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Neoclassical Revival Style — 1895 to 1950

Neoclassical house style

Neoclassical Revival Characteristics

The short definition

The Neoclassical Revival style is defined by a commanding facade with a full height porch, its roof supported by classical columns. The columns are often fluted and the capitals are usually ornate Ionic or Corinthian. Like the Colonial Revival, which is comparatively simple, the Neoclassical Revival is also symmetrical with its entry centered and flanked by a balanced array of windows.

Variations in the height, width, and roof style of the porch account for the subtypes. Curved, flat roofed porticos are seen occasionally.

Unlike the Early Classical Revival and Greek Revival houses of the 19th century, the Neoclassical houses may have a variety of detail and elaborations such as side extensions as well as paired, transom, or bay windows.

Ornamental detail includes broken or unbroken pediments and side lights surrounding the entry. Classical detailing at the eave is common with embellishments like modillions or dentil molding.

The interest in Neoclassical Revival style stemmed primarily from the 1893 Columbian World Exposition in Chicago and the creation of the "White City." The most notable architects of the day designed classically inspired buildings to house the many exhibits at the fair. Spectacularly, the buildings were lighted at night with strings of electric lights. The effect inspired a generation of builders and architects. Though it was used for residences, Neoclassical Revival was more prominently used for public buildings and banks ... institutions where gravitas was expected.


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