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Greek Revival Style Architecture located along M-50 in Tecumseh
The United States government began selling land parcels in the Michigan Territory on a large scale basis in the 1830s. This in combination with the earlier opening of the Erie Canal resulted in the immigration of thousands of New Yorkers into the territory.
The pioneer settlers brought with them attitudes and beliefs that shaped Michigan for generations. They also brought with them a style of architecture that was very popular in New York during the time. It was called Greek Revival, and it was inspired by the Greek War for Independence being fought against Turkey. Americans were sympathetic to the Greek cause and Greek motifs became fashionable. This spilled over into architecture with Greek decoration and design.
Generally popular in Michigan from the 1830s-1860s, the style is characterized by:
- Columns on either corner of the structure, sometimes built into the wall itself.
- Small porches with columns are often present.
- The building is usually one to 1 ½ stories high, built in a square to rectangular shape.
- The roof is low pitched and the corners of the cornice return back towards the center forming a triangular shape.
- On the long side of the house just under the roof line are often found small narrow rectangular windows.
- The Greek Revival house can be constructed of wood or brick. If constructed of wood it is painted white.
- The houses are usually of modest size, but some can be much larger and have elaborate details such as window panes surrounding the doorway or columns with more decorative scrolling at the top. Due to the limited size, owners frequently constructed additions to the side or the rear of the house.
This house represents the earliest architectural style found in Michigan.