Photograph by Christopher Scalise

As Colonial America’s population swelled and became more prosperous, people developed a taste for more fashionable homes. Post-medieval building styles were replaced by Georgian architecture throughout the colonies’ coastal towns beginning in the early 18th century. From New England townhouses to southern plantation homes, Georgian’s many variations dominated the landscape until after the Revolutionary War.

The Georgian home, usually a one- or two-story box, two rooms deep, is recognizable by the strict symmetry of its windows and doors. The paneled front door was centered and topped with a decorative crown, while its windows were aligned horizontally and vertically in rows, never in adjacent pairs. Existing examples of Georgian architecture are more prevalent in southern cities and rural towns that didn’t experience the rapid expansion of larger cities such as Boston and Philadelphia.

Source: A Field Guide to American Houses, by Virginia and Lee McAlester (Knopf 2004)

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