Greek Revival

At Home on a Large Country Estate or Formal Urban Lot

Classicism reigned in the mid-19th century as our country gained independence and moved away from colonial English styles and toward the more romantic, classical styles of ancient Greece. Greek Revival residences are based on ancient temples and often feature two story columns supporting a wide veranda. Many institutional buildings were constructed in this style, but it was also a popular residential plan, prominent on Southern plantations and throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Today, this house plan would be at home on a large country estate or formal urban lot.

The roofline of Greek Revival homes is often flat or side-gable with a very low pitch and usually features a heavy cornice. A center front gable is almost always present and is the quintessential Greek Revival touch. In addition, a columned portico will always mark the entry and may be one or two stories with a partial or full-width colonnaded front porch. The door will be surrounded by an elaborate frame and flanked by sidelights and a transom above. Windows are usually double-hung sash with decorative trim that may feature pilasters, a pediment or lintel. Common decorative motifs are the Greek key, egg-and-dart design or ornamental acanthus leaves.

A Greek Revival floor plan is usually rectangular, which provides flexibility for expansion in the future. A growing family may wish to extend at the rear, which adds space while maintaining the classic, symmetrical façade. Another way to maintain the integrity of the Greek Revival style while increasing living space would be to build identical projecting wings at the sides. A traditional interior floor plan with rooms flanking a center hall would work well with this style, allowing for a separate living room, dining room, den and kitchen. Alternatively, the first floor rooms could be a large open plan, with the second floor housing bedrooms off the hall.

Similar Styles: Neoclassical Style Floor Plans, Plantation Floor Plans, Georgian Floor Plans, Two-Story Floor Plans, Floor Plans from Southern Living.

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