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An inexact classification for buildings that share selected architectural features but, unlike an architectural style, may not share consistency of design, form, or ornamentation with other buildings similarly classified. When such buildings seemingly emulate an earlier prototype (for example, American Colonial Revival), important architectural details that characterize the prototype are often either omitted or exaggerated in size or importance; furthermore, other design elements may be added (such as a type of dormer, chimney, or window) that never existed in the prototype; or characteristic building materials of the prototype may be replaced with newer types of materials. Compare with architectural style.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.