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DESIGN GUIDELINES WORKBOOK

PREPARED BY:
The Cecil Group, Inc. Funding provided by DHCD

July 2005

HOPKINTON DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION COMMITTEE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section I Overview
Introduction and Purpose The Design Guideline Area Showcase Buildings 1 2 4

Section II Design Guidelines


Overall Goals and Organization Faade Design Exterior Materials Doors and Windows Storefront Design Awnings Lighting Signage Equipment New Construction 7 8 10 12 14 16 17 18 20 21

Section III- Appendices


Appendix 1: Anatomy of a Building Faade Appendix 2: Glossary of Terms 23 24

Hopkinton Downtown Design Guidelines

OVERVIEW Introduction and Purpose


This workbook summarizes general guiding principles for the design and renovation of commercial faades in downtown Hopkinton. These guidelines are intended for Main Street, with a particular focus on the segment that stretches between Hayden Rowe Street and Marshall Avenue. However, they could also be applied to other areas of town where commercial buildings and storefronts are available. These guidelines have been compiled from similar experiences in other Massachusetts town centers characterized by a strong historical character and local identity. They have been prepared for the Hopkinton Downtown Revitalization Committee as a resource to inform business and property owners of preferred approaches to design, and may eventually become a tool for the implementation of a faade improvement program. Consequently, these guidelines are mainly focused on faade and storefront design concepts. Given the historic character of the downtown, the guidelines also include some commonly accepted and well-recognized principles of good historic renovation. Founded in 1715, the Town of Hopkinton has a central Historic District characterized by beautiful examples of Colonial Revival, Greek Revival, and Queen Anne architecture. The boundaries of the district overlap with the town business center along portions of Main Street and, as a result, an extraordinary array of historic commercial and residential buildings set the basic character of the downtown area. Centered on the historic Town Common, the district gathers international attention each year on Patriots Day, when thousands of runners come to Hopkinton for the start of the Boston Marathon. Preparations for the famous event start weeks before and include cleaning and embellishment of the Common and the heart of the downtown. Members of the Hopkinton Garden Club volunteer precious hours of effort to landscape traffic islands, planters and nooks along the Main Street. Once the runners take off, lives return to a normal pace, but the effects of Aprils cleanup and preparations are visible for the rest of the spring and the entire summer, as beautiful flowers bloom and decorate street corners. It is within this special context that the Hopkinton Downtown Revitalization Committee has set its goals for improvement of the quality of design in the downtown, including the preparation of these guidelines. This workbook is not intended to substitute or expand the Towns official Design Criteria and Recommendations established by the Zoning Bylaw Article XXI Design Review. In case of any actual or perceived conflict between the contents of these guidelines and the Hopkinton Zoning Bylaw, the Bylaw is the binding regulation. These guidelines have been compiled by The Cecil Group, a planning and design firm located in Boston, with funding available through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

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The Design Guideline Area


The intended area of application for these design guidelines stretches along Hopkintons Main Street from its starting point at the Common (Hayden Rowe Street) until reaching the western edge of the downtown Business District. Its northern and southern boundaries roughly encompass the depth of the buildings located on both sides of the street, and are represented on the map below.

As shown on the diagram, the boundaries of the Historic District, the Business Zoning District, and the Guideline Area, all overlap on several commercial properties located between Church Street and Grove Street. These are without any doubt some of the oldest and most valuable buildings in Town, and it is likely that they were originally intended as residences. A landmark building in this area is the Hopkinton Public Library, originally formed in 1820 and officially incorporated in 1890. Its elegant proportions and masonry exterior walls define a commanding presence at the corner of Main and Church Streets. Another important civic landmark that provides institutional presence and identity along the same stretch of Main Street is the Town Hall, located practically across the street from the Public Library.

