get Your custom quote

Roots of Style: Classical Details Flourish in 21st-Century Architecture

Ancient Greece and Rome obviously provide the origins of classical architecture. What makes the subject relevant today is the high number of buildings and houses throughout Europe and America that have been designed with the aesthetics that developed in ancient times, and the interpretations that followed. While modern design theory relinquishes precedent for inspiration and formulation, there are still basic principles that great architecture relies upon: Symmetry, hierarchy, repetition and proportion are a few. The fact that classical architecture strictly follows these principles makes it an important architectural discipline to appreciate even today.


In the U.S. classical architecture has experienced three significant historical phases, in addition to its use today.

First, from about 1770 through 1830, the early classical revival era evolved with the cultural association of democratic Roman ideals as the U.S. was formed. Through the influence of the classical renaissance in Europe and architects like Thomas Jefferson, it gained followers.

Next came the closely related Greek revival phase, which lasted from around 1825 to 1860. A congruence of a desire to understand the roots of Roman classical architecture, which are of course Greek, and the Greek War of Independence propelled the affection for the prominently columned structures of this style.

Finally, classical architecture resurfaced with extraordinary popularity after the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where it was celebrated. William Ware's subsequent publication of The American Vignola, which dissected the conclusions about classical architecture by 16th-century Italian architect Giacoma Barozzi da Vignola, further advanced its proliferation and people's understanding of it. Other studies, such as that of Andrea Palladio, also propelled the interest in classical design, which sustained great momentum until about 1950.