Classical Revival (1770 - 1830)

 504 W Elm St136 W Main St

The Classical Revival style of architecture is known as Jeffersonian Classicism because it is closely associated with the work of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826). The style is typified by simplicity, dignity, monumentality and purity of design, based on the use of Roman forms of classical antiquity, although later examples exhibit Greek influences. In the United States, the style emerged after the Revolution when the monumental architecture and republican ideals of Rome inspired the shape of American public buildings designed to house the newly organized state and national governments. Thomas Jefferson was one the most influential proponents of the style, designing buildings in early Washington D.C. and the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. Jefferson also set the stage for Early Classical Revival domestic architecture through the design of his homes in Monticello and Poplar Forest.


Classical Revival buildings may be one or two story tall, typically symmetrical in form and sometimes similar to a classical Temple, including the presence of a dome in public buildings. Residential Classical Revival architecture is typically two rooms deep with the long side commonly facing the street. Identifying features of the Classical Revival tradition include a gabled entrance portico dominating the front façade and usually equaling it in height, supported by four or more simple Roman Doric or Tuscan type columns. Smaller porches may be present on rear and side facades. In some examples, porches are recessed, also known as porticos. A semi-circular or elliptical fan light is usually present above a paneled front door. Examples of Classical revival domestic architecture with three and seven ranked facades are rare. A five ranked façade is most popularly observed.

- Last Modified -October 11, 2016 - 10:12am
- Author - SashaC