A facade or faade is generally one exterior side of a building, usually, but not always, the front. The word comes from the French language, literally meaning 'frontage' or 'face'. In architecture, the faade of a building is often the most important from a design standpoint, as it sets the tone for the rest of the building. Many faades are historic, and local zoning regulations or other laws greatly restrict or even forbid their alteration. The word comes from the French word faade, which in turn comes from the Italian facciata, from faccia meaning face, ultimately from post-classical Latin facia. The earliest recoded usage by the Oxford English Dictionary is 1656. It was quite common in the Georgian period for existing houses in English towns to be given a fashionable new faade.
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