Thursday, May 31, 2012

What's A Folly?

What exactly is a folly?

A folly is a deliberate piece of architecture created to look like a ruin. This was very popular during the Romantic movement in the 1800's.

Here is Wimpole's Folly. Take a look at the way that it is made.The left obviously resembles crumbling ruins, while the tower looks almost new. There is the lighter concrete area that looks like crosses and I think is supposed to be faux arrow-slits.

Grotto Hill was created to to look like ruins.

Grecian follies were also very popular.

Follies were also made as temples. See any resemblance to places that are created today?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Emulation of Greek Palaces - Research Paper

Taylor Speer-Sims
May 21, 2012

Emulation of Greek Palaces 

            Many groups of people lived in Greece throughout time. These people had such creativity in their buildings. Small homes turned into palaces, and then went further into the designs of palace-temples. Other contemporary cultures began emulating the Greek styles. Later societies found their love of Grecian design and began to reproduce or reinterpret these ideas. Contemporaries, as well as subsequent societies, emulated the palaces of Greece.           
People that lived in the area that was later to be known as Greece were not Greeks. However, they thought of this area as their home. So, to them they were. The point of geographical location was more important than the origination of their ancestry for this paper. Paleolithic people of Greek were certainly living on the Greek homeland.
            Paleolithic people of millions of years ago found their way to Greece from the East. Greece had been the thoroughfare of people transverse to the rest of Europe. The cave complex of Lakonis showed evidence of use throughout time. There are overlapping hearths by the Neanderthals.  Extremely rich cultural remains indicated the multitudes of hominids that used the caves as domiciles throughout an immensely large period of time, possibly up to the Neolithic period.[1]
            The people of the Neolithic era concerned themselves more with farming than ostentatious housing. This time, in Greece, was thought to be from 5000 to 3200 BCE. They were farmers that had a terrestrial diet with little marine, or even animal, consumption. The bones of these early farmers reveal a vitamin deficiency that point to possibly a vegan style lifestyle.[2] By 5800 BCE houses of stick and mud were found in small groupings. Later in the Neolithic period, ca. 5500 BCE, the one-room houses were made with stone foundations and clay and timber roofing.  The settlements of Dimini, ca. 4000 BCE, had been built as encircling enclosures that were used for the distribution of land.[3]
            The first Greek speaking people arrived in their homeland around somewhere between ca. 2100 BCE and 1600 BCE.[4] These Bronze-Age Greeks found that it was the elite that had the greatest access to bronze and other metals, including those of a precious nature. Wealth allowed the beginnings of separation of classes due to possession of precious items. As the economy in Greece increased, the population grew. This created more separation of classes. The rulers grew in wealth, as well as power.[5]
            The powerful ruler of Lerna had the largest house within the Bronze settlement. Though, considered less advanced than the houses of the Near East, it was still quite sophisticated. Many artifacts of high quality have been found within the ruin that indicated that he was a ruler of a complex society. This early mansion was within an enclosure of  a strong fortification and other monumental buildings. Lerna’s ruling chief had lived in one of the earliest forms of palaces.[6]
            The very first true palace in Greece was not the huge labyrinth at Knossos. The evidence is that the world-renowned Palace of Knossos that was rediscovered in the 1930’s had a smaller, yet similar predecessor. There was a cellular multi-cell building with the same L-shape along with the central courtyard.[7] Built in EMIIA, or the 18th century BCE, the Palace at Valiliki had been in use throughout most of the Minoan period.[8] The labyrinth style of rooms adjacent to one another was used again, but in a larger scale at Knossos.[9]
            Knossos was begun ca. 1700 BCE and completed around 2000 BCE by King Minos, son of the gods Zeus and Europa. This was the central palace for the entire Minoan state.[10] The many level palatial complex held amazing columns and incredible painted/frescoed walls. There were common areas as well as the throne room, sanctuaries, the treasury and warehouses. The Royal villa included a Little Pavilion, which were the royal residences. And, a very important new feature was the open-air theater and entry courtyard. The capacity, of which, held at least five hundred spectators at one time.[11]
            Minos’ brother, Radamanthis had Phaistos as his kingship seat. Also the sight of the great wise man Epimenidis.[12] This Cretan city-state’s palace complex followed in the great Knossos and was started in 1900BCE,[13] Phaistos was the wealthiest city during the time of Minos and even assisted with the Trojan war.[14] The palace proper was extremely extensive. It covered an area approximately 8,000 square meters. The original burnt, but was then rebuilt as a much smaller, but more monumentally decorated building. Again, this site continued with the open-air theater, as well as a central courtyard and entry courtyard.[15]
            The third largest city-state, and thus palace in Crete at this time was Malia. It was also started ca. 1900 BCE. Following the same cycle of boom as Knossos and Phaistos, it collapsed in ca. 1650 BCE by unknown reasons. Also just as Phaistos, the palace was rebuilt was immediately rebuilt and then again was destroyed about two hundred years later. This palace, too, followed the same plan, labyrinth building styles with the warehouses and such, including the open-air theater, courtyard and entry courtyard.[16]
            Courtyard style palaces continued with the Greeks. Tiryns was built in the 14th century BCE. Tiryns had an upper, middle and lower citadel following the earlier building rings of the earlier Greeks. There were public spaces and a private wall-painted palace.[17] The palace, and the surrounding town were both expanded in 1250 and then again 1225 BCE. The palace was abandoned in the 12th century BCE, but then reoccupied as a temple in 498 BCE.[18] Indeed, the walls of Tiryns were considered by the Helens to have been so monumental that no human could have built them, it was the work of the Cyclopes race. It was here that the new entryways were developed into a well-structured span that many others emulated. There were three methods of spanning: Post and lintel, corbelled arch and arch.[19]
Mycenae was the next great evolution for the Greek palaces. Both Mycenae and Tiryns represented the époque of Mycenaean civilization.[20] Architectural sculptures here were phenomenal. The idea of the Lion Gate was said to have been of Near Eastern origin, the fact that other, later, Cretans used this same symbol as a relief, then followed by the Greeks indicate a Greek identity more than an oriental.[21] The walls of the entry courtyard, as well as the palace had reliefs of beautiful, colorful paintings that contradicted the severity of the stonework.[22] Mycenae, too, had been built in three stages of outer fortified circles.
Another Mycenaean palatial complex was Pylos. Called he Palace of Nestor, it was begun somewhere between 1300 and 1200 BCE. Pylos was the best preserved, out of all of the early palaces on, or near, Greece. This palace had absolutely amazing wall friezes. Interestingly, this palace had floor frescoes as well as those on the walls.[23] Pylos was the last of the Crete palaces, and Greece moved into palatial temples instead of domiciles.
