NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com Logo   Greek Revival Architecture in NE
Spacious domes, soaring columns topped by Ionic capitals, and noble echoes of the Doric order—this is Greek Revival.


 

 

Sometimes called Classic Revival to include Roman as well as ancient Greek architectural elements, this style began to appear in New England cities and towns in the early 1800s, having made the leap from Europe, where it was commonly known as Neoclassical.

The revival of classic orders in Europe was a reaction to the decorative excesses of Baroque and Rococo design on that continent. (New Englanders were not building lavish public buildings until after the Baroque period had passed.)

The style also came into vogue as the early 1800s were the beginnings of the science of archeology. The great buildings of ancient Greece and Rome were being unearthed, studied and copied.

Americans saw themselves as the successors to the founders of democracy, and wished to echo the simplicity, solidity and monumental character of their buildings in their own.

Symmetry and lack of ornamentation are marks of the Greek Revival style.

Greek Revival is sometimes distinguished from Neoclassical architecture, popular in New England from the late 1700s through the 1800s, which is stricter in its adherence to the classical orders.

Boston's Quincy Market building (1825), now the centerpiece of Faneuil Hall Marketplace, is perhaps the best-known example.

Beneficent Congregational Church (1810) and The Arcade (1828) in Providence RI are other good examples.

For fine specimens of New England domestic Greek Revival architecture, visit some of the oldest towns in Vermont, particularly Grafton, a veritable museum of the style carefully preserved by its sensitive residents.


Colonial style

Georgian style

Federal Style

Neoclassical style

Late 19th-C. styles

20th-century Styles

NE Architecture

 

 

 

Quincy Market, Boston MA

Above, Quincy Market (1825), Boston's most famous Greek Revival building.

Below, Beneficent ("Round Top") Church (1810) in Providence RI.

Beneficent (Round Top) Church, Providence RI

   
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