Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Greek Revival

Today, in American Architecture class, we discussed the Greek Revival style. Its roots in this country can be traced back to the Virginia State Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson and built in 1788. Generally, the style started to appear in both public and private buildings around 1820. Based on both Roman and Greek temples, the Greek Revival style was especially prevalent in government buildings and banks. This style of architecture represented democracy, stability, and trust -- an image that the newly-formed United States of America wanted to convey both to its citizens and to other countries.

The Greek Revival style was also used for private residences. Many of these houses, built by the rich and elite of America, were mansions of grand proportions. Others were more humble and less ornate. The Kempf House, built in 1853, is one of Ann Arbor's most celebrated structures. This small Greek Revival residence on South Division Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The plaque outside the Kempf House reads:

Cast iron grills in an ancient Greek floral motif highlight the frieze of this temple-front Greek Revival house. Built in 1853 for Henry D. Bennett, Secretary and Steward of the University of Michigan, it became the home and studio of local musicians Reuben H. and Pauline Widenmann Kempf in 1890. [. . . ] The city of Ann Arbor purchased the house in 1969, and in 1983 it became the Kempf House Center for Local History.

Kempf House

1 comment:

Mark said...

nice post... I will have to go inside for the tour sometime.