Historic Architecture and Homes of Virginia

A Guide to Historical Architectural Styles

Greek Revival

The Greek Revival began in America, and particularly in Virginia, where large-tract landholders were numerous during the second half of the 18th century.


One of the most distinctive styles of historic homes in central Virginia, Italianate, was born out of Palladian precepts and succeeds in defining a broad range of fine property.

Colonial Revival

Colonial Revival (late 1800’s to 1950’s) architecture in Virginia will most often be reflective of early English or Southern colonial influence, based on earlier Georgian, or Federalist precedents.

French Influence

French architectural style was influential in America between 1855-1895, and this period in home building is termed Second Empire.

Queen Anne

The Queen Anne style is a revival form of the free Renaissance architectural influence attributable to the reign of Queen Anne, who ruled as queen of Great Britain from 1702-1714.

Historic Architectural Glossary

Every wonder the difference between a portico and a parapet? Can’t remember which is the wainscot and which is the weatherboard? Our handy glossary gives some basic definitions to the materials, design elements and architectural features commonly found in historic Virginia homes.

Famous Historic Homes in Virginia


The home of Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States of America, represents a masterpiece of early American architecture.


One of the well-known Central Virginia landmarks, was the lifelong home of President James Madison, who many consider to be the father of the U.S. Constitution.

Ash Lawn-Highland

Ash Lawn-Highland, the historic home of James Monroe, is notable among several historic homes in Charlottesville that are in close proximity to the University of Virginia and our celebrated Historic Downtown Mall.