With the changing into the large palace-temples, architectural styles matured. Ordered elevations included platforms, colonnades along with their superstructures. The first orders were the Doric and Ionic. Both order names were generated from the area of Greece from which they originated. The Doric order, from mainland Greece, remained the most popular. The Ionic was from the Aegean Islands. They were not isolated to the area from which they originated, but were both found throughout the area.[24]
The stylobate was the uppermost course of the platform for both the Ionic and Doric Orders. Fluting marked the columns, then having two or three parts in most cases, although there have been monolithic pieces found. The Doric Order had a plane capital while the Ionic had one that curled under itself, scroll like, on both sides. The Doric did not have a base, while the Ionic did. There were differences in the pediments and raking cornices. Again plane for Doric, the Ionic had square blocking throughout both the cornice and the raking pediments.[25]
There is an addition to the Orders by the newer Corinthian Capital. This was the capital of the columns, and it had a double row of acanthus leaves with tendrils and flowers wrapped around a bell shape echinus. Not a true order, the architects substituted the capital for the scrolled capital in the Ionic Order. It was created in the second half of the fifth century BCE by a sculptor named Kallimachos. Rarely used before the mid-fourth century by the Greeks. However, once the architects realized that this capital eliminated the problem of having more than one column at the corner of a buildings because of the four similar sides, it became a preferred style toward the end of later periods.
Blocking continued in the cornices in the Entablature of the Ionic Orders, and the Doric had a type of molded horizontal projection. Doric friezes had three vertical bands spaced by equal distances and the Ionic Friezes were left open for sculptures. The architrave was the weight-bearing element that distributed the weight of the roof equally.[26]
Large Egyptian architecture predated that of the Greeks, however there was at least one instance where the Egyptians emulated the Greeks. Tell el-Amarna was built by  Akhenaten ca. 1352-1336 BCE. This was obviously within the time of trade with the Greek cultures. Frescoed floors of the palace at Tell el- Amarna were the first for the Egyptians.[27] Akhenaten had changed the look and feeling of Egypt when he moved the capital from Thebes to his new city.[28] Obviously his architects were inspired by Greek paintings of Greek wildflowers when these are compared with the Egyptian Floor Fragment from the Egyptian palace that was placed in the Oriental Institute of Chicago. There similarities are huge. The style of the floor fragment was not the typical Egyptian, but was painted just like those of the Greek book Da Materia Medica of Dioskorides. While this book was written later, it was a copy earlier Greek paintings.[29] Egyptians also copied the forums of the Greek city-states.[30]
The obvious Greek influence on Egypt was the entire city of Alexandria. Alexander the Great founded the city with his architect, Dinocrates who was originally from Macedonia. Dinocrates gave Alexander a drawing of a temple that he had designed. Not being able to build such a structure at the location of gift, Alexander was on the lookout for a suitable location. When he came across and observed “a harbor safe by nature, an excellent center for trade, cornfields… and the great usefulness of the mighty river Nile, ordered him (Dinocrates) to build the city of Alexandria, named after the king.”[31]
The Assyrians also had paintings on their walls in the palace of Khorsabad. The Greeks did not inspire the painted walls of the palace, but the they did inspire the palace entrance itself. Khorsabad had an entry courtyard that resembled that of those of the labyrinth palaces. Khorsabad was built in 721 BCE, millennia after those of Mycenae.[32] Even though there were some differences, the fact remains that the earliest entry courtyards were from Greece, not from the Orient.
Oriental Persians also copied Greek architectural styles in one of their palaces. Again, just like the Egyptians, the Persians copied, and used, the Greek forums.[33] Deioces required a palace for himself that he considered to be suitable to his rank. Xerxes condescended this wish as he allowed Deioces to take his throne as ruler of Agbatana. The Medes, the people of the area, built the place with “walls of… great size and strength, rising in circles one within the other…. The royal palace and the treasuries standing within the last. The circuit of the outer wall is very nearly the same with that of Athens.”[34] And, with the ever-increasing circles of the Persian palace it also resembled the circling nature of the Greek Dimini village of 4000 BCE.
Temple palaces of the Etruscans were direct descendants of Grecian styles. They resembled the Greek stone-gabled roofed temples. They also had columns that were almost identical to the Doric Order. The differences were that they were mad of wood, unfluted and had no base. However, in appearance, the resemblance to the Greek temples was very similar.[35]
The very next in line for Greek palatial architectural decadency were the Romans. They took the basic Orders and made Romanized changes. Greek forums and theaters were enlarged to accommodate more people.[36] Roman changes also included the entry from the circumference of the building to only the front stairwell. The Romans also emulated Greek decoration of their housing. In both Pompeii and elsewhere, the “elite identity… combines the basics of Roman building forums with Greek subjects and decorative styles.”[37] Meaning that the painting frescoes within the houses of the Roman elite were of Greek palatial ornamentation design. In fact, almost all Roman designs originated from either Etruscan or Grecian designs. And, while the Etruscans emulated the Greeks, going further, that means that Roman designs were almost entirely of Greek origin.
Grecian designs went further throughout time. The heirs to the Greek dynasty included almost all of Europe. The Normans built keeps with encircling fortifications that bespoke of the early Greek Dimini. Europe, in the 18th century, had a Greek fascination with the neo-classic palaces such as the Russian Gatchina Palace, Poland’s Pulawy Palac Marynki and Tabley House in Great Britain.[38] Even the United States of America had their connection with Grecian palatial temples. The White House, The U.S. Capital building and many different mansions such as Andalusia in Pennsylvania and Greenwood Plantation in Louisiana are the embodiment of the Greek palaces.[39]
There are two arguments to the idea that the palaces of other societies emulated the Greeks. The first was that there were palaces and temples elsewhere. The other was that the non-Greeks could have come up with these same ideas; frescoed walled houses, frescoed floors, painting styles, circular palace enclosures and entry courtyards. Both of these arguments would have been true. However, the people of Greece did come up with all of these ideas first. And, they were definitely in contact (either directly or indirectly) with people of the Orient, Rome, Europe and America. This clearly shows that even if these other individuals, or groups, would have come up with those very same factors, they did so afterwards. Which means that the conceptions were only original to those that created them, the Greeks.
Emulation was the highest form of flattery. People from all over the Near-East, Europe and America fell in love with different portions of Grecian temples. The fortification concept of encircled enclosures was part of many fortification designs. Grecian style entry courtyards were popular in the Orient. Frescoed walls were popular through the 18th century, and beyond. The most coveted architectural element of all was the different Orders. These were popular from Ancient Greece all the way to today. Without a doubt, people around the globe, throughout time, duplicated the palaces of Greece.