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Next to the Town Hall and on the same side of the street we can find some of the oldest storefronts in the downtown, which date back to the early 1900s and exhibit large display windows and recessed entrances made possible by the new cast iron construction technologies available at that time. A typical example that has been used to illustrate design guidelines at the national level is the faade of the current Caf Italiano. The historic storefront is shown in a photograph probably taken in the 1960s, included as an illustration on page 42 of The Secretary of the Interiors Standards for Rehabilitation & Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings, a publication of the U. S. Department of Interior that sets federal standards and guidelines for historic preservation. West of the Grove Street intersection, Main Street becomes less historic and more contemporary. Newer buildings such as the gas station and the grocery store at the corner of Grove and Main, the Fire Department and Police Headquarters, and 77 Main Street respond to modern patterns of development. In this area, buildings are setback from the front property line and parking is often located between the sidewalk and the building. Fewer storefronts are available, and visual interaction between pedestrians and businesses is more fragmented. As a result, the design character and image along this stretch of Main Street becomes more rural and less pedestrian-oriented, in spite of the presence of ground floor commercial uses.

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Showcase Buildings
There are some extraordinary buildings within the Design Guideline Area with outstanding design qualities that make them representative of their time and period style of architecture. It is to these buildings that we can refer as models and fine examples of good design, from which we can derive lessons and inspiration.

35 Main Street

An outstanding example of Greek Revival style architecture, this building is currently under renovation for business use. An elegant two-story temple front, gabled pediment, and freestanding Ionian columns adorn the front of the building in a way typical of the period style. Even though the faade is setback from the street, its historical quality and majestic proportions set a commanding presence. Signage consists of a single ground sign (not seen in the photograph) advertising the multiple businesses located in the building without interfering with the design and historical character of the faade. An important lesson to learn from this building is the importance of employing authentic materials and methods of construction when renovating historic buildings. In this particular case, the richness of detail that gives the faade its beauty and character could have been easily lost by the use of inappropriate materials (such as metal or vinyl siding) or by a lack of skilled craftsmanship during the faade restoration process.

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43 Main Street

This property is another great example of the Greek Revival style, also located within the historic district boundaries. In addition to its architectural value, this property is a good example of downtown mixed-use, with a front commercial building facing the street and adorned with a pediment storefront. The main building on the site is used for residential purposes. The historical features of the faade have been respected and carefully maintained in both structures, in spite of their contrasting uses. The storefront in particular is a good example of careful and sensible historic renovation, in which the typical Greek Revival frieze or entablature is used for the placement of a signage band that extends across the faade. Parking is located to the rear of the lot and the main entrance for the residential building takes place from its side elevation. In this particular case, the side entrance contributes to differentiate between the private face of the residential use in comparison to the public face of the store, which opens directly into the street. It is interesting to notice that both buildings are substantially different in terms of use, size, access, and faade design. However, they are formally related by the use of gabled pediments, the overall proportions and treatment of the faades, accentuated by strong pilasters defining the corners of the buildings, and the use of wood materials. The storefront is enhanced by the provision of an outdoor seating terrace, which contributes to the overall character and appeal of the business as well as the public space.

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85 Main Street

Originally built in 1894 as a High School, 85 Main Street is a good example of Victorian public architecture, successfully adapted to modern business use. Masonry accents were used to animate the brick faade by incorporating variations in scale, rhythm, color and texture. The main floor windows are capped with lintels; the upperstory windows are finished with arches, establishing a different design character for the area of the faade where the walls meet the roof. It is important to notice the use of a freestanding ground sign to advertise the multiple businesses that are located in the premises. The sign is tastefully designed and built in good quality materials, including wood and bronzed letters. It is visibly located close to the sidewalk. However, its size, shape and color do not detract from the detailed architecture of the faade. This building may not necessarily be assumed as a model for district improvements given its unique quality and character. However, important lessons can be derived from the way materials are treated and combined to introduce variations in the design of the faade. Also the high quality of design and construction that has been employed in this building could be held as a standard for new construction and renovation efforts.

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DESIGN GUIDELINES Overall Goals and Organization


These design guidelines are intended to provide for a coherent and attractive business and civic environment along Main Street in downtown Hopkinton. They are intended to apply to those portions of buildings that can be seen from public vantage points, and apply to the interior of buildings only to the degree that this influences the appearance from the streets or sidewalks. Overall goals include the following: Restore and protect the historic character - Hopkinton retains buildings that have historic merit, and represent the architecture of past eras and the historic culture of the town. These guidelines seek to preserve characteristics that are genuine and remain, and to restore historic characteristics once associated with existing buildings where they can be reasonably and practically restored. Enhance the town center as a commercial area - Downtown Hopkinton contains multiple service and retail businesses. As such, the guidelines promote a consistently high quality that will be attractive to visitors and patrons of the area. Reinforce the town center as a civic place - Downtown Hopkinton serves its residents as a civic center, and contains public uses in addition to the businesses and residences. As such, the town center should have an attractive appearance and display the unique qualities of its past and present.

