History of the Antebellum Plantation-Style Home
There isn’t an architectural home design that identifies more as “Southern” than the Antebellum Plantation Home. From hisory books, classic films such as “Gone With The Wind”, and even Country music videos, the Antebellum Plantation Home has been stylized as being truly a gem of Southern living. Known for its regal and dramatic elegance, the Antebellum Plantation was adopted by many upper-class and wealthy American Southern families during the 30 years preceding the Civil War. “Antebellum” is a Latin word for “before war”.
Antebellum is not a particular house style per say, but rather, it is a place and time in history. The features we identify with Antebellum architecture were introduced to the American South by Anglo-Americans who moved into the area after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Most Antebellum homes are in the Greek Revival, Classical Revival, or Federal style: grand, symmetrical, and boxy, with center entrances in the front and rear, balconies, and columns or pillars.
Common Features of Antebellum Homes Include:
- Hipped or Gabled roof
- Symmetrical façade
- Evenly-spaced windows
- Greek pillars and columns
- Elaborate friezes
- Covered porch
- Central entryway
- Grand staircase
- Formal ballroom
From the pillared and majestic Greek Revival mansions to the dignified Federal style estates, America’s antebellum architecture represents the power of wealthy property owners in the American South, prior to the Civil War. Here are a few reknowned examples of Antebellum homes including the historically esteemed Belle Meade Plantation Home here in Nashville, TN.
- Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, Tennessee
- Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana
- Long Branch Estate in Millwood, Virginia
- Reader Submission: Antebellum Plantation Home in Gates, North Carolina
Reference: Ask.com; History.com
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