Greek Revival Architecture: (1790 - 1850)
Houses and buildings constructed during this era were designed with the intention of bringing back the classic architecture that was developed during the golden ages of the Greek empire.
The tall white columns were the staple and true inspiration of design. Most columns were usually round or square like the ones in ancient times, although sometimes there were octagonal. They were also designed without bases to retain the Greek feel.
Areas of Use/ Inspiration:
The style is found in northern Europe and predominantly in the United States. It was especially strong in America because Greece was the birth place of the Republic and our democracy. This style was viewed as a symbol of nationalism, civic duty and freedom. Greek revival was developed at a time when the world was changing. It was the beginning of America’s independence from British rule and Greece itself was in its own revolution for freedom from Turkey. At the time, there may not have been a better way to show support, than to bring back a once great and beautiful style half way around the world. (2)
Tall columns and pediments that stood in the front gave the buildings and houses a sense of pride. Homes built during the Greek revival period also contained bold yet simple moldings that ran through the interior and exterior of the house, done to mimic the look of the temples and city forums. It was also very common for homes to add detail such as framed window dormers with pilasters to give another “wow” factor. The roofs were typically low in pitch, again to resemble many of the old iconic buildings in ancient Greece. The entrance ways in most Greek Revival homes were had elaborate surrounds, even more detail than the windows. The entrances also usually had porches that led in and this is where the columns were put. (3)
Instead of using stone (as they did in ancient times) houses were crafted out of wood then covered with plaster, which were then painted white to resemble marble. Many homes were also built out of brick, while not being stone or white, the brick served as a symbol of strength and originality.(3)
The White House while not entirely a Greek Revival building per say, it did take some elements from this style; namely the white columns.
- The White House
- The Yorkshire Mueseum
- The Walhalla
- Propylaen (Gateway)
|Neoclassical / Federalist / Idealist|
|Arts and Crafts|
|20th Century Trends|