Neoclassical was the dominant style for domestic building throughout the country for the first half of the 20th century. Never quite as abundant as its closely related Colonial Revival contemporary, it had two principal waves of popularity, from about 1900 to 1920 and from about 1925 to the 1950s. During the 1920s, the style was overshadowed by other Eclectic fashions.

The revival of interest in classical models dates from the World’s Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in 1893. The exposition’s planners mandated a classical theme, and many of the best-known architects of the day designed dramatic colonnaded buildings arranged around a central court. The exposition was widely photographed, reported, and attended, and soon these Neoclassical models became the latest fashion throughout the country.

The central buildings of the exposition were of monumental scale and inspired countless public and commercial buildings in the following decades. The design of smaller pavilions representing each state of the Union were more nearly domestic in scale and in them can be seen the precedents for most Neoclassical houses.

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

Garage Door

Vertical orientation of surface material
- Layered trim boards
- Raised panels
- Symmetrical multi-pane windows

Entrance Door

- Elaborate panel doors with equally - elaborate


- Panel or louvre