous architecture styles in Pensacola is Vernacular.
A Vernacular style home includes several key features:
- Most often built without an architect.
- Built using available, inexpensive, and local materials.
- Used a combination of styles, but common themes would emerge within a community.
You’ll find many historic Vernacular homes in Pensacola. The best example is the King-Hooton House.
The King-Hooton House started as a single dwelling in 1871. In the mid-1950s, the home saw several additions, including a kitchen wing. In addition, this house has:
- Three brick chimneys
- A front gabled roof
- An attached hip-roofed porch
- Two jib windows
- A central entrance inset porch
This eclectic building is a classic example of the Vernacular homes you’ll find throughout Pensacola.
Style 3: Spanish Revival
A Spanish Revival style home typically includes,
- A hipped, gabled, and (sometimes) flat, red-tiled roof
- Stucco exteriors
- Ornate front doors
- Spiral columns
- Cantilever balcony
- Round or square tower
- A colonnade with wrap around porch
In Pensacola, you’ll find some great examples of Spanish Revival architecture in the North Hill Preservation District. Nestled amongst other architectural styles, these homes, built between 1915 and 1940, make up a big part of the city’s history.
Style 4: Gothic Revival
Source Old House Online
Another of the top types of architecture styles in Pensacola is Gothic Revival, which became popular in the 1840s to 1880s.
In general, Medival building characteristics serve as the inspiration for Gothic Revival architecture.
A Gothic Revival home or building will have several features, including,
- Windows and doors with pointed arches
- High-pitched roofs
- Decorative elements and intricate detailing
- Two to three stories
- Steep roofs with bargeboard (decorative boards installed within the gables)
- Paired sash windows
You’ll see most Gothic Revival homes in the Pensacola Historic District.
One of the best examples of Gothic Revival style is the Pensacola Hospital (Old Sacred Heart Hospital). The building is several stories tall and features windows and doors with pointed arches.
Style 5: Queen Anne
Similar to Victorian architecture, you’ll find that Queen Anne style buildings are typically asymmetrical. Queen Anne architecture is also unique for its exterior wood detail, texture, and color.
Several key characteristics of Queen Anne style buildings in Pensacola include,
- Sash windows with many panes of glass
- Bay windows
- Front porch (entry only or wraparound)
- Gabled roofs
- Lacey wood scrollwork
Most commonly built between 1880 and 1910, Pensacola boasts some of the best examples of Queen Anne architecture in North America. Examples of a Queen Anne style home include the historic Marzoni House.
Style 6: Renaissance Revival
Some of the homes built in Pensacola in the 1890s through to the 1930s took inspiration from the Renaissance period of the 16th century.
Typical characteristics of Renaissance Revival architecture include,
- Low-pitched or flat roofs
- Short parapet walls
Pensacola still maintains quite a few Renaissance Revival buildings within its historic districts.
Style 7: Colonial Revival
Colonial Revival is one of the other types of architecture styles you’ll discover in Pensacola.
Dutch, post-Medieval English, Federal, and Georgian architecture inspired Colonial Revival style buildings. So it’s easy to identify a Colonial Revival building by the following characteristics:
- Front gable fan light
- Widow style: six-over-six double hung
- Emphasized front porch (sometimes with cornice, columns, or pediment)
- Symmetrical exterior
- Side wings
You’ll discover Colonial Revival homes in Pensacola in the North Hill Preservation District.
Style 8: Mediterranean Revival
Mediterranean Revival is one of the more popular types of architecture styles in Pensacola.
These buildings differ from Spanish Revival styles because of their distinct, large eave overhangs. However, many of the Mediterranean Revival homes in Pensacola do feature some elements of Spanish Revival, like spiral columns.
Mediterranean Revival architecture typically features:
- Wide overhanging eaves
- Decorative columns
- Stucco, masonry-veneer, or masonry finishes (not wood)
- Roof balustrades
- Pedimented windows
- Window grilles
- Tile roof (but low-pitched)
If you want to see examples of Mediterranean Revival homes, North Hill Preservation District in Pensacola is your best bet.
Style 9: French Creole
Source Old House Online
Most Popular in Louisiana, French Creole buildings stand above the rest.
French Creole buildings are typically lifted from the ground using piers or blocks and use local timbers to build heavy braced frames with Norman truss roofs.
French Creole homes suited Pensacola thanks to the thriving lumber industry of the 1950s.
The Quina House is an excellent example of this architectural style. It dates back to 1810 and is the oldest building still in its original location.
Style 10: Folk Victorian
Folk Victorian and Queen Anne are, in fact, two different architectural styles that share many characteristics. However, the most significant difference between the two is that the middle class built Folk Victorian homes, and the upper class built Queen Anne homes.
So when you compare a Folk Victorian home to a Queen Anne in Pensacola, you’ll notice that the Folk Victorian is smaller in size, won’t have towers, and has less ornate details.
Pensacola offers an excellent opportunity to see an extensive range of building styles within a few short blocks.
It’s a unique experience.
Stately and beautiful, these types of architecture styles in Pensacola offer insight into some of the best construction techniques in North America and beyond.