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What Is a Parapet?

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A parapet rises above the cornice on this Victorian building in Troy, NY

A parapet rises above the cornice on this Victorian building in Troy, NY.

Photo ©Jackie Craven
Definition:

A parapet is a low wall projecting from the edge of a platform, terrace, or roof. Parapets may rise above the cornice of a building or form the upper portion of a defensive wall on a castle.

Examples:

  • In Mission style homes, rounded parapets are often used as decorative features.

  • Casa Calvet by architect Antoni Gaudí has elaborate sculptural parapets.

  • The parapet along the roof of Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain is a defensive battlement

  • A series of stepped parapets decorates the gable of the medieval Old-New Synagogue in Prague

  • Parapets can also be seen on the roof of the Gothic Revival Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, New York
Quote:

"Mr. Kaufmann was out Sunday (December 20) and found a new fracture in the south parapet wall over center bolster beam. This is another proof that the southeast corner has gone down." - Correspondence from contractor Walter Hall to architect Frank Lloyd Wright in December, 1936, concerning the problematic construction of Fallingwater.

Also Known As:

parapetto, breastwork, Brustwehr

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