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What is the word for the edges in the side of the buildings which are marked in the pictures? In some building which is big where a person can stand or even sit. Not I'm not referring balcony or porch.

  • 1
    There's a movie about a man standing on one of those things. imdb.com/title/tt1568338
    – Soulz
    May 25, 2013 at 16:39
  • I just realized I posted a wrong picture than what I was looking for. So I didn't get the word that I was looking for. It's my mistake. Here I posted the question with correct image ell.stackexchange.com/questions/6787/…
    – T2E
    May 25, 2013 at 18:43

2 Answers 2


Those in your second photograph are sections of a cornice, “any horizontal decorative molding that crowns a building or furniture element” - Wikipedia. If you look closely you will see those are not distinct architectural elements but portions of a continuous ledge or shelf which runs the entire width of the building, jogging around capitals where you have marked and returning to follow the contours of the facade below. There is a similar, slightly less marked cornice above the second story of the same building.

The original purpose of the cornice was to divert rainwater from the facade (in domestic architecture any cornice is usually married with the eaves, the overhang of the roof), and in classical architecture there was only one cornice, at the top, immediately below the gable. Even in antiquity, however, it was not unknown to build taller buildings by stacking orders, and from the Renaissance onward it became common for architects to divide their facades into horizontal registers with two or more cornices, as in your second photograph.

In your first photograph, the ledges are similarly formed, but I would hesitate to call them cornices; in the very top right corner it is evident that the partially visible bracket will support a deeper ledge which might be so characterized. I don't know what art historians would call the shallower elements you highlight; I'd just call them ‘window ledges’.

  • I just realized that pictures I posted is not the one I'm looking for. I'll post a another question with correct image.
    – T2E
    May 25, 2013 at 18:35

I call those ledges corbels. That link talks about building corbels in brickwork, but so far as I'm concerned they can also be cast/moulded in concrete, etc. In the Wikipedia page for closely-related cornice...

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...it says An example of a cornice, above large corbels, along the top of the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Building.

Most dictionaries define an "external" cornice as a projection crowning a building or structure, rather than something that can occur anywhere up the face of the building. You can also have a cornice inside, in which case it's an ornamental moulding around the wall of a room just below the ceiling (as opposed to a picture rail, which is lower and less substantial, or a dado rail, usually only 3-4 feet above the floor).

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