American Georgian

The Georgian style was named after the English Kings George I, II, & III whose ruling periods were from 1714 – 1820. During their reigns in England the colonies became prosperous, the social classes developed, and style mattered. Stately and symmetrical, the colonists homes imitated the larger, more elaborate Georgian homes which were being built in England.This style was popular in the British colonies from Maine to Virginia.


Common motifs in interiors include the ear; which is a right-angled projection, shell, acanthus leaf, rosette, and pinapple or pine cone, as well as renditions of naturalistic flowers.


Public Building Types- Public Buildings include government stuctures, churches, educational structures, and traverns. After mid-century, new types, such as hospital and markets, increase.


Site Orientation- Government centers and churches are sited along major transportation arteries for visual recognition. Other public structures sprin up along dominant thoroughfares for accessibility to urban centers.

Floor Plans- Churches follow the British tradition, with a Latin cross plan in the South and a more centerlized plan in New England. Governmental and educational buildings often have a double-pile plan or a variation.

Material- Common building materials are wood, brick, and stone. Selection varies due to geographic location. Mid- Atlantic and southern regions frequently choose handmade red brick or sometimes quarried stone. Some public structures are of wood treated to imitate stone.

Facades- Public facades indicate an increasing application of classical details throughout the period. Sash windows, dormers, and modillioned cornices are common with the exception of churches, which do not have dormers. The towers and steeple mark the entrance front of churches.

Windows- Sash window are typical. Window are often large to admit as much light as possible. Stained glass is rare, as plain glass is preferred to make nature, God’s creation, visible.

Doors- Classical details define doorways. Doors themselves are of paneled wood and are usually painted a dark color.

Roofs- Hipped or gableroofs are the most common. Domes are very rare.

Private Buildings Types- Homes Dwellings

Floor Plans-Most homes have a center passage flanked symmertically by tow rooms on either side, with a repetitive footprint for both floors.

 Materials- Domestic buildings imitate public once in the application and general use of materials.

Facades- Facades with classically delineated entries are common. In brick homes, a belt or string course composed of a wide, flat band marks floors.

Windows- Repetitively sized and spaced double-hung windows with six-over-six or nine-over-nine glass panes dominate, an obvious. Many have exterior shutters, especially after mid-century.

Roofs- Roofs for domestic buildings are often hipped. Gable and gambrel roofs are also common. Dormer windows add variety to the roof design.


 Types-Public spaces in domestic homes, such as passages, drawing rooms, dining areas, these spaces are multifunctional and have a formal character emphasizing refinment and wealth. The other rooms include the bedchamber and kitchen.

Color- The color palette has medium values of russet-rose, Prussian blue, sky blue, blue gray, pea green, olive green,  gray green, deep green, and charcoal gray accented with white or off-white.

Lighting- Expensive light fixtures of brass, porcelian. sliver, and glass come form England, while cheaper ones of wood and pewter originate locally.

Floors- Residential flooring usually features wide boards cleaned with water and sand. Some floors are apinted in solids, patterns, or to resemble rugs, and floor cloths are common, even in the best rooms.

Walls- Classic wall divisions often incorporate a cornice, frieze, small architrave, shaft, dado rail, paneled dado, and baseboard. Wall treatments include paneling, wallpaper, fabric, or paint.

Windows- Thay usually include recessed wooden shutters on either side with no draperty treatment allowing natural lightto filter in. Curtians are rare even among the wealthy.

Pine Panelling and Carved Stone Columns

Doors- Doorways express the classic image through broken pediments. Wood doors with panels are common and either painted white or, if walnut or mahogany, left natural.

Small Panelled Room

Ceilings- Often left undecorated, ceiling depict an American preference for simplicity in contrast to English precursors.

Furnishing and Decorative Arts

Types- Typical furniture pieces include chairs, sofas, tables, highboys, lowboys, tall case, clocks, firescreens, and beds.


Chippendale Ladder-Back Chair

Chippendale Ribbon-Back Chair

Queen Anne Armchair

Windsor Chair


Camel-Back Sofa





Desk with Bookcase


Decorative Arts:

Ceramics are a big part of American Georgian decoration. Also silver is in the homes of the wealthy as coffee pots, serving pieces, and candleholders.




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