Tag Archives: Georgia Greek Revival Architecture

John Phinizy House, Circa 1835, Augusta

One of Augusta’s most important architectural landmarks, the raised Greek Revival home of John Phinizy (7 January 1793-4 July 1884) is thought to be the work of the great Irish-born Georgia architect Charles Cluskey, though this has not been confirmed to my knowledge. Phinizy was of Italian descent, his father Ferdinand having migrated to America from Parma.

Soon after John Phinizy’s death, his son Charles H. Phinizy and his wife, Mary Louise Yancey, hired Tiffany & Company to redecorate the interior (circa 1885). They added the top floor in the 1890s. The family remained in the home until 1933. After brief service as a funeral home, it served until 1996 as the Elks Lodge. It has most recently been used as an event space.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Warren House, 1870s, Augusta

This exemplar of the Sand Hills Cottage style is a particularly nice example, with a Greek Revival facade. It was built for Captain William Henry Warren and his wife, Mary Moore Warren. Mrs. Warren was involved in benevolent projects, including the Mizpah Circle of the International Order of the King’s Daughters, which sought to improve the lives of its members through service to those less fortunate. Upon Mrs. Warren’s death in 1903, her estate set aside money for the establishment of the Mary Warren Home on Broad Street (later in Summerville) to care for indigent women and children. It served the community for many years.

Greene Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Thomas T. Napier House, 1826, Forsyth

This is one of the most outstanding Greek Revival houses in Georgia and is well-maintained. I believe it was built by Thomas T. Napier, whose Virginia-born father, Thomas Napier, owned over 6000 acres in Bibb and surrounding counties at the time of his death in 1838. Thomas T. Napier also built a home in Ringgold in 1836. I will do my best to clarify this history when I can better discern the genealogy.

Richardson House, 1867, Byron

This raised cottage was built by Dr. Charles Hyatt Richardson (1830-1886), a native of Sumter, South Carolina. Dr. Richardson was the first doctor and first mayor of Byron. Local citizens wanted to name the town Richardsonville in his honor, but he suggested it be named for Lord Byron, the English poet.

A raised Georgian Greek Revival cottage, it’s one of the finest homes in Byron and is wonderfully maintained. The side wing and Victorian fretwork were added circa 1890. Sources date it to 1867 and note it was built for one of his sons, but his sons were not even teenagers in 1867. Later owners have been the Warren (descendants of Dr. Richardson) and Collins families.

Byron Historic District, National Register of Historic Places.

Warren House, Circa 1859, Jonesboro

This simple Greek Revival home was built for Guy Lewis Warren, a founder of Jonesboro and agent of the Macon & Western Railroad. It served as a hospital and headquarters for the 52nd Illinois Regiment during the Battle of Jonesboro.

Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Stately Oaks, Circa 1839, Jonesboro

This house, built by Whitmill Phillips Allen (6 November 1811-January 1868), was once the center of a plantation located four miles north of Jonesboro on the Atlanta Road. Allen sold the property to Robert McCord in 1858; McCord answered the call to Confederate service not long after settling onto the property. During the Battle of Jonesboro, Union soldiers set up camp on the grounds. The house survived the Civil War and when McCord returned home, he resumed operations of the farm, selling the property in 1879. My understanding is that the next owner was John Columbus Orr. It remained in the Orr family until Emily Orr Haynie transferred it to Historical Jonesboro, Inc. In 1972 the house was moved to its present location and is operated as a museum today. Georgia architect Edward Vason Jones was responsible for the restoration and noted of Stately Oaks: The house is a simple but well-proportioned country house done in the Greek Revival style. From the provincial quality of the details, it appears to have been built, as well as designed, by a capable but untrained carpenter-builder about the year 1840…The mass of the house is pleasing and the plan basically good, being typical of the majority of the rural Greek Revival houses throughout Georgia…

Some contend that the house was the inspiration for Tara in Gone with the Wind, though this can’t be proved since Margaret Mitchell didn’t confirm it [to my knowledge]. She would have known this house, however, and it is certainly of the type she would have drawn inspiration from when writing the book.

National Register of Historic Places

Swanscombe, 1828, Covington

Swanscombe was built by the first white settler of Covington, Cary Wood, and is the oldest house in the city. It was originally a more simple form; the columns were a later addition, but they were present before the Civil War. The descendants remained in the house for several generations until selling the property to Thomas C. Swann in 1884. The name Swanscombe was given to the house during his ownership.

Floyd Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Neal Patterson House, 1850s, Covington

This Greek Revival landmark, known locally as “The Cottage”, was built for Neal Patterson between 1855-1859.

Floyd Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Robert Usher House, Circa 1840, Covington

Robert O. Usher (25 April 1809 – 9 May 1859), a prosperous merchant in Covington, built this house circa 1840, and it remained in the family for over 90 years.

Floyd Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Rose Hill Seminary Headmaster’s House, 1850s, Talbotton

If the resource I’ve used is correct, this structure was known as the Johnson cabin and expanded circa 1855 into the present Greek Revival form for use as the headmaster’s home. It is the last surviving significant structure of the Rose Hill Seminary, established by Zion Episcopal Church founder Reverend Richard Johnson, who came to Talbotton in 1846. The expansion of the house may have taken place at the direction of Reverend Wesley Gahagan, who came to Talbotton in 1852 to manage the school. Reverend Gahagan died in 1857 and the school closed soon thereafter. [Thanks to Jim Bruce for further confirming some of this history].

Trae Ingram notes that the house suffered serious damage during a tornado a few years ago.