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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.




MANSARD ROOF

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Roof.jpg
One the best clues to Second Empire architecture is the mansard roof.
MANSARD ROOF. Mansard roofs are unique because they continue down over the upper section of a building's walls.

Mansard roofs became popular as a result of a tax ruling in France where taxes due on homes were determined on the number of floors. A man named Mansard nailed shingles over the top floor of his home and claimed that this made the area inside an attic and therefore not subject to taxation. He was taken to court by tax officials, but won his case. See: SECOND EMPIRE ARCHITECTURE