“Abstract”, Abstract of  “Bioarchaeological Inferences from a Neolithic Ossuary from
Alepotrypa Cave, Diros, Greece” by Anastasia Papathanasiou, Clark Spencer Larsen and Lynette Norr.  in International Journal of Osteoarchaeology,  Vol 10, Issue 3, (May/June 2000), 210-228.  2012.;2-2/abstract. (access May 19, 2012).
“Abstract”, Abstract of “Late Pleistocene Archaeological and Fossil Human Evidence from
Lakonis Cave, Southern Greece.” By Eleni Panagopoulou, et al. in Journal of Field Archaeology, Vol 29, No. 3-4 (January 2004), 323-349. 2012.;2-2/abstract
Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns.” World Heritage. Dec. 1999. (accessed May 21, 2012).
Dishner, Jackie. “Greek Revival Architecture.” HGTV: Front Door. January 2008. (accessed May 22, 2012).
“Greenwood Plantation.” 2004. (accessed
May 22, 2012).
Herodotus. “The History of Herodotus.” 440 BCE. Quoted in “Modern History Sourcebook”,
Fordham University. Last modified August 1998.
Halsall/ancient/herodotus-history.txt. (accessed May 21, 2012).
Jenkins, Simon. England’s Thousand Best Houses. New York: Penguin Group, 2004.
Kleiner, Fred. Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: The Western Perspective, Volume 1, 13th 
Ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2010.
“Malia.” 2012.
(accessed May 21, 2012).
Levi, Peter. Atlas of the Greek World. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2000.
Don Nardo, ed. The Complete History of  Ancient Greece. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven
Press, 2001.
Papdimitriou, Alkistis. “History” Odysseus. 2007.
3/eh351.jsp?obj_id=2382. (accessed May 21, 2012).
Pollio, Vitruvius. “The Ten Books on Architecture.” 15 BCE. (accessed May 22, 2012).
“Pylos Project, The” MARWP. N.d. (accessed
May 21, 2012).
Speer-Sims, Taylor. “Fragment Fever” (Research paper for class, American Military
University, March 2012.)
---- “Khorsabad Palace: Not So Bad, Actually Fantastic.” (Research paper for class,
American Military University, March 2012.)
“Time Periods”. Ancient Greece. 2012. (accessed
May 21, 2012).
Vanorsow. “Roman Houses as Greek Palaces.” Teaching Company. May 31, 2010. (accessed May 22, 2012).

