Classical Eclecticism

During the late 19th century , Classical Eclecticism, as interpreted by Beaux-Arts-trained architects and designers, begains to dominate the design of public buildings and the mansions of the well-to-do in Europe and the United States. Four stylistic variations emerge: Beaux-Arts, Neo-Renaissance, Chateauesque, and Neoclassical Revival.

Beaux- Arts- In all countries aspires to emulate the classical traditions of ancient Rome, the Italian Renaissance, the Baroque, and 17th- and 18th- century France.

Neo- Renaissance- Like earlier Renaissance Revival, Its emulates Italian 16th-century palaces and villas.

Chateauesque- The so called French Chateaux style is a copy from the French Renaissence. This is a more expensive alternative to Queen Anne.

Neoclassical Revival- Emulates either Neoclassical prototypes of the 18th and early 19th centuries or the Grecian idiom in the sprit of Greek Revival.


There are many motifs in each of the four stylistic variations of the Classical Eclecticism period. This includes swags, flowers, figural and relief scupture, dentil moldings, roundels, edd and dart, tracery, pointed arches, griffins and gargoyles, bead molding, triglyphs and metopes, and honeysuckles are to name a few.

 Beaux- Arts Motif

Neo- Renaissance Motif

Chateauesque Motif


Neoclassical Revival Motif


Types- There are numerous building types including capitols, courthouses, town halls, government buildings, liraries, museums, hotels, symphony halls, clubs, university buildings memorials, and monuments. Residential includes town houses, row houses, apartment buildings, residential hotels, or country homes.

  • Buildings line boulevards or define civic or city centers.
  • Floor plans are ususlly symmetrical and organized along axes with clearly defined, hierarchical spaces.
  • Buildings are of light- colored masonry such as marble, limestone, or sandstone.
  • Beaux- Arts have a five-part facade.
  • Neo- Renaissance facades are urbane and dignified
  • Chateauesque facades are asymmetrical and Picturesque
  • Neoclassical Revival facades are plainer than the others.
  • Windows are round or rectangular, some have hood moldings and stained or colored glass
  • Doors , all styles have prominent entries, ceremonial approach.
  • Roofs on Beaux-Arts are occasionally mansard or Domes
  • Neo- Renaissance and Neoclassical Revival have flat or hipped roofs.
  • Chateauesque have steeply pitched hipped roofs.

Grosvenor Hotel -Neo- Remaissance

Civic Theatre

Chateau Frontenac (Hotel) Chateauesque

Banque de Montreal – Beaux-Arts

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Jefferson Memorial

Tennessee’s Parthenon


Types include entrance lobbies, courtrooms, senate chambers, executive offices, art galleries, library reading rooms, music halls, and restaurants.

  • Colors return to primary hues from the tertiarty hues of the 1870s. French rooms: whites, blues, and greens. The Renaissance colors are deep reds, blues, greens, and golds.
  • Gas lighting is common, but newly introduced electricity rapidly increases.
  • Floors in public buildings are usually masonary with marble or terrazzo most common.
  • Homes have marble, mosaic, tile, and parquet wood floors.
  • Bedrooms often have wall-to-wall carpet.
  • Marble or limestone usually covers the walls in public important rooms.
  • Wood paneling is used in drawing rooms and dining rooms
  • Tapestries become a popular wall covering
  • Window treatments remain lavish with complicated or swag valances with trim and tassels
  • Single and double doors to principal rooms have elaborate surrounds.
  • Doors are wood panels that are stained or painted tp match the rooms.
  • Ceiling treatments vary and include painted murals, beams, coffers, and plaster designs.

Central Court, Pension Building

Main Reading Room Library of Congress

The Breakers Hotel

Villard House

Marble House

Furnishings and Decorative Arts:

Lighting Fixtures




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