Five Beautiful American Buildings Based on Classical Greek Architecture

Five stand-out buildings from American history are based on ancient Greek architecture, most of them standing proud in Washington, D.C., the U.S. capital and home of the president and the congressional office buildings.

The United States Capitol, home of the U.S. Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government stands tall on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall. With its columns and main gable, it is a building in the characteristic ancient Greek style.

On the block immediately east is the Supreme Court Building — a masterpiece inspired by the classical Greek style. Completed in 1935, it is situated at 1 First Street, NE. On May 4, 1987, the Supreme Court Building was designated a National Historic Landmark.

The Lincoln Memorial could be called a variation on the Parthenon in Athens. A shrine to the 16th President of the United States, it is marked by the touching words: “In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.”

Conceived of by Thomas Jefferson, the Virginia State Capitol building is the seat of state government of the Commonwealth of Virginia, located in Richmond. A typical example of ancient Greek architecture, it houses the oldest elected legislative body in North America, the Virginia General Assembly, first established as the House of Burgesses in 1619.


Designed by Thomas Jefferson himself, the “Monticello” was inspired by classical Greek architecture and the ideas of Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. The house of the third president of the U.S. just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, was designated a National Historic Landmark and in 1987 was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.