Originally written for class at American Military University.

[1] “Abstract”, Abstract of “Late Pleistocene Archaeological and Fossil Human Evidence from Lakonis Cave, Southern Greece.” By Eleni Panagopoulou, et al. in Journal of Field Archaeology, Vol 29, No. 3-4 (January 2004), 323-349. 2012.;2-2/abstract
[2] “Abstract”, Abstract of  “Bioarchaeological Inferences from a Neolithic Ossuary from Alepotrypa Cave, Diros, Greece” by Anastasia Papathanasiou, Clark Spencer Larsen and Lynette Norr.  in International Journal of Osteoarchaeology,  Vol 10, Issue 3, (May/June 2000), 210-228.  2012.
/doi/10.1002/1099-1212(200005/06)10:3%3C210::AID-OA523%3E3.0.CO;2-2/abstract. (access May 19, 2012).
[3] “Time Periods”. Ancient Greece. 2012. (accessed May 21, 2012).
[4] Don Nardo, ed. The Complete History of  Ancient Greece. (San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 2001.), 35.
[5] Ibid, 36.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid, 39.
[8] “Valiliki” Minoan Crete: Bronze Age Civilization. N.d.
minoan/vasiliki.htm. (accessed May 21, 2012).
[9] Sarah Pomeroy, et al. Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.), 27.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Jiri Burian, et al. The Grand Tour: Homes of Kings. ( New York: HBJ Press, 1978.), 152.
[12] “Phaistos: Palace and Archaeological Site. .” Interkriti. 2012.
crete/iraklion/phaistos.html. (accessed May 21, 2012).
[13] Pomeroy, 27.
[14] “Phaistos”.
[15] Ibid.
[16] “Malia.” 2012. (accessed May 21, 2012).
[17] Alkistis Papdimitriou. “History” Odysseus. 2007. (accessed May 21, 2012).
[18] “Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns.” World Heritage. Dec. 1999. (accessed May 21, 2012).
[19] Fred Kleiner. Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: The Western Perspective, Volume 1, 13th Ed. (Boston: Wadsworth, 2010.), 77.
[20] “Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns.”
[21] Kleiner, 79.
[22] Ibid, 77.
[23] “The Pylos Project” MARWP. N.d. (accessed May 21, 2012).
[24] Kleiner, 96.
[25] Ibid.
[26] Ibid.
[27] Mark Hirsh. Personal interview with author March, 2012.
[28] Taylor Speer-Sims. “Fragment Fever” (Research paper for class, American Military University, March 2012.)
[29] “Fragment of a Painted Floor.” Plaster, pigment. New Kingdom Dynasty 18, Reign of Akenaten, ca. 1352-1336 BCE. Tell el-Amarna, Maru Aten, 22 ½ x 27” Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL – Personal visit by author.; Peter Levi. Atlas of the Greek World. (New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2000.), 191.
[30] Vanorsow. “Roman Houses as Greek Palaces.” Teaching Company. May 31, 2010. (accessed May 22, 2012).
[31] Vitruvius Pollio. “The Ten Books on Architecture.” 15 BCE. (accessed May 22, 2012).
[32] Taylor Speer-Sims. “Khorsabad Palace: Not So Bad, Actually Fantastic.” (Research paper for class, American Military University, March 2012.)
[33] Vanorsow.
[34] Herodotus. “The History of Herodotus.” 440 BCE. Quoted in “Modern History Sourcebook”, Fordham University. Last modified August 1998. (accessed May 21, 2012).
[35] Kleiner, 145.
[36] Vanorsow.
[37] Ibid.
[38] Simon Jenkins. England’s Thousand Best Houses. (New York: Penguin Group, 2004.), 89.
[39] Jackie Dishner. “Greek Revival Architecture.” HGTV: Front Door. January 2008. (accessed May 22, 2012).; “Greenwood Plantation.” 2004. (accessed May 22, 2012).
Originally written for research paper for class at American Military University.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Martin Mitchell Mansion

