The Greek revival architecture style is one of the three romantic styles that came about in the 19th century. The other two were the Gothic Revival and the Italianate style. The Greek revival period was known as the “National style” during the time it was popular. As a result, Greek Revival houses were a dominate style of architecture in America between the 1830’s and 1860’s.
Features of Greek Revival Architecture
Greek revival homes have gabled or hipped roofs with low pitches. The areas of style distinctions are the cornice lines, entry doorway & windows, and the column supported porches. Furthermore, the cornice of the main roof usually has a wide band. The wide cornice band represents the entablature of classical Greek architecture consisting of the frieze and the architrave. Greek or roman columns are usually present to support the porch. The three types of columns normally seen on Greek revival house plans are the Doric (which has plain capitals), the Ionic (which has scroll-like spiral called volutes), and the Corinthian (which has decorative leaves).
Sidelights and a rectangle transom surrounds the front door in Greek revival homes. In addition, pilasters, pediments or columns dress the entry door. The windows are commonly 6 pane glazing on the top and bottom sash. Window surrounds are simple and far less elaborate then the entry doorway.
People equate Greek revival architecture to being a southern colonial type architecture. However, Colonial architecture is completely different. Greek revival style homes are plentiful in areas such Virginia, Massachusetts, and New York. In addition to those states, there is Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and other northern and Midwest states.