Architectural Styles of Greater Boston: Greek Revival

A style for the philosopher in all of us, Greek Revival architecture is perfectly suited for a city like Boston that draws great thinkers from around the world. The regal columns, low-pitched gable roofs, and perfect symmetry convey a sense of sophistication that has been utilized for private residences, as well as banks, churches, and town halls.

Greek Revival StyleWhen this Neoclassical look was introduced to the United States in the early 19th century, it wasn’t just the physical appearance of Greek architecture that Americans hoped to emulate, but also the ideology of the birthplace of democracy. We were, after all, in the early years of establishing our own democracy and, consequently, a movement emerged that favored the Grecian aesthetic over British styles that had previously been in vogue.

From grand plantations across the South to the historic Quincy Market right here in Boston, Greek Revival was wholeheartedly embraced throughout the country. Keep an eye out around Boston and you’ll spot quite a few of these residences, particularly in Cambridge, Jamaica Plain, and Beacon Hill. It’ll be one of the few times you can knowledgeably say, “it’s Greek to me!”

To learn more about Greek Revival architecture, visit our guide.  Interested in other styles you see in Boston? Well you take a look at our Federal Style guide and Queen Anne guide!