There is a significant influence of Greek and Roman architecture in the United States. This influence is primarily due to the cultural and intellectual traditions of Western Europe, which were transmitted to the United States through colonialism and immigration.
In the early days of the United States, many architects and designers drew inspiration from the classical forms and motifs of ancient Greece and Rome. Here are the more famous replicas or partial reproductions of ancient Greek and Roman architecture in the USA.
The Pantheon – Nashville, Tennessee
The Pantheon in Nashville, Tennessee, is a full-scale replica of the original Pantheon in Rome, Italy. They built it as part of the Parthenon Centennial Celebration in 1897, which marked 100 years since Tennessee became a state.
The building is located in Centennial Park, a large urban park in the heart of Nashville. It was designed by the American architect William Crawford Smith and is made of brick, stone, and reinforced concrete.
The exterior of the building replicates the original Pantheon, with a portico of 44 Corinthian columns, each 36 feet tall, supporting a triangular pediment. The interior of the building is an open rotunda, 142 feet in diameter and 65 feet tall, with a large central dome that is 97 feet in diameter.
Inside the rotunda, visitors can see a replica of the famous statue of Athena Parthenos, which was originally housed in the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece. They made the replica in Nashville of plaster and stands 42 feet tall, making it one of the largest indoor statues in the world.
Today, they use the Pantheon in Nashville as an art museum and cultural center, hosting a range of exhibitions, events, and performances throughout the year. It is also a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the world who come to see this impressive replica of one of the world’s most famous ancient buildings.
The Getty Villa – Los Angeles, California
The Getty Villa is a museum and educational center located in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The oil billionaire J. Paul Getty, who modeled it after the ancient Roman Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, Italy built it in 1974.
The Getty Villa houses a collection of approximately 44,000 works of art from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria, as well as related works from the Bronze Age to the Byzantine period. The collection includes sculpture, vases, mosaics, coins, jewelry, and other artifacts.
The museum recreates the atmosphere of a Roman country house, with galleries organized around four garden courtyards. The architecture of the Getty Villa is a mix of traditional Roman and modern California styles, with a central atrium surrounded by colonnaded galleries and open-air spaces.
Visitors can take guided tours of the galleries and gardens, attend lectures and performances, or take part in educational programs and workshops. The Getty Villa also features a research library and conservation laboratory, where scholars and researchers can study and analyze ancient artifacts.
Besides its permanent collection, the Getty Villa hosts temporary exhibitions and special events throughout the year, focusing on various aspects of ancient Mediterranean culture and history. It is a popular destination for art lovers, history buffs, and anyone interested in exploring the rich legacy of the ancient world.
The Palace of Fine Arts – San Francisco, California
The Palace of Fine Arts is a historic landmark located in the Marina District of San Francisco, California. They originally built it for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, which celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal and showcased San Francisco’s recovery from the 1906 earthquake.
The American architect Bernard Maybeck, who drew inspiration from the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome designed the Palace of Fine Arts. The building is characterized by a large central rotunda, flanked by a series of columns and surrounded by a lagoon and gardens.
During the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the Palace of Fine Arts housed a range of art exhibitions and performances, showcasing the work of artists from around the world. After the fair ended, the building fell into disrepair and was eventually scheduled for demolition.
However, a group of local citizens led by the architect William Merchant convinced the city to save the Palace of Fine Arts and restore it to its former glory. The building was eventually renovated and reopened in the 1960s, and today it is one of San Francisco’s most popular tourist attractions.
Visitors to the Palace of Fine Arts can explore the building’s grand rotunda, which is now used for concerts, performances, and other cultural events. They can also stroll through the surrounding gardens and lagoon, which are home to a variety of plants and wildlife.
The Palace of Fine Arts is a testament to the enduring beauty of classical architecture and a symbol of San Francisco’s resilience and creative spirit. It continues to inspire and delight visitors from around the world with its stunning design and rich history.
The Hearst Castle – San Simeon, California
The Hearst Castle is a historic mansion located in San Simeon, California. The media mogul William Randolph Hearst built it in the early 20th century as his personal retreat and is now a popular tourist attraction.
The Hearst Castle is a sprawling complex of buildings, gardens, and pools, comprising 165 rooms and 123 acres of land. The architect Julia Morgan designed it in a Mediterranean Revival style, incorporating elements of Spanish, Italian, and Moorish architecture.
They fill the mansion with an impressive collection of art and antiques from around the world, including ancient Greek vases, Renaissance paintings, and Chinese ceramics. The centerpiece of the collection is the Neptune Pool, a massive outdoor swimming pool surrounded by marble statues and columns.
Visitors to the Hearst Castle can take guided tours of the mansion and its grounds, exploring the many rooms and galleries filled with art and artifacts. They can also enjoy the beautiful gardens and views of the surrounding hills and coastline.
The Hearst Castle is a fascinating glimpse into the life and times of one of America’s most influential and colorful figures, as well as a testament to the enduring appeal of Mediterranean Revival architecture. It is a must-see destination for anyone interested in art, history, and architecture.
The United States Capitol Building – Washington D.C.
The United States Capitol Building is located on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. and serves as the home of the United States Congress. The building is an iconic symbol of American democracy and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the United States.
They designed the United States Capitol Building in the neoclassical style, which drew heavily from ancient Greek architecture. They constructed the original building between 1793 and 1800 and has since undergone numerous renovations and expansions to accommodate the growing needs of Congress.
