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What Is a Pilaster?


Photo @ Jackie Craven; licensed to About.com

Detail showing pilaster strips with capitals surrounding the front door on a Cape Cod house.

Photo of Cape Cod house @ Jackie Craven

A pilaster is a rectangular support that resembles a flat column. The pilaster projects only slightly from the wall, and has a base, a shaft, and a capital. Greek Revival homes often have pilasters.

Alternate Spellings:



"The fluted pilaster, so prevalent in Burgundy and Provence, is not Byzantine--in fact, it is seldom, if ever, used in Byzantine architecture." - Frederick Moore Simpson, A History of Architectural Development (1909), p. 204.

P: Architecture Terms Starting With P
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