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History Pages

Dave Daniel, a previous owner in the 1950s, renovated the estate home using Greek Revival Architectural elements as his inspiration elevating Victoria Belle Mansion to the community landmark that it is today.

The Late Victorian Period covers the second half of the 19th century, for a portion of the true reign of Britain’s Queen Victoria(1837-1901) for which this era is named. This was the time period in American architecture known for intricate and highly decorative styles such as the Second Empire, Romanesque Revival, Victorian Gothic, Queen Anne, Stick/Eastlake, Shingle, Renaissance Revival and Chateauesque. All of these styles are often described as “Victorian” and indeed many buildings of this era borrowed stylistic elements from several styles, and were not pure examples of any. The Late Victorian Period was a time of growth and change in America. Building advancements made it possible to be bigger with more complex decorative structures.[1] An example of this architectural surge is Victoria Belle Mansion; located in the small historic town of Hogansville Georgia, which was once a booming railroad town. The expanding railroad system during this time period allowed for more products to be transported across the country at a more reasonable cost. Once unattainable luxury items could then be employed in a wide variety of more modest buildings. It was an expansive time in American culture and the buildings of this period reflect this.[2] Victoria Belle Mansion remains true to its Victorian roots inside and out. Victorian stain glass windows throughout the mansion are just one of those details.

[1] Robert M. Craig, Georgia Institute of Technology[2] http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/late_victorian_period/2389

Photo: Mansion Original door See Gallery below
Cornices still present on the side of the home – See Gallery below

Even though Victoria Belle is a post-civil war mansion, the home is often referred to as antebellum because of the southern plantation Greek revival architectural aspects.Victoria Belle, like antebellum homes, has many of these features: hipped or gabled roof, symmetrical façade, evenly-spaced windows, Greek pillars and columns, balconies, covered porch, central entryway, grand staircase and a formal ballroom. 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.[1]”Antebellum,” meaning “before the war” in Latin, is a blanket term that refers to the culture of the American South prior to the Civil War. Antebellum architecture is one of the most recognizable features of this cultural period, and many historical plantation homes were built in this fashion.[2] Antebellum is not a particular house style. Rather, it is a time and place in history. The features we associate with Antebellum architecture were introduced to the American South by Anglo-Americans who moved into the area after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

American Greek

by “Old-House Interiors, Classic American Style” 2012

The Greek Revival style was adapted for nearly every type of building, from Southern plantations to outhouses. Variations are recognizable in the East, the South, and the Midwest. The concentration of Greek Revival buildings is thickest in areas of the Northeast and Midwest that saw expansion between 1820 and 1860.A building with a row of columns (colonnade) across the front is “pro-style.” The most formal houses are “peripteral,” with columns around all four sides – but a house doesn’t have to have columns to be recognizably Greek. The simplest farmhouses, I-houses, and modified saltboxes could wear Greek garb in the form of a portico, or small entry porch. Pilasters and paneled square posts were American slang for columns. In most Greek style buildings, the gable end faces the street. But not always – a common form is the traditional L-shaped homestead house, its front-facing gable dressed to look like a temple and the intersecting wing left plain. In American Greek Revival ornament is bold.

A few of the Greek revival accents of Victoria Belle Mansion are:

Columns

Antebellum architecture was heavily influenced by the neoclassical style that gained popularity in contemporary Europe. Neoclassicism aimed to replicate the style of the ancient Greeks and Romans which featured classical-style columns surrounding the main structure. It’s important to note the antebellum style was developed to create the impression the Old South was as cultured and dignified as the Old World, by incorporation of the European building trends.[3]

Summetrical Facades

Antebellum buildings tend to be symmetrical, in keeping with the neoclassical style. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that symmetry was a virtuous quality, and those buildings that were proportional were the most beautiful. Thus, antebellum facades, no matter how elaborate, are carefully constructed to exhibit symmetry.

High-contrast Colors

Antebellum homes are almost exclusively white or off-white in terms of their main color, although red brick is sometimes incorporated into antebellum styles. Another color, usually navy blue, is used for the decorative windows and shutters, which makes for the striking, high-contrast look that defines plantation houses. Other colors used for antebellum houses include light yellow and light orange. Antebellum homes were designed to show that the South possessed the same easy elegance as the European aristocracy did, and much of the modern impression of the Old South as a place of cultured gentility and delicate manners comes from these homes. Famous examples of this style include Tara, from “Gone With the Wind”; The Hermitage; Andrew Jackson’s home and the Orton Plantation in North Carolina.

Covered Porches and Balconies

Columns were built to support large covered porches and balconies which sometimes extended all the way around the house. These became popular because of the South’s summer climate, which is both hot and humid. It was important to have a place to step outside of the muggy house without having to worry about being drenched by a sudden thunderstorm. Most antebellum residences are designed in Greek Revival, Classical Revival or Federal styles. Antebellum homes also typically feature evenly spaced windows.[4] More architectural styling reminiscent of the Greek Revival Style are Greek motifs such as egg and dart molding and the presence of the laurel wreath.[5]

You can spot the classical motifs throughout Victoria Belle’s custom molding and ceiling treatments.

Victoria Belle uses the Laurel Wreath in their branding to stay true to the home’s Greek revival architectural elements.

[1] – [7] http://architecture.answers.com/history/features-of-antebellum-architecture

Photo Gallery

Vintage Phonograph Recordings

Down where the Suwanee River flows

by Edison Gold Moulded Record: 8561 | "The Edison Phonograph Monthly," v.1 (1903/1904). Male vocal with orchestra accompaniment.

The Last Rose of Summer

by Reissue of Edison 4-minute Amberol 28006. Edison Blue Amberol: 28193 | "The Edison Phonograph Monthly," v.12 (1914). Edison Blue Amberol Concert Record. Soprano solo.914).