The building is centered on a large dome, which rises 288 feet above the ground and is topped by a statue of Freedom. 36 columns, each made of marble support the dome and measuring 32 feet tall, which encircle the building’s Rotunda.
They divided the Capitol Building into two wings, the House of Representatives wing and the Senate wing, which are connected by a central building called the Capitol Rotunda. Each wing contains offices, committee rooms, and chambers for their respective bodies of Congress.
Visitors to the United States Capitol Building can take guided tours of the building, exploring the Rotunda, the National Statuary Hall, and other historic spaces. They can also visit the United States Capitol Visitor Center, which features exhibits, interactive displays, and a gift shop.
The United States Capitol Building is not only an important government building but also a symbol of American democracy, history, and culture. It remains one of the most visited attractions in Washington D.C. and is a must-see destination for anyone interested in American history and politics.
The New York Stock Exchange Building – New York, New York
The New York Stock Exchange Building is located at 11 Wall Street in the Financial District of New York City. The building is home to the New York Stock Exchange, which is one of the largest stock exchanges in the world and a symbol of American capitalism and economic power.
The building was designed by the architect George B. Post and was completed in 1903. They designed it in the neoclassical style, which drew heavily from ancient Greek architecture. The facade of the building features six massive Corinthian columns, which rise 72 feet above the ground and support a pediment with an eagle sculpture.
The interior of the building is equally impressive, with a grand marble staircase, vaulted ceilings, and other classical details. The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange is a massive space, filled with rows of desks where traders buy and sell stocks and other financial instruments.
The New York Stock Exchange Building has been the site of numerous historic events, including the stock market crash of 1929, which led to the Great Depression, and the attacks of September 11, 2001, when the building was evacuated and the stock market was closed for several days.
Today, the New York Stock Exchange Building remains an iconic symbol of American finance and commerce. It is a popular destination for tourists who are interested in the history and workings of the stock market and is also an important symbol of New York City’s financial power and influence.
The Lincoln Memorial – Washington D.C.
The Lincoln Memorial is a national monument located on the National Mall in Washington D.C. They built it to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who led the country through its Civil War and preserved the Union.
The memorial was designed by the architect Henry Bacon and was completed in 1922. They designed it in the neoclassical style, which drew heavily from ancient Greek architecture. They made the building of white Georgia marble and features a grand exterior with 36 Doric columns, representing the 36 states that existed at the time of Lincoln’s death.
Inside the memorial, visitors can see a larger-than-life statue of Abraham Lincoln, which was sculpted by Daniel Chester French. The statue sits on a pedestal and is surrounded by inscriptions of some of Lincoln’s most famous speeches, including the Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address.
The Lincoln Memorial has played an important role in American history and has been the site of numerous historic events, including the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, which was delivered on the steps of the memorial.
Today, the Lincoln Memorial is one of the most visited sites in Washington D.C. and is a symbol of American democracy and freedom. It remains a powerful tribute to one of America’s most beloved and respected presidents and continues to inspire visitors from around the world with its grandeur and historical significance.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a large art museum located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive art museums in the United States, with a collection that spans over 2,000 years of art history.
The museum was founded in 1876 and was originally housed in a small building in Fairmount Park. Today, it occupies a large complex of buildings on a hill overlooking the Schuylkill River.
They designed the main building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the neoclassical style, which drew heavily from ancient Greek architecture. It features a grand staircase, columns, and other classical elements that are reminiscent of the famous Temple of Athena Nike on the Acropolis.
The museum’s collection includes a wide range of art from around the world, including works from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, as well as paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from Europe and America. The museum is particularly well-known for its collection of American art, which includes works by famous artists such as Thomas Eakins and Charles Willson Peale.
One of the most famous works in the museum’s collection is Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain,” which is a porcelain urinal that Duchamp signed with a pseudonym and submitted to an art exhibition in 1917. We consider the work a pioneering example of the “readymade” movement in art.
Besides its permanent collection, the Philadelphia Museum of Art hosts a wide range of temporary exhibitions and special events throughout the year, as well as educational programs and workshops for visitors of all ages.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is an important cultural institution in Philadelphia and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in art and history. Its collection, architecture, and beautiful setting make it a truly unique and inspiring place to explore.
The Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, California
The Greek Theatre is an outdoor amphitheater located in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California. They built it in 1929 as part of a park expansion project and has since become one of the city’s most popular venues for live music, theater, and other performances.
Ancient Greek architecture inspires the theater’s design, with a semicircular seating area built into the hillside and a stage at the bottom. The seating area can accommodate up to 5,900 people, and a large proscenium arch frames the stage with a frieze depicting the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus.
Over the years, the Greek Theatre has hosted a wide range of performances, from classical plays to rock concerts to comedy shows. Some of the most famous musicians to have performed at the Greek Theatre include The Beatles, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, and Madonna.
In addition to its main stage, the Greek Theatre also features a smaller stage called The Terrace, which can accommodate up to 500 people. They used the Terrace for more intimate performances, such as jazz concerts, poetry readings, and small theater productions.
The Greek Theatre is a beloved landmark in Los Angeles and a symbol of the city’s cultural richness and diversity. It has played an important role in the city’s entertainment scene for nearly a century and continues to attract performers and audiences from around the world.