Georgian On Our Minds
Walk around in America's old towns or explore country enclaves with nearby water access and you will find examples of Georgian architecture. Still standing regal and proud they were built by America’s first crop of the economically elite. Their dignified looks and traditional appeal makes them ripe for flattery through faithful
modern day renditions.
As the style became Americanized it mutated. Native materials were used and wings were added onto the sides of the main houses. Bona fide Georgians were typically built by the movers and shakers of their time and still command respect and high value in the real estate markets. People's love and passion for old house types can result in some amazing stories including this one, where a Georgian hybrid is located, disassembled, moved, rebuilt and modernized to create the
ultimate vintage vacation home.
For some, the love of old-school buildings begins with utility structures including barns. Here's a story that began with a barn search and turned into a master builder and developer creating his master work. Take a look at a story about an amazing
Interior design schemes and landscaping options for Georgians skew towards formal and traditional. The subtle scraping sounds of mortar being skimmed from the surface of red brick ushered in a wave of permanence to building techniques of the 1700’s. Wealth and the promise of prosperity lured speculators into becoming settlers as immigrants sunk their roots into American soil.
The burgeoning merchant class of the new world displayed their success in the ways they built their homes. For design inspiration they looked back to where they came from and found a style of house named for the three men called King George who ruled England for most of the 18th century. The style was encouraged by the use of "pattern books," published house plans that displayed schematics for floor plans, doors, windows and trim.
From 1700 to 1780 the population in the colonies expanded to three million people. Inhabitants of the new worlds began reforming their environment to resemble what they had left behind. Georgian homes began appearing as far north as Maine and dominated urban architecture all the way to Savannah. A shortage of natural stone in some areas prompted builders into using wood siding or in the south, red brick that was accented with white wood trim.
“They were building out of an Anglo tradition but adapting it with local materials and climate,” says Donna Hole, who is chief of the Historic Preservation Department of Planning and Zoning for the city of Annapolis. Stately, solid and symmetrical, Georgian homes were built to last and to entertain. “They have a wonderful plan to them,” says Hole, “They speak to a social hierarchy, there would be a business room in the front with private areas in the rear facing out on a lovely garden.”
By 1820 the population in America had exploded to 10 million people. Georgians were being pushed aside by newer ideas in building and the railroad was changing the face of the country. The importance of water transportation was reduced as the railroad steered most of the intense growth around some of the important port cities of the past, which allowed some historic Georgians to survive. Being able to move building materials affordably made builders less dependent on materials that were locally available.
For a look at what came before