What is a Balustrade?


Text Courtesy of:  Architectural Digest

Text by Stefanie Waldek

August 20, 2015
Patio from the Castle of Vélez Blanco, 1506–15. Photo: Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Patio from the Castle of Vélez Blanco, 1506–15. Photo: Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art










Though you might not know exactly what a balustrade is, you probably encounter one more often than you’d expect. Found lining many staircases and terraces, a balustrade is a row of small columns topped by a rail. The term is derived from the form’s constituent posts, called balusters, a name coined in 17th-century Italy for the bulbous item’s resemblance to blossoming pomegranate flowers (balaustra in Italian).

“The balustrade’s functions are multiple, from reducing the possibility of a person falling off a stairway to cordoning off an area for the purposes of privacy, such as the gilded balustrade that separates the bed in the king’s chamber at Versailles from the rest of the room,” says Mitchell Owens, Architectural Digest’s decorative arts and antiques editor.

A decorative balustrade lines the roof of this Palm Beach, Florida, residence designed in a combination of the Beaux Arts and Mediterranean Revival traditions. Photo: Roger Davies

A decorative balustrade lines the roof of this Palm Beach, Florida, residence designed in a combination of the Beaux Arts and Mediterranean Revival traditions.
Photo: Roger Davies

The earliest examples of balustrades comes from ancient bas-reliefs, or sculptural murals, dating from sometime between the 13th and 7th centuries b.c. In depictions of Assyrian palaces, balustrades can be seen lining the windows. Interestingly, they don’t appear during the architecturally innovative Greek and Roman eras (there are, at least, no ruins to prove their existence), but they resurface in the late 15th century, when they were used in Italian palaces.
At a Water Mill, New York, home, a wrought-iron balustrade wraps the serpentine staircase in the entrance hall. Photo: Scott Frances

At a Water Mill, New York, home, a wrought-iron balustrade wraps the serpentine staircase in the entrance hall.
Photo: Scott Frances

A notable example of the architectural element once graced the Castle of Vélez Blanco, a 16th-century Spanish structure designed in the Italian Renaissance style. The intricate marble balustrade lined a second-floor walkway overlooking a courtyard. The ornamentation around the terrace was disassembled in 1904 and eventually sold to banker George Blumenthal, who installed it in his Manhattan townhouse. The patio has since been reconstructed in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Balustrades continue to be used today in a vast variety of shapes and materials, from simple wood posts to elaborate wrought-iron spindles, for both decorative and practical purposes.

Browse Chadsworth’s Balustrade Options
Read more on Architectural Digest online at:  www.architecturaldigest.com
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Chadsworth Provides Columns for Restaurant 1858 at the Broadmoor Seven Falls in Colorado Springs

Chadsworth Provides Columns for Restaurant 1858 at the Broadmoor Seven Falls in Colorado Springs

Text courtesy of Colorado Springs Independent’s website:  www.csindy.com

Feast of the Seven Falls

When Seven Falls (2850 S. Cheyenne Canyon Road, sevenfalls.com) reopens Aug. 13, it will mark just under two years since flooding closed the attraction, but also the first time that a business, rather than a family entity, has owned the canyon splendor.

Last year, the Broadmoor purchased Seven Falls from the Hill family, who owned it for nearly seven decades. El Paso County assessor info shows that purchase price at $956,000, and Broadmoor spokespeople say its owner, The Anschutz Corporation, has put around another $11 million into restoration and upgrades including a new gift shop, a food cart, two extensive zip-line courses and an eatery called Restaurant 1858.

Executive sous chef David Patterson says the menu’s point of departure resides in the restaurant’s name. “We’re looking at the Colorado Gold Rush, the West and what food traditions people may have brought,” he says, noting both American regional flavors and immigrant influence. Items range from game meats to Colorado trout, which are served eight ways, from “cast iron classic” to “prohibition style” or “low country.”

Katie Symons arrived four months ago via Las Vegas to take the job as 1858’s chef de cuisine, formerly having worked for Nobu inside Caesar’s Palace, and West Virginia’s historic Greenbrier resort hotel, among other postings. She and Patterson both talk up a 4-by-3-foot wood-burning grill that’ll receive oak, hickory and mesquite feedings, and which greatly informed the menu’s design.

“That grill is like a beast,” she says, “I worked on one in Vegas … It adds smoky flavor to all the food.”

Arkansas Valley Organic Growers and former Broadmoor executive chef Sigi Eisenberger’s farm are among area food providers.

“Talking about heritage isn’t just a buzzword for us,” says Patterson, who adds, “If I put shrimp and grits on the menu, I want it to be the real deal. I buy the best grits I can, and source Gulf shrimp when we can.”

He also cites AVOG-grown Anasazi beans that appear on a chopped salad, and South Carolina’s organic Anson Mills’ red peas and gold rice that lend authenticity to the Hoppin’ John on the side of 1858’s roasted chicken.

Regarding the facility, Symons notes chandeliers, wood features and a stunning view of the waterfall from the 100-seat dining area and 20-seat patio. Patterson likens it to the opulence and “rustic wilderness beauty” on display at the hotel’s swank Cloud Camp, conceived by the same design firm, Johnson David Interiors. “It looks like it’s been here 100 years,” he adds.

No on-site parking is allowed; free shuttles leave from the hotel’s east lot. Dress is casual to relaxed, and you can arrive early or stay post-meal to hike and visit the park, as access to 1858 requires a park-entrance fee: $14/adults; $8 ages 2-12; season and family passes available). Regarding menu pricing, Patterson says “we want to be price sensitive and as inclusive as possible, but we won’t compromise on our quality and product — we’re a Broadmoor property, and the expectation from a guest perspective is for 5-star, 5-diamond quality.”

