Circa 1855 — 1885
One of the first architectural styles of the Victorian era was called Second Empire. At the time, it was considered a very modern building style mainly due to its use of me mansard roof. The mansard roof, which developed in France in the l6th century, is a type of hipped roof that has an almost vertical pitch to allow for an extra living space in what would be just an attic space in other structures. The most popular shape for a Second Empire building was either the basic square or rectangular shape or the basic square or rectangle with the addition of a center gable or wing. Other popular versions built in this style were the asymmetrical shape, the towered version, and the town-house. In urban environments the Second Empire town-house was especially useful since its upper most floor is hidden behind a roof, which made these rows of homes appear less substantial.
Dormer windows were always found in use roof of Second Empire homes and these dormers were decorated with scrolls and elaborate surrounds. The windows were also hooded and the double hung window sashes contained paired panes. Like the Italianate style, Second Empire windows were sometimes paired and the cornice was bracketed, although not as heavily as the Italianate brackets were and the eaves did not overhang as far.