Greek Revival 1820-1860

Emerging from archeological studies of classical Greek temples, Greek Revival architecture represented a strong break from Georgian and Federal styles and their colonial, aristocratic associations. The bold, simple forms were seen as more consistent with the democratic ideals of the United States as the country gained stature and confidence in the 1820s.

In Boston, Greek Revival buildings were often constructed of Quincy granite or brick with granite details, and featured Doric columns supporting triangular pediments. Wooden buildings were painted white and resembled small Greek temples. Boston architect Asher Benjamin was instrumental in encouraging national enthusiasm for the Greek Revival through his 1830 architectural pattern book, “The Practical House Carpenter,” which was one of the most popular architectural pattern books of the nineteenth century.