Is Your House Neoclassical?

Photos of Neoclassical Houses and Homes With Classical Details

small white house with black shutters, large central portico with four columns and a pediment
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Little White House, 1932, Warm Springs, Georgia. Bettmann/Getty Images (cropped)

Elements of Classical architecture have been around since the Renaissance. In the U.S. everything is "new" or "neo" again — from the Neoclassical styles that flourished after the American Revolution to the Neoclassical Revival of the 20th century.

In the late 1800s and the first half of the 20th century, many American homes used details borrowed from the Classical past. The photos in this gallery illustrate homes with imposing columns, decorative moldings, and other Neoclassical features.

Rose Hill Manor

wide two story house with large portico, columns, and second floor wrap around porch
Rose Hill Manor, aka Woodworth House, Greek Revival Style in Port Arthur, Texas. Carol M. Highsmith/Getty Images (cropped)

Rose Hill Manor, also called the Woodworth House, is said to be haunted, but don't blame it on the architecture. The temple-like pediment over the entry porch gives this mansion in Texas a Classical air.

The Western world's discovery of the Roman ruins in Palmyra, Syria contributed to a newfound interest in Classical architecture — and reviving the style in 19th century architecture.

Port Arthur, Texas became an official city in 1898, and not long after that banker Rome Hatch Woodworth built this home in 1906. Woodworth also became Mayor of Port Arthur. Being in banking AND politics, Woodworth's regal home would take on the house style known for democracy and high ethical standards — Classical design in America has always had positive associations with Greek and Roman ideals. Neoclassical or the new classical design made a statement about the person who lived in it. At least that has always been the intention.

Neoclassical feature on this home include classical columns with Ionic capitals, a triangular pediment at the entrance, a balustrade along the second story porch, and dentil moldings

House Style Mixes

victorian house with queen anne turret near a double columned two story porch
New Orleans Garden District Architecture. legacy1995/Getty Images (cropped)

This house has the shape of a Victorian-era Queen Anne house, with a lovely round turret, but the portico addition is Neoclassical or Greek Revival — Ionic capitals on the first level and the Corinthian order of Classical columns on the second story of the porch. The dormer above the porch has a pediment and the dentil molding holds together the various styles.

Neoclassical in Delaware

stone square foursquare with dormers and added neoclassical details
The Delgado-Correa Manor, Middletown, Delaware. Milton Delgado

Constructed of stone block, this Delaware home has Ionic columns, a second story balustrade, and many other Neoclassical features. Yet, isn't it really a Foursquare at its core? Look beyond Neoclassical additions, and you'll find a lovely stone house, square, with a large, beautiful dormer on each side of the hipped roof.

Neoclassical feature on this home include Classical columns with Ionic capitals and a balustrade along the porch roof. The white, decorative dentil moldings under the eaves and along the porch synthesize what might be a combination of house styles. Keep up with the owners on the Delgado-Correa Manor Facebook page.

Neoclassical Ranch

raised ranch with added pediment and six posts, double stairway to second level front door
Ranch With Neoclassical Features. Clipart.com

Ouch! This house is a Raised Ranch, but a zealous builder tacked on Neoclassical details. So, what style is it?

We certainly would not call this home Neoclassical, but we've included it in this photo gallery to show how builders add Classical details to contemporary homes. Neoclassical houses often have tall, two-story pillars at the entry. The triangular pediment is also a Neoclassical idea.

Unfortunately, the Neoclassical details seems out of place on this Raised Ranch style house.

Villa Rothschild

detailed photo of house facade with rounded portico
Villa Rothschild, 1881, Cannes, France. Alexandre Tziripouloff/Getty Images (cropped)

Like America's White House in Washington, D.C., this Neoclassical home has a rounded entry porch with a balustrade along the top. Villa Rothschild in Cannes is a more pure form of Neoclassicim — in 1881 it was built to be a new form of Classical architecture. The balustrade along the porch roof, the second story, and the main roof make this a regal and noble summer home in the south of France.

Celebration, Florida

Small neoclassical home, with front gable pediment and post columsn
Late 20th Century Celebration, Florida. Jackie Craven

Celebration, Florida is a Disneyland of house styles.

Just like Rose Hill Manor, this little house in the planned community of Celebration has a window in the pediment, above the Neoclassical columns. You can find an array of early 20th century architecture in this late 20th century housing development begun by the Disney Corporation near their Buena Vista theme parks. Neoclassical style is one of the architectural attractions in Celebration.

The Grandeur of Tall Columns

two story grand house with two porches with columns
The Garden District Area of New Orleans, Louisiana. JWLouisiana/Getty Images (cropped)

The two-story porch is a popular feature of the late 19th century homes in the Garden District of New Orleans, Louisiana. Designed for hot, wet climates, these homes have extensive porches (or "galleries") on both stories. Neoclassical homes are inspired by the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. They often have porches with columns rising the full height of the building.

Gaineswood Plantation

white mansion with added porticos with pediments and columns
Gaineswood, a Greek Revival Plantation House in Demopolis, Alabama. Carol M. Highsmith/Getty Images (cropped)

Oftentimes a home doesn't start out being Neoclassical.

In 1842, Nathan Bryan Whitfield bought a little two-room cabin from George Strother Gaines in Alabama. Whitfield's cotton business thrived, which allowed him to build up the cabin in the grand style of the day, Greek Revival or Neoclassical.

From 1843 and 1861, Whitfield himself designed and built his own temple plantation using the labor of his slaves. Incorporating ideas he liked that he had seen in the Northeast, Whitfield envisioned massive porticos with Classical pediments, using not one, not two, but three column types — Doric, Corinthian, and Ionic columns. 

Gaineswood is a National Historic Landmark in Demopolis, Alabama.

Portico Giveaway

evening view of large, white house with side portico
Neoclassical Portico on New Orleans Home. sfe-co2/Getty Images

It's been said that a good entablature will give your home that Greek temple look. Just the same, a nice Classical portico, or porch entryway, can give your home a dignified look — if it's well-designed and thought-out by a professional architect. Classical detailings may not turn your home into a Neoclassic Revival, but they may turn heads with better curb appeal.

Sources

  • Alabama Historical Commission. Gaineswood. www.preserveala.org/gaineswood.aspx
  • Cunningham, Eleanor. Gaineswood National Historic Landmark. The Encyclopedia of Alabama. http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-3020