This style was the expression of a nation that sought innovation and greatness. Recent discoveries of ancient ruins contributed to the admiration for Greece and respect for its culture of beauty and perfection. Knowledge of the style was spread through builders guides. The Greek Revival was in the great plantation houses of the South and Southwest.
A typical Greek Revival building consisted of a two story temple facade (front) with a triangular pedimented gable. Hollow wood columns were free standing or applied to the facade. White wood frame houses of the style are seen everywhere. Regional materials such as ashlar (square cut) granite, sandstone or marble were used to create smooth surfaces then trimmed with wood Greek motif ornaments. Cast iron decorated porches and stair railings.
Windows were treated with bold lintels or heavy molding. They were typically six over six as in the Federal period. Doors were flanked by sidelights trimmed with wood ornaments of leaf-like or geometrical design. The entrance was temple-like, grand and impressive.
Throughout history columns have held a special significance. Originally they were reserved for temples and symbolized godlines. Columns give a building an appearance of great importance, they signify power. The Greek Revival style became popular here as an expression of the democratic principle of equality. Columns were no longer reserved for the wealthy or for important public buildings. Many small homes were built with columnar entrances. How proud those people must have felt passing through their majestic, temple-like door-ways!