Chateau houses are massive, two-and-a-half story buildings with steeply pitched hip roofs and smooth stone walls. Decorative gables, conical roof towers, balconies, porches, dormer windows, bay windows, stone banding, tall chimneys, and cast-iron roof cresting are among typical features. Occasionally houses were built of brick and painted light colors in imitation of stone. Roofs were commonly slate.
Based on the architecture of 16th-century French chateaus, the Chateau style was established in this country by architect Richard Morris Hunt. Hunt was the first American to graduate from the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His designs for Chateau mansions were imitated by architects whose wealthy clients wanted grand, showy houses. Chateau remained a style of the elite and was not widely adapted for houses of the middle class, who preferred the popular Queen Anne style.
Houses of the Chateau style are rare in Cincinnati. Among the few examples that do exist are houses in Clifton and North Avondale.