Neoclassical architecture stole the hearts and minds of architects in the late 19th and early 20th century. From state buildings to luxurious residences; neoclassical buildings were being constructed in major cities around the world. Homes built in this style quickly became status symbols because of their grandeur.
Neoclassical Architecture Seduced the Globe
Neoclassical architecture is a Grecco-roman style of architecture that was popular in major cities around the world in the late 18th and early 19th century. This style was very popular with wealthy homeowners and public developers alike. Because of the grandiose nature of these buildings they were often the chosen style for government and state buildings around the world.
Neoclassical Homes are Easy to Spot
Homes built in the neoclassical style are often easily recognizable. You will see many of the same key elements at work.
Grand and opulent
Neoclassical homes are big and bold. Often built on large estates, these homes represented symbols of success and status. Because of this; many of the residences built for royal families across the globe are neoclassical in style.
The inclusion of columns
Another distinguishing feature is tall columns. These columns are usually on a protruding, centered, porch on the front of the building.
Symmetry is another element you will find common in neoclassical homes. The windows and columns are evenly spaced.
3 Uber-Famous Neoclassical Homes
There are some Neo-classical homes that you may already know, by name, if not by style.
Monticello is probably the most famous neoclassical home in the world. Built by Thomas Jefferson in 1976 the original house was a two-story, eight room brick home built on the Monticello Plantation. Jefferson spent four-decades transforming his home into a 21-room plantation home. Today, after a varied history leaving Monticello poorly-tended at times; the building is considered to be a national treasure.
The White House
Another equally impressive and world famous neoclassical home is The White House in Washington, D.C. Built in 1792 by architect James Hoban the 132 room house took eight years of construction. The white house has been called a variety of names including “The Presidential Palace,” “The Executive Mansion,” and “The President’s House.” President Theodore Roosevelt made the name “The White House” official in 1901.
The Carlton House
Image: CC by CC S-A 2.0, Pimlico Badger via Flickr
The Carlton House is another royal residence in the neoclassical style. This building was best known for being the home of the Prince Regent of England. Opulent and grand; the Carlton House would have been considered a palace in most countries. Not so, for George, Prince of Wales. When he became King George IV he determined Carlton House and all other royal residences unfit for royals. Carlton house was torn down in 1825.
7 Additionally Breathtaking Neoclassical Homes
Boyer House is a beautiful neoclassical mansion in Walla Walla, Washington, built in 1901 by Jonathan Franklin Brewer. Boyer House has changed hands a number of times serving as a family residence and then as a funeral home. Recently renovated; The Boyer House operates as a 7-room bed and breakfast catering to guests who want to step back into the early 20th century.
The Fite-Fessenden house, located in Lebanon, Tennessee and built by Dr. James Fight. He practiced medicine in the town during and after the American Civil War. The house is now home to the Wilson County Museum.
A.A. Hicks House
This is another beautiful example of the symmetry you see in neoclassical architecture. The A. A. Hicks house, located in Oxford, NC, and built in 1903 was a single-family home. It is now the home of Gentry-Newell & Vaughan Funeral Home. This building is on the National Register of Historic Places since 1988.
Image: CC 2.0 by Elliott Brown via Flickr
The Apsley house is another neoclassical home that built as a royal residence. The Apsley house, also a well-known fixture in England and known as “Number 1 London.” Lord Apsley commissioned the residence. Built by the father of neoclassical architecture, Robert Adam, this Neo-classical home is famous as the home of the first Duke of Wellington. It is now home to The Wellington Museum.
Image: CC 2.0 by James West via Flickr
Harewood House, located in Yorkshire, England, is another building designed by Architect Robert Adam. Built in 1759 by the Earl of Harewood by David Lascelles, it was one of the finest homes in England. Harewood House is open to the public with art collections and magnificent gardens on display.
Image: CC 2.0 by Jim Linwood via Flickr
Syon House is another opulent neoclassical mansion which, in it's time, showcased the royals of England. Syon House, in London, was then famous the residence of the Duke of North Cumberland. The structure, built in 1547 by the first Duke of Somerset, boasts later remodeling by Robert Adam in the neoclassical style in the 1760’s.
Image: CC by S-A 2.0 by thisisbossi via Flickr
Here is another example of neoclassical opulence displaying status. Pashkov House was built by Russian architect V. Bazhenov for a wealthy and connected family named Pashkov as a single-family residence. The house, sold in the early 1900s to Moscow University, now houses the music department of the Russian state library.
Palace of Ajudajad99Wikipedia Commons
We finish out our list of sublime neoclassical homes with The Palace of Ajuda. This home is in Lisbon, Portugal, the palace, originally built as the permanent residence of the royal family in 1802. It was closed in 1910 and reopened in 1968 as a decorative arts museum.
Neoclassical Architecture Has Stood the Test of Time
While neoclassical architecture hit its peak during the beginning of the 20th century; it is a style that has stood the test of time. From state buildings to royal residences to opulent luxury homes of the exorbitantly rich and famous; neoclassical architecture is still very in vogue if you are looking to make a statement about wealth and decorum.