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Cupola History

What are cupolas? A cupola can almost look like a small house on top of your home. Some cupolas are very large and can be entered from the inside of a home. A person can stand inside of this type of roof cupola and look out over the land. These kinds of cupolas are also known as “widow’s walks.” In times long ago, women would look out to the sea, searching for the ships that would bring their men home from a long ocean voyage from these types of roof cupolas.

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However, cupolas were not really developed to improve the view from your home. Roof cupolas are based on 8th century Islamic architecture. Designers covered the minarets on top of mosques with weather shields. It took a while for Europeans to catch on, but cupolas were popular there by the end of the 17th century. Cupolas immigrated to the United States along with Europeans. Roof cupolas were very popular in the new country after the Revolutionary War.

What do cupolas do? Roof cupolas save money. They allow moist, hot air to escape from a home. This helps keep the wood in your home from rotting prematurely. Cupolas will also help prevent mildew and help prevent paint from peeling.

What other structures traditionally use cupolas? Barn cupolas used to be quite popular. Farmers would design their barn cupolas to reflect their individuality. People who are restoring barns today are considering traditional-style barn cupolas to make sure that their barns have the right look. The word cupola comes from the Latin meaning of “little cupo” or little dome, but we are familiar with the wonderful wooden cupolas or American barns or stables and the elegant cupolas on most public buildings. In fact, installing cupolas atop a barn allows continual air to dry the hay stored high in the barn. Old Yankee farmers referred to cupolas as “a roof over a hole in the roof.”

The Governor Cupolas are recommended for a large home or commercial building and add increased value to your home, as well as charming accents.

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