These guidelines are organized into subsections that address faade design elements and components: Faade Design Exterior Materials Doors and Windows Storefront Design Awnings Lighting Signage Equipment New Construction

The information within each subsection is further organized into goals overall principles that should be followed and guidelines - specific intentions or directions for new designs or renovations.

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Faade Design
Goals Building and faade designs should be harmonious with the immediate neighbors and historic site organization along Main Street, with primary orientation towards the street, and doors and storefronts facing the sidewalk. Faades and visible roofs should strive to be visually interesting and attractive along areas that will be seen by the public. Faade improvements, in general, should respect a building's original style where the building is historic, or where the original building design is of high quality and distinctive character. Previous renovations that have taken place over the course of time are sometimes evidence of the history of a building and its environment. If these alterations have acquired their own significance, they should be respected. A unified architectural style should be determined for each project and used consistently for all elements of the building wall and roof. Building doors and windows should be consistent in proportion, size and configuration with the architectural styles that are determined to be appropriate for the building. However, in the case of a use that is housed in multiple buildings, the underlying integrity of each building should be preserved to the extent that historic qualities remain. Guidelines Distinguishing original qualities and features of a faade should be preserved; elements that make a building special should be identified and preserved if at all possible. Faade design should take into account the locations and proportions of the faade elements and signage bands of adjacent buildings.

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Faade colors should be complementary to the natural materials used on a building and to the buildings adjacent to it. The palette of colors used on a building should be in accord with the materials of the building faade. Generally muted tones and colors are appropriate for most faade materials except for trim and special storefront elements. The use of historic colors in the renovation or replacement of historic elements is highly encouraged. Lists of historic color suppliers are available at local historical organizations and the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. Blank walls without any visual content or interest should be avoided along pedestrian sidewalks and parking areas, and on front faades in general. Individual buildings and their storefronts should appear distinct, even when a single use spans multiple storefronts. Historic roof forms should be retained or restored. Additions should have roof forms that are compatible with the forms of the building to which they are attached. If original facade elements have been removed or substantially altered over time, contemporary treatments are not discouraged. However, they should retain traditional principles and be of a character appropriate to the area.

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Exterior Materials
Goals In general, high quality materials should be used that convey substance and integrity. The use of materials that are traditional and historically typical to Hopkinton is encouraged. This includes an emphasis on wood, masonry, brick with stone accents, and wood clapboard finishes for renovations or reconstructions. Exterior materials should be consistent with the historic style that is used to compose the faade. Guidelines The consistent use of a dominant building material for the faade is encouraged, rather than multiple materials, such as brick and clapboard combinations. The use of real materials, rather than imitations, is strongly encouraged. Imitation materials, such as vinyl siding, plastic tile roofing, or brick veneer are strongly discouraged. Materials that are typical of low cost and low quality construction, or appear to be masking or patching an underlying faade material should be avoided. Where possible, materials used to patch or repair existing faades should match original, desirable materials.

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If metal is used, it should be appropriate to the building, and convey a sense of quality to assure an attractive appearance over time. Materials used near sidewalks and adjacent to the entrance shall be durable and compatible with other building materials. Plywood or other wood panel sheathing materials should be avoided unless they are incorporated as a panel within a frame and are durable for exterior use. Minor decorative elements, such as faade ornaments, decorative fasteners, or small accents can be of any rigid, durable material that will be in harmony with the faade. Downspouts and gutters should be of a material and color that is compatible with the building walls. If the building is historic, the style of downspouts and gutters should be appropriate to the original character of the faade. Flashing materials should not be conspicuous. In the case of historic structures, traditional flashing materials such as copper may be appropriate and are encouraged. Repointing of brick or other masonry faades should employ grout materials and tooling that are appropriate to the architectural style of the building.

