Greek Revival Homes in America
Bold, yet simple and elegant design is what makes the Greek Revival home unique.
It comes as no surprise that Americans began building homes that used Greek Influences during the 1800s. America was a thriving new country: new businesses were popping up everywhere, a new government was emerging and life was good.
Greek influences began popping up in many different buildings, including businesses, places of meeting (such as a new government building,) and of course - homes.
History of the Greek Revival Home
The Greek Revival style of home is estimated to have begun somewhere in the early 1820s. The style of home thrived until the mid to late 1860s during a period of growth in American history. This home, similar to the Italianate, was ornate in decoration and style but yet somehow still simple, bold, and demanding of attention.
Characteristics of a Greek Revival Home
The Greek Revival home made a bold statement through simple, elegant design. The home was symmetrical in both form and design. On the facade of the home were narrow, symmetrical windows placed orderly around the front entrance. The symmetrical design gave the home a feeling of order and presence.
One of the more recognizable features of the Greek Revival home was the front porch featuring large columns. The columns of the home were bold in statement, but simple in design. This helped add to the overall feel of grandeur of the home.
Most Greek Revival homes were painted white. This applied to every Greek Revival style home whether it was in the North or the South, and whether or not the family was rich or poor.
Of course, the style of Greek Revival homes could vary from region to region. While they may all have been white in color, they still had many differences. Most notable may be the front porch of the home. In the Southern areas, these homes made use of a large front porch that used columns. Further North, homes used smaller pilasters. Pilasters had the same look and feel as the columns - except they were built right into the side of the building rather than supporting a roof over a porch.
Not everyone could actually afford a Greek Revival home. In the 1800s, it was not uncommon for Americans to convert their Colonial homes into Greek Revival homes. This was done through the use of pilasters, pillars, columns and adding a front porch. Unfortunately, these are not considered to be true Greek Revival homes.
Today, Americans are bringing back some of the Greek Revival influences through the use of homes with porches and large columns. While there many never be another Greek Revival period of homes, it will remain an important part in historical American architecture.