Time for another MissPres Architectural Word of the Week. As we move right along through the alphabet, you can check out our past words here. Have you been keeping an eye out for these elements like I have? While last week’s word might be out of the norm our word this week is a little more common. It is also our first word that has two architectural meanings.
This week’s word is brought to you by the letter I for “Imbrex” as defined by Cyril M. Harris’s Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture.
Imbrex: (ˈimˌbreks, -briks) 1.A tile, semicircular in shape, which fits over the joints in a tile roof. 2. One of the scales in ornamental imbrication.
Our three little cottage examples from Natchez all have asbestos barrel tiles for the Imbrex (first instance of the definition) at the ridges and hips of their roofs. I had thought that the asbestos roofing tiles on the pitch of each roof might be the second form of the definition. But upon looking up the definition of Imbrication I learned my assumption was incorrect because the shingle material has to be perpendicular to its neighbor, rather than on an angle like our example shingles all are.
An example of the second form of the definition can be seen in another image from the HRI database of a Queen Anne style house with some ornamental shingles that are an example of imbrication. Another example of the first form of the definition can be seen in a post back in February where Malvaney talked about the sprucing up of the clay tile roof on the Standard Oil building in Jackson.
Do you have a favorite building in Mississippi that has an Imbrex used in a different way then our examples? If so please share! Keep your eyes out for an Imbrex tile or an imbrication pattern in shingles this week and stay tuned for the next MissPres Architectural Word of the Week!