Understanding Southern Architecture

Learn more about southern architecture!

All over the world, all kinds of cultures contribute to a variety of different art forms. From literature to sculpting and film to dancing, every part of the world has contributed its own distinct style and method to these art forms. Like a giant duet, we have come together as a world to make a substantial impact on these art forms. In return, this collaboration of different cultures has given these art forms an eternal power that will ensure they live forever until the end of time. But there’s one art form we tend to always forget. One that’s just like the rest. That’s right; we’re talking about architecture. 

Architecture all over the world has taken many shapes and many structures (yes, pun intended.) From the impending skyscrapers of industrial cities such as New York City or Tokyo or the more subdued and historic structures such as New Orleans or Venice, architecture has taken many forms all over the world. But today, we want to discuss a different type of territorial architecture—a form of architecture that is beautiful in its own remarks but is rarely talked about. Today, we shine a spotlight on southern architecture. 

The History And Background Of Southern Architecture 

Commonly referred to as “antebellum architecture,” Southern architecture dates back all the way to the days of the Civil War. Thirty years before the Civil War, between the 1830s and 1860s, there was a shift in architectural design that was primarily built on prominent plantations and farmhouses. This shift in style took the luxurious look of European architecture and tailored it to the vast, rural lands of the south. This resulted in new features never truly seen before. Large, wrapped-around porches, raised basements, and even vaulted ceilings were new additions to architecture within this shift. It was also extremely common for southern-based homes to have square and symmetrical exteriors. These make the exterior doors tall and slender with skinny and lean windows. Southern homes also tend to have large, Greek-inspired columns on their exterior. Southern architecture is an immensely influential style of architecture that dates back hundreds and hundreds of years ago. 

Southern Architecture Styles 

Just as any architectural style, southern architecture has an assortment of styles and looks. In addition to the few we named above, southern architecture can also include homes such as shotgun homes and joggling boards. Do none of these sound familiar? Don’t worry; they’re not familiar to most people. We’ll begin with shotgun homes. A shotgun home simply one long, narrow, and rectangular residence. You usually find these homes nowadays within New Orleans. It’s also not uncommon for shotgun homes do not have any windows on their sides. 

Next, we have joggling boards. As their name suggests, joggling boards are a type of structure that stretches over the front porch and is a long, sagging board usually made for sitting. These boards give you the feeling of sitting on a park bench and results in a relaxing, gentle feeling for your front porch.