Naperville, Illinois built in 1883

I went to visit with my mom. Interestingly it is free to enter if you are local! Built by George Martin II in 1883, it was a showcase for the local wealthy entrepreneur who had the brick and limestone business that literally built Chicago after the Great Fire. It is the only original building still on its building site within Naper Settlement.

Back door with cellar door

Carrage entrance

This is where the carraige riders would alight.
Not the steps that are high off the ground.

 Above every window and door there is the limestone that made George Martin II wealthy.
Also, notice the frosted glass pane with the name "Martin".

All above photos taken by author.


 This wallpaper was original to the house.
My mom says that it is the prettiest paper that she has ever seen in her life.
Photo does not due it justice. Flocked blue with silver filigree.

Above two photographs:

They wouldn't let me take pictures on the inside, but I wish that I could have taken pictures of two rooms for you.

The Kitchen floor is amazing. It is strikingly striped, with white ash and black walnut intermittently.

And, the upstairs front room has what they call a "Turkish Nook". This is in the front of the house where the solarium usually is. It is interesting because there is a cot covered in a bedspread with a small tapestry hanging above it. There is a Moroccan floor lamp opposite with a Spanish carved Dantesca chair. A tapestry hangs to one side of the window gathered with a tassel. This was the Mitchell's upstairs parlor.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Just Some Pics of Pompeii....

Pics I Love From Pompeii

I've been told to put something in everyday. But, I have finals this week. Because my time is short, I will only be able to do some brief stuff. So I thought that I will upload a couple of pics of Pompeii that I love. Kind of a companion piece to my research paper of two days ago (Roman Housing and Self Promotion). Briefly, here a just a couple to wet your appetite.

Photo Sources:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Anglicazation of Colonial Housing

