Origins of Italianate: New Orleans architectural style reflected romantic movement

Jun 15, 2016 645

A stroll through New Orleans in the 1850s would have revealed a subtle but significant change in architecture. The austere Greek Revival style, which started to replace Creole aesthetics in the 1820s and flourished during the 1830s and 1840s, began to give way to a more ornate and luxurious look.

Known as Italianate and later Victorian Italianate, this fashion would predominate in New Orleans for most of the latter half of the 19th century. A number of factors brought forth the appeal of Italianate. One overarching driver was the rise of the Romanticism movement, itself a reaction to the lofty ideals of the Enlightenment and the expanding domains of science and industry.

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