Nuts & Bolts: Gambrel Roof

“Gambrel Roof”
May 19th & 23rd Segment

One historic building type–identified by a barn-like Gambrel Roof–is hard to spot in the historic downtown because there are only nine remaining examples dating to the eighteenth century. But prior to the Great Fire of 1846 there were many buildings that had gambrel roofs. A gambrel is simply a roof with two planes, or double pitched per side.  Many associate the gambrel with barn roofs, but historically they were used for dwellings and commercial buildings. Its advantages include increased interior space and adequate room for large windows.  Today gambrel roofs are found in many newer homes across the island.