But we want Early Classical Revival today. The thing that replaced colonial style. Think Roman. Our Founding Fathers did. Especially that Jefferson fellow. Architecture was an amateur thing, and he was the patron saint of getting old design books like Palladio’s Four Books Of Architecture and grabbing stuff out of there. I still grab stuff out of that book. They thought the freshly minted United States needed something that bespoke an important civilization. Rome seemed to fit. There were classical elements all over the preceding colonial styles, but they were little bits and pieces added on. Early Classical Revival was the whole design, and wasn’t shy about it.
Of course Jefferson’s own home is a signature example: Monticello. The place shown above is a great example, too. Sabine Hall in Warsaw, Virginia. It’s got what looks like a systyle full height Roman temple rammed right into the facade. Systyle means you the gap between the columns is two column widths. The house was older, 1730, but they later lowered the roof and gave it the signature portico and gable front and wings so common to the type. It’s a southern style, really, very rare North of Philadelphia. The crib notes version to delineate Early Classical Revival from the Greek Revival that followed it and overlapped with it is this : if it looks like Elvis and Nero had a Bed and Breakfast together, that’s probably it.
It’s post-revolutionary Republican monumental architecture. It lasted until about 1820, when the newspapers were full of stories of the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire, and people got all hopped up on Plato and Socrates and that hopeless dead Romantic Lord Byron and decided their houses should look more like this:
Isn’t it Romantic? Yes, that one is.