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Doors and Windows


Goals Primary entrances are principal elements of orientation and welcome in a faade, and should be designed accordingly. Windows should respect spacing and size patterns appropriate to the architectural style that is chosen for either renovation or new construction. In general, multiple smaller window openings are preferred for upper stories of buildings. Lower story windows should be appropriate to the uses behind them, but transparency and indication of activity are important. Guidelines Street numbers should be located near the front address and be of adequate size and distinctive color to be visible to the passing motorist. The street number should not be located so that it is obscured when the front door is open. Any special loading and service entrances should be screened from streets, other public ways, and adjacent properties, and their visual impact minimized. Unused entrances should be transformed into other architectural elements appropriate to the architectural style of the building, such as a store window. Entrances should meet the requirements of the Massachusetts Architectural Access regulations. Historic door material and hardware should be restored or repaired where possible. Repair should match existing size, species, profile and configuration.

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Divided lite doors or side lites should be employed only if appropriate for the style of the building faade. Whenever possible, the original window patterns of a building should be restored or retained; avoid blocking, reducing, or changing any original and appropriate pattern of windows when renovating older buildings. An individual, "punched" window expression rather than continuous horizontal or vertical "strip" windows is encouraged whenever possible and appropriate to the building style. Larger scale windows should be used at the ground level. Transparent glazing should be used, and reflective or dark tinted glass avoided. Opaque panels, such as painted metal or spandrel glass, should not be used to replace vision glazing in windows. Where ceilings need to be lowered below the window head, a ceiling soffit should be provided between the lower ceiling and the window head that allows the vision glass to be full height. Shutters should be employed only if they are consistent with the architectural style of the faade. Shutters should not be employed with casement-style windows, bay windows, or broad picture or display windows. Repairing existing historic windows with in-kind materials is preferable to replacement. When existing historic windows are irreparable, replacement windows should replicate existing historic window details.

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Storefront Design
Goals Storefronts refer to those portions of the faade that directly relate to the street and the commerce inside. Most commercial faades consist of an architectural framework designed intentionally for one or more storefronts to occur. The expression of the storefronts should respect the framework and not expand beyond it. Storefronts should be consistent in style with the building architecture, provide clarity and interest to the faade, provide for a high level of transparency, and be harmonious with other adjacent storefronts. It is also important that the distinction between the storefront and the rest of the faade is maintained. Storefront display windows that display products or services, signs with the name of the organization, local business logos, hours, public service messages or displays, or views to an activity in which people are involved frequently during hours of operation are encouraged. Guidelines Primary entrances should be largely transparent, as was traditionally the case with storefront design. This will promote a sense of welcome and safe access. Where a storefront does not serve a retail use and transparency is not practical, window treatments should be employed to create an attractive appearance. A horizontal band or frieze that serves as a signage band should be incorporated at the top of storefronts.

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A base panel and sill course design is traditional for most, although not all, storefront styles. Where it is appropriate for the existing or proposed architectural style, a base panel and sill course should be provided. The base panels and sill course should continue across the entire width of the storefront bay and terminate at doors or the vertical elements framing the bay. The base panel and sill course should be 24" or lower, measured above the sidewalk. Incorporating a glazed transom above the door is encouraged when storefront heights are sufficient to allow for it. This could be used to display the building address. Storefront window transoms should be consistent with door transoms. Transparent storefronts are not necessary for some businesses, such as professional offices. Nevertheless, it is recommended to maintain substantial storefront glazing and provide attractive window treatments rather than opaque panels in order to avoid blank faades along the sidewalk. Items should not be placed in storefront windows that block views to internal activity, such as the backs of display cases, unless they are part of a display to the outside sidewalk or street. Storefront lighting should be confined to highlighting signage and the window display itself. Lighting that attracts attention to itself should be avoided. The use of seasonal planters and window boxes to adorn storefronts and entrances is highly encouraged.