Restaurant 1858 in Colorado Springs, CO

Photo Courtesy of: Carlos Aguirre | Peak Framing, Inc

Restaurant 1858 - The Broadmoor Seven Falls

Photo Courtesy of: Carlos Aguirre | Peak Framing, Inc.



COLUMN DESIGN:   PolyStone® fiberglass composite Belley columns with Tuscan capitals and square plinths.

COLUMN MATERIAL:  PolyStone® fiberglass composite (FRP)

COLUMN SIZE:   10″ x 8′

PROJECT LOCATION:   Colorado Springs, CO

PROJECT BUILDER:   Peak Framing, Inc.  www.peakframing.com

PROJECT COMMENTS:   Almost two years saw the construction of Restaurant 1858 along with Seven Falls – since a flooding that closed the attraction.  The re-opening (August 2015) will mark the first time that a company — not a family entity — has owned a piece of this magnificent canyon.

Restaurant 1858 features (31) of Chadsworth’s PolyStone® fiberglass composite Belley columns with Tuscan capitals & square plinths.  Many of the columns were cut down on site and currently rest atop stone pedestals.

Visit our online store at:

Click HERE to read more about the new resort that recently opened up.

Click HERE to read more about Peak Framing, Inc.



The Tuscan Order, or what may be considered a simplified version of the Doric Order, originates in the temples built by the Etruscans, native Italic people whose civilization predates the foundation of Rome and at its height encompassed the areas around Rome known as Latium and Campania. The Etruscans were known to the Greeks and featured prominently in the early history of Rome before they were fully assimilated into the Roman Republic. The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, which was on the Capitoline Hill in Rome, is among the best known Tuscan style temples.
             First described by Vitruvius, but not codified until the Renaissance, the Tuscan Order has a column height of seven diameters, widely spaced columns possible due to its having a wood architrave, and simple, bold molding profiles.  Etruscan temples had a stone base, but the upper levels were largely made of wood, mud, and terracotta, hence archeological evidence is scant.  To protect these vulnerable upper walls, the Etruscan temple incorporated a roof with a deeply projecting eave to shed water away from temple.
             Generally, the Tuscan Order is characterized by squat proportions and its simple base and capital. Its capital is composed of a square abacus, which is sometimes finished with a fillet, a round echinus, and a fillet prior to the neck of the column.  The neck is separated from the column shaft by a round astragal and fillet before the hypophyge curves down to the column shaft, which is smooth, without flutes.  A Tuscan base, from the Renaissance onwards, is composed of a square plinth and a round torus topped by a fillet before the apophyge curves up into the shaft of the column.  Both archeological evidence and Vitruvius, however, describe the plinth as round. Either plinth would be correct today.
              The Tuscan entablature was simply a wood architrave supporting the deeply overhanging roof, but Renaissance authors show the entablature with its typical three parts of architrave, frieze and cornice.  In some treatises the architrave is shown split into two fasciae, and in others, only one.  Some authors also show an ovolo instead of a cyma recta for the cymatium of the cornice.All in all, ornamentation is minimal, lines are plain, and proportions bold; all contributing to the simple strength conveyed by the Tuscan Order.  With this in mind, the Tuscan Order is suitable to more plain buildings or where an essence of firmness and robustness is desired.


Text by:  Christine G. H. Franck | Designer, Author, Educator



(click on the plates to review the .pdf)

The Tuscan Order - Plate The Tuscan Order Layout - Plate The Tuscan Order - Entasis The Tuscan Order Pediment - Plate The Tuscan Order In Design - Plate

Courtesy of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art  |  Renderings by:  M. Gunnison Collins


•  The Temple of Piety
•  The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus
•  Lower Order of the Amphitheater Arles Temple near the Church of S. Nicola in Carcere in Rome
•  Lower Order of the Colosseum

Tuscan Column by Chadsworth Columns









Exterior Tuscan Wood Columns by Chadsworth Columns







Congratulations to the 2015 Palladio Award Winners


Congratulates the recipients of the
“The Palladio Awards honor outstanding achievement in traditional design.  The program recognizes both individual designers and design teams whose work enhances the beauty and humane qualities of the built environment, through creative interpretation or adaptation of design principles, developed through 2,500 years of the Western architectural tradition. The Palladio Awards are the first and only national awards program for residential and commercial/ institutional projects which demonstrate excellence in traditional design.
The Palladio Design Awards are produced by Traditional Building and Period Homes magazines, and presented by The Traditional Building Conference Series.”
*Text courtesty of www.palladioawards.com
Chadsworth Columns congratulates all of the winners of the 2015 Palladio Awards.

Chadsworth Columns congratulates all of the winners of the 2015 Palladio Awards.

Celebrating 28 Years of Service | Chadsworth Columns: A Message from the Founder & CEO, Jeffrey L. Davis

Chadsworth Incorporated's Founder & CEO, Jeffrey L. Davis

Chadsworth Incorporated’s Founder & CEO, Jeffrey L. Davis

Mid-June Marks another year in the history books for Chadsworth Incorporated, as this summer we celebrate our 28th anniversary of serving the building industry.  Each year, we make it a priority to learn something new, make something better, and – as always – provide the highest level of customer satisfaction.

At Chadsworth, we emphasize the significance of providing both paramount products and customer service.  Because of these principles, we are grateful for the profound longevity of customer loyalty, and we welcome the continued growth of our future long-term customers as we near our third decade of service.  Amazing customers – like you – are the impetus behind the expansion of Chadsworth’s product offerings.

2014 saw an increase in new, exclusive column molds as well as an abundance of original architectural products.  In 2015, we will continue to aim at making your Chadsworth experience seamless, remarkable, and unparalleled.

Happy 28th Anniversary, Chadsworth Incorporated!

–  Jeffrey L. Davis, Founder & CEO