Greek Revival in America:

Tracing its architectural roots to ancient Athens




Author/architects Norman and Ilene Tyler share with readers the thrill of discovering the historic significance of their house, referred to as “one of the finest Greek Revival houses in America.” The account begins dramatically with the day one of the four large columns unexpectedly fell onto the front lawn, its capital shattered on the slate sidewalk. From this incident, they initiate research on the question of how and where the elaborately crafted columns were fabricated for their house during the early years of settlement in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

They expand their research by visiting sites of other similar nineteenth-century Greek Revival residences in western New York State, and continue their odyssey with visits to the first Greek Revival structures in England, finally tracing the roots of their home to a particular ancient site they discover in Athens, Greece.

Many books have been written about about Greek Revival architecture. However, no book has invited readers to trace back through history the genealogy of a single house over 2,500 years. The authors describe, step-by-step, how information is found from many different sources—history books, architecture books, pattern books, articles, interviews with local historians, and site visits in the United States and Europe. Their research reveals startling new interpretations of documented historical events that could change forever the understanding and source of the Greek Revival style.


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