The Industrial Revolution, which began inEnglandabout 1760, led to radical changes at every level of civilization throughout the world. The growth of heavy industry brought a flood of new building materials—such as cast iron, steel, and glass—with which architects and engineers devised structures hitherto undreamed of in function, size, and form.
Disenchantment with baroque, with rococo, and even with neo-Palladianism turned late 18th-century designers and patrons toward the original Greek and Roman prototypes. Selective borrowing from another time and place became fashionable. Its Greek aspect was particularly strong in the young United States from the early years of the 19th century until about 1850. New settlements were given Greek names—Syracuse, Ithaca, Troy—and Doric and Ionic columns, entablatures, and pediments, mostly transmuted into white-painted wood, were applied to public buildings and important town houses in the style called Greek revival.
In France, the imperial cult of Napoleon steered architecture in a…
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