Greek Revival Architecture

From the 1820s through the 1860s Greek Revival was very popular. It is the most common style of house seen in our area. Ranging from grand to modest, these houses share characteristics that evoke the temples of ancient Greece. For the first time doors are on the gable end. They are no longer centered but are found off to the side. Since they are on the narrow end of the house the offset door allows for a hallway and large rooms to the side. The siding here is predominately clapboard but there are some fine Greek Revivals in brick. Chimneys are arranged to accommodate the needs of the house and may be located anywhere . The double hung windows are multi-light. Windows are large and plentiful. They are frequently featured as sidelights, a series of small windows on either side of the door. There is never symmetry in this style.

With Greek Revival architecture comes several new elements of design. Houses of this style typically have a pediment. This a either a full or partial triangle outlining the edge of the roof and top of the house on the gable end. It is often comprised of several layers of wood trim. When the pediment does not extend all the way across the front of the house the center break often has a window in it. Below the pediment and extending all the way around the house there may be frieze band.  This is again layers of wood trim or in simpler houses just a single wide board which separates the top of the house from the roof.  Another decoration is the pilaster. These are boards , often fluted and decorated with carvings at the top. They are found covering the corners of the building .  Along with pilasters these houses often have columns. These are freestanding , sometimes the column itself is decorated with fluting or carving. In the grander versions the tops are carved with motifs commonly used in ancient Greece; Ionic, Doric and Corinthian.