Château Frontenac, Quebec, QC, Canada 1893
Massandra in Crimea (Ukraine), a château of Tsar Alexander III, completed in 1900.
Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina, USA.

Châteauesque is one of several terms, including Francis I style,[1] and, in Canada, the Château Style, [2] that refer to a revival architectural style based on the French Renaissance architecture of the 15th to the 17th centuries at the châteaux of France's Loire Valley.

The term is credited (by historian Marcus Whiffen) to American architectural historian Bainbridge Bunting [1] although it can be found in publications that pre-date Bunting's birth.

As of 2011, the Getty Research Institute's Art & Architecture Thesaurus includes both "Château Style" and Châteauesque", with the former being the preferred term for North America.

The style frequently featured buildings incongruously ornamented by the elaborate towers, spires, and steeply-pitched roofs of 16th century châteaux, (themselves influenced by late Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture). Despite their French ornamentation, as a revival style, buildings in the châteauesque style do not attempt to completely emulate a French château. Châteauesque buildings were typically built on an asymmetrical plan with an exceedingly broken roof-line and a facade composed of advancing and receding planes.



The style was popularized in the United States by Richard Morris Hunt. Hunt, the first American architect to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris,[3] designed residences, including those for the Vanderbilt family during the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s.[4] A relatively rare style in the United States, concentrated in the Northeast, [3] it was mostly employed for residences of the extremely wealthy, though was occasionally used for public buildings.

The first building in this style in Canada was the 1887 Quebec City Armoury.[5] Many of Canada's grand railway hotels were built in the Châteauesque style, with other buildings mainly public or residential.

In Hungary, Arthur Meinig built numerous country houses in the Loire Valley style. The earliest being Andrássy Castle in Tiszadob, 1885–1890 and the grandest being Károlyi Castle in Nagykároly (Carei), 1893–1895.

The style began to fade after the turn of the 20th century and was absent from new construction by the 1930s.

Architects who built Châteauesque structures


Examples in the United States

Examples in Canada

See also


  1. ^ a b Whiffen, Marcus, ‘’American Architecture Since 1780: A guide to the styles’’, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1969 p142
  2. ^ Maitland, Hucker and Ricketts, ‘’A Guide to Canadian Architectural Styles’’, Broadview Press, Peterborough, ONT, 1992 p 93
  3. ^ a b McAlester, Virginia & Lee (1996). A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 375. ISBN 0-394-73969-8. 
  4. ^ Stein, Susan R., ed., ‘’The Architecture of ‘’Richard Morris Hunt’’, University of Chicago Press, Chicago IL, 1986 p 151
  5. ^ Maitland, Hucker and Ricketts, ‘’A Guide to Canadian Architectural Styles’’, Broadview Press, Peterborough, ONT, 1992 p. 94

External links

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