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Awnings
Goals Awnings, canopies and marquees with a traditional design and appearance are encouraged as faade elements, especially when they serve to protect pedestrians from the sun and rain, provide a secondary location for signage, or add color and interest to building storefronts and faades. Awnings should reflect the overall faade organization and storefront locations of a building. Traditional and simple shapes are encouraged, rather than unusual profiles. Guidelines Awnings on a multiple storefront building should be consistent in character, but need not be identical. Awnings should be located within the building elements framing storefront openings. Awnings of a round or bullnose shape should be avoided unless used for a single door or window opening that is not part of a framed storefront. The rigid framework for awnings, canopies or marquees should be no lower than 8 feet above the sidewalk under it. Suspended fabric panels of awnings should be no lower than 7 feet above the sidewalk Awnings made of soft fabrics such as canvas are encouraged, unless replicating prior historical features. Backlit awnings should not be used.

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Lighting
Goals Building lighting should highlight the building or the storefront display rather than attract attention to the light fixture itself. Lighting should be appropriate to the building's architectural style, in order to maintain a positive nighttime image. Guidelines Lighting should render building colors correctly. The preferred lighting should be in the white spectrum, and sodium light sources should be avoided. Fluorescent sources should be avoided for faade or storefront displays. Historically appropriate lighting should be applied to match the building type and style. Lighting fixtures should not be used that are historic in theme, but diverge from the underlying character of the faade. Building lighting should provide an even illumination level while operating. Flashing, pulsating or similar dynamic lighting should not be used. Lighting should not cast glare onto streets, public ways, or onto adjacent properties. Indirect lighting should be provided wherever possible. Indirect lighting is encouraged for signage rather than internally lit signs, preferably from a series of gooseneck or similar extended arm fixtures that direct light to the sign and are compatible with the design of the building.

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Signage
Goals Signage should provide information that is simple and legible, of a size and location that avoids obscuring the architecture of the building. In general, the number of signs on a faade should be kept to the minimum necessary to effectively communicate the messages being conveyed. Too many signs not only compete with each other, they also detract from the appearance of a building and the overall business district. Signage should be unique to Hopkinton rather than being generic, and should focus on advertising local businesses, not national product brand names or logos. Guidelines Signage should employ colors and type faces that complement the primary architectural style of the building. All signs should be of durable materials compatible with the materials of the building served. Wood and metal signs are recommended over less durable materials. Plastic in general is not recommended for use in a historic center. In a multiple storefront building, the signage should be of a size, location, material and color that relates harmoniously between bays.

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Signs on awnings or canopy fabrics advertising the name of the business or organization are encouraged. Signage above the sills of second story windows should be confined to painted letters on window glass provided these signs advertise the organizations therein. Projecting signs may be allowed only for retail uses, and should convey information in a unique way, utilizing images that convey the goods or services provided at the premises. Projecting signs should hang between 8 feet above the ground level and below the sill height of the second floor or roof cornice (whichever is lower). A projecting sign attached to a building should have no more than two faces and should not project more than six feet from the building. Freestanding signs should generally be limited to buildings that have a significant setback or are otherwise not visible from the street or sidewalk, or where other signage is not appropriate to the architecture. Avoid signage that advertises brand names as its major message, unless the brand name is inherent in the name of the business.

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Equipment
Goals The components of building mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems should be concealed from view wherever possible. The visual impact of those building systems and equipment that cannot be concealed should be minimized, and exposed elements of building systems that cannot be hidden, recessed or screened should be blended sympathetically with the building faade. Guidelines Rooftop mechanical equipment should be completely screened by the building parapet wall so as not to be visible from the street and sidewalk. Air conditioning units should not be placed into windows or any other openings visible from the street. Units located in non-window openings are appropriate if they are screened with a grille within the storefront or faade or building wall. Screening of utility feeds and metering devices from public view is encouraged when appropriate.

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New Construction
Goals Hopkinton has a long and vital history as a community, and its town center reflects that history through its architecture. The overall architectural character should reflect the past through respectful restoration and maintenance of the existing historic buildings and features. At the same time, Hopkinton is an active, contemporary community. Designs for new buildings or substantial renovation of existing structures that are without historic features or merit should reflect this vitality in buildings that respect the scale and proportions of traditional buildings, but bring appropriate new materials or treatments to the downtown. This is preferred to reproductions that may be difficult to distinguish from actual historic structures. Guidelines New buildings may have a contemporary character that is respectful of and composed with traditional and attractive design elements (materials, colors, faade organization and proportions). New buildings within the Design Guideline Area should respect and follow the setback patterns of adjacent buildings. The buildings main entrance should face Main Street. Vehicular access should be provided from secondary streets only.

