The Seventeenth Century:
17th Century ColonialTerm applies to both New England and Virginia architecture. Note regional differences, however.
The Eighteenth Century:
Georgian (1714-1776)English-inspired colonial architecture. Marked by a greater concern for style and higher standards of comfort. Fairly homogeneous in both New England and Southern colonies.
Neoclassicism (c.1780-1820)There are several variations: Federalist: Especially common in New England; a traditionalist approach to classicism, heavily influenced by English models. Charles Bulfinch, Samuel MacIntyre. Idealist: An intellectual and moral approach to classicism, at first linked to Roman models. Symbolic and associational values stressed. Best example: Thomas Jefferson. Rationalist: Emphasized structure and classical building techniques, such as stone vaulting and domes. Benjamin Latrobe.
The Nineteenth Century:The period is characterized by Romantic revivals and eclecticism.
Greek Revival (1818-1850)The first truly national style in the United States. Strong associational values. Permeated all levels of building.
Gothic Revival (c.1820-1860)Strong associational values of religion and nature. Found in both ecclesiastical and residential architecture. A wide range of archaeological accuracy, from Richard Upjohn's urban churches to "Carpenter's Gothic" cottages.
The "Corporate Style" (c.1800-1900)Practical architecture for engineering and commercial purposes; especially early factories. In its time thought to be a "style-less style."
Egyptian Revival (1820-1850)Used primarily for memorials, cemetaries, prisons, and, later, warehouses.
Italianate, or Italian Villa Mode (1840-1860)A residential style used by A.J. Downing and others; a Renaissance revival.
Second Empire Baroque (1860-1880)French origin; used for public and residential architecture.
High Victorian Gothic (1860-1880)English origin; used for ecclesiastical, public, and residential architecture.
Richardsonian Romanesque (1870-1895)
Shingle Style (1879-1900)Used for residential architecture.
Chicago School (1885-1915)Commercial architecture; skyscrapers.
New York Style Skyscrapers (1875-1910)Typically use a historical style; block and tower format.
Classical Revival (1885-1920)Also called Academic Classicism, or Beaux-Arts Classicism. Related revivals: Renaissance, French Renaissance, Flemish.
Gothic (Collegiate Gothic) (1885-1930)Boston College is a good early (1913) example.
The Twentieth Century:Traditional styles continue; Modernism arises.
Prairie School (1893-1920)Frank Lloyd Wright and his followers.
Wrightian, or Organic Architecture (1920-1959)F.L. Wright's later style.
Historicist Skyscrapers (1900-1940)Gothic, etc.
Setback Style Skyscrapers (1920-1950)
Art Deco (1925-1940)Also called Art Moderne, Streamlined Modern.
International Style:International Style I (Early Modern) (1929-1940) International Style II (1945-1970)
Formalism (1957-1996)A renewed interest in monumental qualities and an interest in form for expressive purposes. Eero Saarinen.
Brutalism (1957-1996)Style inspired by LeCorbusier's late works; characterized by the use of rough-cast concrete and massive forms. Boston City Hall.
Late Modern (International Style III) (1970-1996)Philip Johnson (before his conversion to Post-Modernism) and I.M. Pei, among others.
Back To Index