Taylor Speer-Sims
May 13, 2012

American English or English American

Either Way, It Was Chic


            Early Americans emulated the housing styles of the natives, as well as styles from the owner’s motherland.  Romanticized versions of English and classical versions became a popular style that the Americans emulated. The Anglicization of the homes of the American elite was due in part to the person’s national origin, but it was mainly due to other ideals. The home’s beauty was important to the homeowner due to its symbolism of wealth and social status.
            Social status in housing was not new to the Americas. Natives had their own type of status in their housing. The longhouses of the Eastern Woodland Indians had areas where the wealthier people lived. The higher status person would have a bark floor instead of grass mats. The chief’s house had a special location in the town center where the others could not live.[1] The Mississippian people had their higher status houses upon the higher man-made mound summits. Sometimes these were closer to the center of the city and closer to the temple of worship.[2] The Anasazi people had whose “pueblos stood four stories tall and contained 650 rooms” possibly had the better units at the top.[3]
            It was the one story tall native house that found its way into the main stream American housing market. Wigwams and long houses of the natives turned the imagination of the colonists into a type of hybrid. Taking on a type of Cherokee building of wattle and daub was very similar to the log cabin method.[4] The one and one and a half log cabin was one of the most important inventions in housing for the Americas. The colonists emulated these styles and then the natives did their own emulations in turn. The Indians liked the hybridization and built anglicized towns and even European style mansions.[5]
            The Germans who moved from their European homes to America found that their steep-roofed houses did not work as well in their American environment. In Germany, they kept their food in the attic. However, they found that it spoiled in their homes in Pennsylvania and found that they needed more light in New York. So, they made their attic space smaller and added more windows for light.[6] Thus changing the appearance of their homes to a more English look.
            The appearance of the houses of Scottish and Scotch-Irish were a little different. Many of the poor that came over found that they would be able to create a house very quickly by adapting the native style wigwam or a simple mud-house. Their rock houses from the mother country suited very well in the American environment. These were easy to construct if the chosen area had the necessary supply.[7] The houses from this group tended to be easily more English in appearance due to the proximity of England to Ireland and Scotland.
            England was not as close to Holland, but they did share some of the same heritage, especially during the time of William of Orange. The housing style of the Dutch had the general appearance of a barn. The façade was usually stone and had no front porch. These houses were typically one to two stories with a half story attic. The front was placed facing the east to limit the number of windows. The ingenious half door was shut on the bottom and open at the top to encourage socialization of passers by. The American climate made itself known to the Dutch as well. The northerners added dormers for more windows and moved to a more Anglicized design of half-timber and half stone.[8] The southern Americanized Dutch added a front porch to resist the sun added more windows for ventilation and placed the house on a hill to assist with drainage.[9]
            Americans who had their ancestry from England found that their homes were easily adaptable to the new climate. There were still some changes due to location such as the addition of a front porch in the south, as was the Dutch.[10]  Other changes were subtler. These included less ornamentation and less formal. However, other than those two smaller items, it really had more to do with the income of the homeowner than the style of the house changing. This was the time of the wealthy Anglo-American and they were proud to show their heritage.[11]
            From as early as 1584 when Richard Hakluyt stated “That the rischesse that the Indian Threasure wrought in time… is to be had in consideracion of the moste excellent Majestie, leaste the contynuall coming of the threasure from thense to his sonne…”[12] So while Hakluyt meant that the Indian treasure was to have been gold and silver, the true treasure was the land itself. Hakluyt was only one man that took the Indian land and worked it to make a fortune. Many others found their fortune in the southern and middle colonies. These new elite made their home their barometer of wealth as they found a higher standard of living than their compatriots back in England.[13]
            The higher standard of living held that there was also a higher level of disposable income. This was mainly due to the great farmland that was so readily available in America.[14] The colonists emulated the British gentry in many different areas. The gentleman of the Americas were not necessarily bred from the English stock, they were actually the descendents of some of the lower stock that had gained a foothold in landholdings over the years. It was the wealth that brought forth the manners and means of American nobility.[15]
            If the colonist had the financial means, they emulated the British no matter the national origin of their European ancestor. They not only purchased their fine goods, they emulated the gentility in manner and design. Their houses grew to look more and more like English country estates. “Every object was on display and subject to applause or censure.”[16] These Nuevo-elite built larger and more refined houses abandoning their darker, unpainted and cruder houses of their previous generations. They were ever more sensitive to how they looked to their counterparts in England and so continued to esteem and worship the building styles of the great architects Andrea Palladio and Robert Adam.[17]
            Palladio and Adam were master architects that specialized in neo-classicist styles. These were Grecian and Roman in style, but of a more contemporary fashion. Palladio held a Baroque and formal feeling where as Adam was more Rococo. Palladio was really only interested in the layout of the rooms while Adam’s Romanian style brought the ideals of fabulous painted interiors to the forefront.[18] The Americans took every pain to make sure that the high fashioned British architects’ designs would find their way to the colonies as well.
