Defining Style: Greek Revival

Jeff Smith

Greek Revival was the most popular style of architecture for American houses from about 1830 to 1860. Reflecting a growing interest in Classical architecture, the style is essentially a Georgian design, turned on end so the gable faces the street. The gable can be an impressive pediment that is flat or rests on a row of massive columns that often stretches across the entire façade – which also typically includes an expansive, ornate porch – creating a “Greek temple” look. Cornice lines with a wide band of trim beneath frequently appear. This trim band often is divided in the Classical style with a frieze above and architrave below. Doorways can be particularly elaborate, surrounded on the top and both sides by side lights and accented by a decorative door surround.

Profiles:

Greek Revival houses may feature clapboard or beaded profiles as the main exterior cladding. Durable vinyl siding provides these selections, with clapboard profiles available in 3″ to 8″ reveals, and beaded profiles available in 6″ to 7″ reveals.

Color:

Historically, whites or ivories dominate Greek Revival exteri­ors. Modern interpretations can include a palette of other light colors – or even feature dark hues like the deep red shown on the next page. Vinyl siding offers more than 400 colors independently certified for color retention.

Trim and Accessories:

A wide selection of architectural trim and accessories are available for use with vinyl and other polymeric siding. Options suited for Greek Revival style include a heavy cornice with shingle, crown, dentil or bed molding on fascia or frieze [or both]; brackets; decorative front door surrounds with triangular or broken pediments and pilasters; window crowns with keystone trim or pediments and lineals; band boards at foundation or between floors; beaded soffit; roof balustrade; shutters; and gable vent covers.

Customizing Style:

Designers are using vinyl and other polymeric siding, trim and accessories to achieve a variety of Classical looks inspired by the Greek Revival style. Vinyl siding is helping to create traditional beauty combined with lasting durability and minimal maintenance.

 

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