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Romantic House Styles and Examples

Victoria Mansion Grand Staircase

The Romantic Style (1820-1880) of American houses grew in popularity in a time when the U.S. was attempting to break free from English culture and looked to the ancient world for architectural inspiration. While architects like Thomas Jefferson gained influence from Rome designing Early Classical and Colonial Revival styles, other American architects delved even deep er in to the past of ancient Greece, the "mother of all democracies". This inspired the Greek Revival Style which dominated America's commercial and residential building types from about 1830 until 1850. In the 1840s, another fashionable Renaissance style arose which was primarily influenced by the cathedrals, castles, and manor houses of the Middle Ages; the Gothic Revival style. The final Romantic House Style, Italianate, also borrowed from Renaissance designs with Italian farmhouse influences combined with Americanized doors, windows, and decorations.

Types of Romantic Styles include: Gothic Revival, Greek Revival, and Italianate.

How to Spot a Romantic Style House

Lyndhurst Art Gallery
  1. Greek Revival:
    Pedimented Gable covering entry supported by columns
    Symmetrical Shape
    Bold and Simple Moldings
    Decorative Pilasters
  2. Gothic Revival:
    Steeply Pitched Roof
    Grouped Chimneys
    Pinnacles, Battlements, and shaped Parapets
    Quatrefoil and Clover Shaped Windows
    Oriel Windows
    Asymmetrical Floor Plan
  3. Italianate:
    Pedimented Gables
    Asymmetrical Floor Plan
    Bold and Simple Moldings
    Decorative Pilasters

Romantic Links.

Resource No. 379

Lyndhurst Mansion

The architectural brilliance of the residence, designed in 1838 by Alexander Jackson Davis, is complemented by the park-like landscape of the estate and a comprehensive collection of original decorative arts.
914-631-4481

Lyndhurst Mansion

Resource No. 380

Melrose Plantation - Natchez, MS

This 1800s Greek revival-style mansion represents the hieght of Southern prosperity and the "Cotton Kingdom." Built by the John T. McMurran family beginning in 1841, Melrose was, according to McMurran daughter-in-law Alice Austen, "very elegant; one of the handsomest places I have seen North or South.
601-446-5790

Melrose Plantation - Natchez, MS

Romantic Books and Magazines.

Resource No. 484

Antebellum Homes of Georgia

David King Gleason

From the stately Gothic Revival and Regency-style houses of Savannah to the majestic, multi-columned plantation homes that punctuate rolling farmlands throughout the state, David King Gleason presents a splendid pictorial record of Georgia's fines pre-Civil War residences

Resource No. 485

Ghosts of Grandeur

Michael W. Kitchens

2013 Gold Medal Winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Non-Fiction, and 2013 Silver medal Winner of the Georgia Author of the Year Award in History. Ghosts of Grandeur: Georgia's Lost Antebellum Homes and Plantations is a compelling look into 94 of Georgia's most historic lost mansions and plantations which have been lost to the ages.

Resource No. 928

Great Houses of the South

Laurie Ossman

An exquisitely photographed collection of the great houses and mansions of the South.

Resource No. 483

Greek Revival Architecture in America

Talbot Hamlin

American pre-Civil War architecture.

Resource No. 927

Lost Plantations of the South

Marc R. Matrana

he great majority of the South's plantation homes have been destroyed over time, and many have long been forgotten. In Lost Plantations of the South, Marc R. Matrana weaves together photographs, diaries and letters, architectural renderings, and other rare documents to tell the story of sixty of these vanquished estates and the people who once called them home.

Resource No. 486

Storybook Cottages

Gladys Montgomery

Charming old houses in a uniquely American form are lovingly showcased in this engaging book. Romantic, imaginative, and eminently photogenic, Carpenter Gothic homes feature fairy-tale–like exterior details—steep gables; pointed arches, windows, and doors; elaborate gingerbread trim; and porches—in addition to one-of-a-kind, highly desired interior features that imbue the homes with a wealth of character—arched entryways, bay windows, stained glass, fireplaces, and wooden ceiling beams.

Resource No. 487

Ten House Styles 2 of 10

Jim Connerley

Ten House Styles is a collection of Design Plans inspired by ten significant house styles.