The house was constructed over several years and the Dole family moved into the home in 1865. The structure in question is an excellent example of the Italianate style of architecture. The Italianate style began in England as part of the picturesque movement and was inspired by the breezy openness of Italian villas. It was a reaction to the formal classical styles that had dominated construction for the past 200 years. The first Italianate houses in the United States were built in the early 1840s and were popularized by the pattern books of Andrew Jackson Downing. The Italianate style dominated American houses constructed between 1850 and 1890.
By the late 1860s, the style had completely overshadowed its earlier companion, Gothic Revival. Abandoning the rigid forms of the Greek Revival Style, Italianate buildings have freer more asymmetrical massing and "romantic" features such as towers, cupolas and bay windows, but unlike Gothic Revival buildings, Italianate buildings have a boxy or square feeling to them with noticeable vertical proportions.
The most prominent feature of the Italianate style is the occurrence of large eave brackets under typically wide, overhanging eaves. They have an infinite variety of sizes and shapes. They are usually arranged in pairs and are commonly placed on a deep trim band. The windows commonly have one or two panes and frequently are arched with decorated crowns. Paired and triple windows can be seen. Porches and small entry porches are almost always present. The front doors are often double and arched. Bay windows and porches add to the shape of the house. Only about 15 percent of Italianate houses have the square tower that characterizes the Italian Villa.