During the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Europeans began to adopt building features of Ancient Rome. The buildings they constructed are today described as being of Romanesque Architecture. The most prominent feature used in the style was the semi-circular Roman arch. Other features of Romanesque Architecture include barrel vaults, porticoes, and heavy walls without much fenestration.
Germany saw a revival of the Romanesque style during the mid-1800s. By the latter part of the century, the Romanesque Revival style spread to the United States, where it was used in designing many buildings. The architectural style incorporated some features of Romanesque-style buildings, such as the heavy walls and the constant use of the Roman arch. The Revival style also included features such as belt courses, medieval adornments, and polychromatic exteriors.
Romanesque Revival architecture was mainly used for public buildings. You can see this on Staten Island by looking at St. Patrick's Church in Richmondtown, St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church in the St. George/New Brighton Historic District, and Tappen Park's comfort station in Stapleton. While the Romanesque Revival style wasn't as popular with housing, some houses on Staten Island were built in the style. Included are two landmarks within the St. George/New Brighton Historic District: the house at 30-32 Westervelt Avenue and the house at 82 Westervelt Avenue.