Nashville’s Neoclassical architecture style

Let’s visit another popular architectural style in Nashville — the Neoclassical home, popularized at the turn of the century.

A multi-story red brick home with windows throughout and two white pillars welcoming guests up a set of stairs to the front porch.

What does the Parthenon have in common with residential homes that look like this one? Keep reading to find out.

Photo by NASHtoday

Table of Contents

Nashville isn’t called the “Athens of the South” for nothing. In our third installment of the Old House Series, we’re talking about an architecture style that is far from under lock and key around town.

🔨 Where did it come from?

Though no specific event or date is credited for Nashville’s move away from Victorian to a Neoclassical revival, the Tennessee Centennial Exposition of 1897 featured an array of buildings with rows of white columns — a defining feature. Design preferences changed gradually in Nashville, resulting in three distinct styles of the period, which had fully emerged by 1910.

🔍 Spot that style

Generally speaking, experts define a Neoclassical revival home as containing rows of columns on a grand scale, rectangular or square floor plans, little ornamentation, and Greek or Roman design details.

More specifically, the elements below can help you identify which of the three styles are most commonly found in Music City.

  • Transitional Victorian | Victorian in overall arrangement, but lacking the expected fancy woodwork + most have porches with white columns
  • Four-square | Boxy, two-story home square in shape and plan + Neoclassical details center on the front porch
  • Colonial revival | Revivals of American houses of the Colonial and early Federal periods, though it also includes homes that follow the era’s decorative detail. Note: Some people say larger, more elaborate four-square homes fall into this category

🏡 Love it? Live it

If you like what you’re hearing, check out some turn-of-the-century-style homes on the market today.

  • Richland-West End Neoclassical | $2,490,000 | 4BD, 3BA | 110-year-old four-square home with 10-ft ceilings, newly-updated kitchen, and pool area
  • Berry Hill Neoclassical | $3,750,000 | 5BD, 7BA | Listed on the Historic Register and formerly used as a bed and breakfast + features a marble foyer, oak-trimmed staircase, and pool area with a hot tub and covered grilling patio
  • Cherokee Park Neoclassical | $2,500,000 | 3BD, 4BA | Brick four-square that won the Metropolitan Historical Commission Architectural Award + offers an attached two-car garage, two-tier deck and terrace, four fireplaces, and 1,000+ bottle conditioned wine room
More from NASHtoday