Neo-Classical

Home style: Neo classicalNeo-Classical (Neoclassical) architecture is inspired by British Georgian designs. This well-publicized, world-class event can inspire fashion for years. At least that’s the case with the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, which showcased cutting-edge classical buildings that architects around the country emulated in their own residential and commercial designs. The Neoclassical style remained popular through the 1950s in incarnations from one-story cottages to multilevel manses.

Common characteristics are:

  • Balanced proportions;
  • Ionic or Corinthian columned porches often extend the full height of the house;
  • Symmetrical facades;
  • Centrally located door with semi-elliptical or fanlight door transoms;
  • Roof-line balustrades (low parapet walls);
  • Tall columns that rise the full height of the building.

In addition, Neo-Classical structures tend to incorporate classically detailed pediments and columns.

The word Neoclassical is often used to describe an architectural style, but Neoclassicism is not actually any one distinct style.

Neoclassicism is a trend, or approach to design, that can describe several very different styles. Each of these is Neoclassical:

  • FederalistВ A Federalist building does not always have imposing pillars, but its symmetry and decorative details are classically inspired.
  • Greek Revival These stately, pillared homes became popular in the United States during the 1800s.
  • Antebellum Stately plantation homes built before America’s Civil War were often inspired by classical architecture.
  • Beaux ArtsВ In the late 1800s and early 1900s, ancient Greek and Roman ideas were combined with balustrades, balconies, and lavish decoration.

Sources: About.com, Town of Normal, Illinois, REALTOR Magazine Online.