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Parking and loading areas should be located behind the building, not visible from Main Street. Faade designs and storefronts that relate to the historic town character of Hopkinton are encouraged. Faade elements and proportions that differentiate between the ground floor and the upper floors are encouraged. Standardized or generic designs are to be avoided. Within an overall framework of consistent and coherent general principles, variety in the commercial environment is encouraged. In general, businesses should rely on signage, not on signature or symbolic building elements, to advertise themselves and to attract patrons. In new commercial buildings, a strong signage band above the level of the storefront should be considered if flat wall signs are to be employed. New structures should employ simple roof forms compatible with the flat, mansard or gable roof styles typical of the Hopkinton commercial areas.

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APPENDICES

Appendix 1: Anatomy of a Building Faade


The following graphic illustrates key terms and elements that make up a building faade. While each faade has special elements, good building design in a commercial setting will often include some or all of these elements. They are shown here to further the understanding of the proposed design guidelines for downtown Hopkinton.

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Appendix 2: Glossary of Terms


There are many traditional and architectural terms that are used to describe portions of buildings and storefronts. This glossary has been prepared to help clarify the meaning of some of those terms, particularly the ones that have been incorporated into these guidelines. Ashlar - Stone cut and laid in a rectangular shape and pattern. Awning - An element projecting from and supported by the exterior wall of the building, constructed of fabric on a supporting framework, for the purpose of providing shelter or shading windows. Balustrades - Railing of vertical and horizontal elements. Railing can be part of a stair or platform, or a decorative motif at the roof edge. Canopy - A permanent roof-like shelter extending from and supported by the exterior wall of the building, constructed of some durable material such as metal or glass. Canopy Sign - A sign painted on, printed on or attached flat against a canopy or marquee. Clerestory Windows - Windows located well above street level that allow light to enter near the ceiling of the interior. Composition - Arrangement of the parts of a work of art or architecture so as to form a unified, harmonious whole. Cornice - An element at the top edge of a wall where it meets the roof, which usually is profiled to overhang the wall. Dormer - A roof-covered projection from a sloped roof. Facade - Any side of a building which faces a street or open space. Fascia - A facing board used as trim, this term is also sometimes used to refer to the signboard (see below). Fenestration - The door and window openings in a building faade. Gable - The vertical surface that connects two or more sloped roofs. Landscaped Area - The part or parts of a lot developed and permanently maintained in grass and other plant materials, in which the space is open to the sky and is free of all vehicular traffic, parking, loading and storage. Lintel - A spanning element above a window, typically seen in masonry construction. Mansard - A roof with steeply sloping sides, rising to a relatively flat roof at the top. Marquee - Similar to a canopy, but also serves as a location for signage. Massing - The overall form of a building. Pedestrian-oriented - Describes an attitude or accommodation in which the pedestrian is the primary consideration.

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Pilaster - A decorative column or pier that is inset into the face of a wall. Signboard - An area of the storefront above the glazing that was often ornamented and became the traditional location for signage. The term "fascia" is sometimes used for the same element. Setback - The minimum horizontal distance between the street or way line and the line of the building. Soffit - The horizontal underside of any architectural element; usually used in reference to the bottom surface of a roof overhang or the edge of a ceiling. A soffit is often used to conceal structural elements, mechanical equipment, or to transition between different ceiling heights. Style - Specific or characteristic manner of expression, execution, construction, or design in any art, period, work, employment, etc. Symmetrical - Having a regular or balanced arrangement of elements on opposite sides of a center or axis. Transom - The glazed or solid panel immediately above a door. Yard, Front - A yard extending across the full width of the lot and lying between the front line of the lot and the nearest line of the principal building or structure. Vehicle-oriented - Describes an attitude or accommodation in which the vehicle is the primary consideration.

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