            The fashion of England was to have a connection with the great societies of the past. This made England feel like they were also a great empire. Indeed, the American colonists followed in their footsteps. If the English were descendents of the great Roman and Greek empires, then the Americans were part of them as well. An American studied classical style in England and came back to design many houses and government buildings. Even though Thomas Jefferson found his rhythm after the United States became a country, he got his start while still a Burgess. [19]
            The housing of the Burgess was of the utmost quality and sophistication. These were stately homes usually built upon a hill so that the general populace would literally have to look up to them. They had areas to entertain outdoors, again for the populace to see how great they were. There was usually a great formal parlor and dining room to impress the guests at parties. And, the burgess, himself had his own office to complete his work. Almost every one of these great men had been a multi-generational Burgess member.[20] These houses were definitely organized like their Parliamentary counterparts in England.[21]
            While the first portion of the colonization of the original thirteen colonies were definitely more English than any other nationality, by the 1750’s there were many more nationalities involved.[22] Emigrants from England began to wane, as the local economy grew better. Manufacturing there grew and took in many of the people that had previously not been working. Also, wars on the continent swallowed up many more men into the fighting ranks. There was less need for Englishmen to move out of their homeland than there had been.[23] There were about 270,000 English emigrants less than the previous century. This was interrupted when there was a gluttony of men when the cease-fire occurred.[24] Because of this negative influx, Britain decided to offer citizenship to men to moved and followed the rules of citizenship.[25]
The second largest group of free-will emigrants to the American colonies in the 18th century was the Germans. While most Germans emigrated east, there were still over 100,000 the emigrated to the American colonies. Most of these people arrived in Philadelphia, but moved to Pennsylvania. British ships that specialized in the emigration venture business had brought these people there, and only British ships were allowed to do this because of the Navigation Acts.[26]
The largest groups of emigrant freeman were the Scots at 145,000. There were actually three types of Scots that moved. The Lowland Scots were very British in manner and were relatively wealthy. They were only around 150 total, but were skilled tradesmen, farmers, and held other professions such as doctors. Highlanders came over because of their bad circumstances at home. They were ambitious and tough. Almost half of the total Scots were from Ulster, Ireland. They were called the Scotch-Irish or Sots-Irish in America. A lot of these people were destitute and sold themselves into indentured servitude to get over to America to start a new life.[27]
There were also those that were brought over against their will. In 1717 convicted felons were authorized by Parliament to be shipped to America instead of being executed. Around 15,000 felons found themselves a new home across the ocean. These men were used as a type of slave because they were cheaper than those men from Africa.[28] By far the largest groups of emigrant people in the 18th century were from Africa. Six million people did not move across the ocean by their free will! West African princes sold them to the Europeans.  250,000 slaves went to the mainland colonies, and 1.2 million slaves to the West Indies. Easily one-third of these people died an early death.[29]
So, the slaves and the indentured servants helped to create wealth for the freeman, no matter what the European ancestry. What made the elite of the other nationalities move toward the Anglican style houses? The first reason would be the obvious. This was still a British nation. To blend in without being censored. America was the area of racial discrimination. America was “addicted to slave labor” and their wealth per person was so much higher than that of the European.[30] And, the taxes were less as well.[31]
The next reason that the changes occurred was for simply fashion sake. Because fashion were indicators of cultural conditions.[32] Fashion also has to do with personal choice and technology.[33] The most important part of fashion would be the “roles appropriate to scenes… and even more so for the male.”[34] And since, the English were gaining power throughout the world, the British-American would have had to have the appropriate house to indicate the role that the man held in this society.[35] So, the obvious choice would have been an Anglo style mansion to show off the wealth that he (or another family member) had amassed.
The third, but less obvious reason of the change to the Anglicised version of the Americans, was of course, the environment. While this was certainly a point, it was less British as apposed to the new American styles. However, because the environment required certain points of housing, it did necessitate changes. These were definitely influenced by the British neighbors, if the builder was from another area of Europe. And, if the American was from England, then the changes were less severe due to the general quality of the English country house that was being copied. The two or three story Georgian was a simple plan with basic roofing that could have been adjusted very easily to suit any environment and lifestyle.[36]
And, the best form of change was made by the lifestyle of the builder. As the Europeans gained wealth, they increased their style of living. As their wealth increased, the demand for European goods also increased. People became more literate and read more newspapers, which was specifically charged to “draw colonial readers into an English perspective on the world.”[37] The land-rich Americans had a larger disposable income to their compatriots back home.[38]  This was the most visible way that they showed off their newly found wealth? It also demonstrated their refinement by building “larger and more ornamented houses…filled with fine furniture.”[39]
The larger early-American houses were definitely built by the elite. These men were from many areas of the world, including men of several generations of American heritage. The fashion, climate, wealth and status of the owner had been indicated by the stature of his home. The trend of the colonies had been dictated by the power and prestige of their mother country, England. The beauty of the house was necessitated by the symbolism of its visual proximity to that of the English elite.


