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  4. Architecture Guide
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  6. Neoclassical

c. 17th – 19th century
Britain, France, Germany, United States

Influences: Greek Revival, Renaissance architect Palladio, French philosophers created Georgian, Federalist, Jeffersonian, Beaux-Arts

Enlightenment during the 17th and 18th centuries was inspired by Greek and Roman ideas just as it was during the Renaissance. Architecture symbolized order and symmetry during a revolutionary time in the West.


American Neoclassical, United States

Influenced by its European founders and by the materials and methods available to homesteaders and the indigenous people before them. New forms of this style evolved during this period to include Palladian-inspired, Federalist, Jeffersonian, and Greek Revival.

Beaux-Arts Movement

Beaux-Arts was an architectural movement of Renaissance Revival taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The principles of this late, eclectic form of French neoclassicism disputed Victorian Gothic Revival ideals. Classical elements of architecture use order and formal symmetry combined with elaborate, grandiosity ornamentation.

  • Focus on symmetry
  • Hierarchy of interior spaces
  • Classical details, including columns and pediments
  • Highly decorative surfaces
  • Statues and figures embedded within the façade
  • Raised first story
  • Stone or stone-like materials

Beaux-Arts, France

Symmetrical balance, classical order, and ornamentation characterize the Opèra de Palais Garnier in Paris, France (1861–1875).

Balanced symmetry and classic order at the Opéra de Palais Garnier – Paris, France

Beaux-Arts, United States

Many American architects studied at the École des Beaux-Arts to learn this style that fits well with the Colonial Revival of the late 19th century, such as Edward Pearce Casey who designed the DAR Memorial Continental Hall in 1905.

Balanced symmetry and classic order at the DAR Museum – Washington DC, USA