Greek Revival


The final years of the 18th century brought an increasing interest in classical buildings to both the United States and Western Europe. This was first based on Roman models, but interest soon shifted to Grecian models. Two additional factors enhanced Greek interest in this time period. Greece’s involvement in a war for independence (1821–1830) aroused much sympathy in the newly independent United States; at the same time, the War of 1812 diminished American affection for British influence, including the still dominant Adam style.

Greek Revival became the dominant style of American domestic architecture in the mid-19th century—so popular it was referred to as the National Style. It occurs in all areas settled by 1860, and especially flourished in those regions that were rapidly settled in the decades of the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s, including (in descending order) New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Virginia, Massachusetts, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Wisconsin, Georgia, Mississippi, Michigan, Texas, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

Excerpted from A Field Guide to American Houses, Virginia and
Lee McAlester, Alfred Knopf, New York, © 2000.

Garage Door

Vertical orientation of surface material
- Raised panels of consistant size
- Layered trim boards with decorative
- Multi-pane symmetrical windows

Entrance Door

- One, two, or four panes
- Narrow, rectangular windows on side
and top
- Elaborate surrounds


- Commonly louvre on second floor
and/or panel on ground floor