“Alabama Archaeology: Prehistoric Alabama.”  Alabama Archaeology. 2005. (accessed May 13, 2012).

Baker, John Milnes. American House Styles: A Concise Guide. New York: W.W. Norton
& Company, 1994.

Brimhall, Melanie, Carole Nash and Karenne Wood, eds. “Beyond Jamestown: Indians Past
and Present.” 2006. (accessed May 13, 2012).

Burns, William E. “Georgian Homes in Colonial North America: 17th and 18th Centuries.”
2011. In Daily Life through History. (accessed May 10, 2011). 

Gelernter, Mark. A History of American Architecture: Buildings in Their Cultural and
Technological Context. Hanover, NY: Hanover University Press, 2001

James Oliver Horton. Landmarks of African American History. New York: Oxford
University Press, 2004.

Richard Hakluyt. “Discourse of Western Planting. 1584.
1600/hakluyt/plant.htm. (accessed May 13, 2012).

Miller, Randall H.  “Southern Plantation Houses in Antebellum America.” In Daily Life
through History. (2011). (accessed May 9, 2012).

“Palladio and Britain.” Royal Institute of British Architects. 2011.
PalladianInteriors/PalladiosInteriors/PalladiosInteriors.aspx. (accessed May 13, 2012).

Salisbury, Joyce E. and Peter Seelig.. “Housing in Colonial North America” In Daily Life
through History. (accessed May 9, 2012).

Speer-Sims, Taylor. “18th Century Colonial Housing Adaptation.” May 2011. APUS.
Research paper for class.

Solomon, Michael. The Psychology of Fashion. Toronto: Lexington Books, 1985

Taylor, Alan. American Colonies: The Settling of North America. New York: Penguin
Books, 2002.

Originally written for class at American Military University.

[1] Melanie Brimhall, Carole Nash and Karenne Wood, eds. “Beyond Jamestown: Indians Past and Present.” 2006. (accessed May 13, 2012).
[2] “Alabama Archaeology: Prehistoric Alabama.”  Alabama Archaeology. 2005. (accessed May 13, 2012).
[3] Alan Taylor. American Colonies: The Settling of North America. (New York: Penguin Books, 2002.), 13.
[4] Brimhall.
[5] Taylor Speer-Sims. “18th Century Colonial Housing Adaptation.” May 2011. APUS. Research paper for class, 4.
[6] James Oliver Horton. Landmarks of African American History. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.), 96.

[7] Joyce E. Salisbury and Peter Seelig, “Housing in Colonial North America” In Daily Life through History. (accessed May 9, 2012).

[8] Mark Gelernter. A History of American Architecture: Buildings in Their Cultural and Technological Context. (Hanover, NY: Hanover University Press, 2001.), 53.
[9]  Randall H. Miller,  “Southern Plantation Houses in Antebellum America.” In Daily Life through History. (2011). (accessed May 9, 2012).

[10] Ibid.
[11] William E. Burns, “Georgian Homes in Colonial North America: 17th and 18th Centuries.” 2011. In Daily Life through History. (accessed May 10, 2011). 

[12] Richard Hakluyt. “Discourse of Western Planting. 1584. (accessed May 13, 2012).
[13] Taylor, 307; Gelernter, 57.
[14] Taylor, 307.
[15] Ibid, 312.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Ibid, 312-313; Gelernter, 42, 108.
[18] “Palladio and Britain.” Royal Institute of British Architects. 2011. (accessed May 13, 2012).
[19] Gelernter, 120.
[20] Speer-Sims, 17.
[21] Gelernter, 57.
[22] Taylor, 318.
[23] Taylor, 302.
[24] Ibid, 314.
[25] Ibid, 302-303.
[26] Ibid, 318-319.
[27] Ibid, 316-317.
[28] Ibid, 315.
[29] Ibid, 323-324.
[30] Taylor, 303.
[31] Ibid, 438.
[32] Michael Solomon, The Psychology of Fashion. (Toronto: Lexington Books, 1985.), 3.
[33] Ibid, 4.
[34] Ibid, 6.
[35] Taylor, 246.
[36] John Milnes Baker, American House Styles: A Concise Guide. (New York: W.W. Norton
& Company, 1994.) 33.
[37] Taylor, 304.
[38] Ibid, 307.
[39] Ibid, 312.

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