National Heritage Area

(814) 677-3152

217 Elm Street

Oil City, PA 16301-1412

Classical Revival

Classical Revival architecture could be seen in America in the late eighteenth century. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is an early example. This architecture not only incorporated the rectilinear and angular Greek classical forms but, also, the curves, arches and domes of the Romans. Examples of this style were built in America throughout the succeeding nineteenth century and occasionally appear in Victorian settings.

The William Abbot House at 215 W. Main Street in Titusville (As Shown Right) is an excellent example of Classical Revival architecture. The mass is essentially regular and symmetrical. The Main Street facade displays a Greek pediment with a substantial entablature supported by hefty pilasters at the corners of the house. Within the pediment is a Roman semicircular fan window. The veranda features a semicircular roof with wings, all supported by columns with Doric capitals. To both sides of the main rectangular mass are semicircular, two-story window bays displaying a strong Roman classical influence. Consistent with the Greek influence, the entranceway of the house is surrounded by two rectilinear sidelights and a rectilinear overhead light. Abbot was an early oil producer around Titusville and in the later 1860's was quite involved in Pithole. He built this house on Main Street around 1870.

North of Tionesta on Route 62 and just a short way east on Route 666 is the tiny village of Endeavor.

There you will see a small Classical Revival structure (As Shown Left) built in the late 1890's in memory of two young daughters of Nelson and Rachel Wheeler. Nelson Wheeler was a third generation Wheeler, a New York family that owned the Wheeler and Dusenberry Company, at one time the largest lumber company in Pennsylvania. This small structure, originally used as a kindergarten, displays a very elaborate Greek pediment at the front and a broad entablature about the building. Pilasters with Ionic capitals are at the building corners. The pediment is supported by four columns with Ionic capitals. The entranceway is topped with a very Roman elliptical fanlight. A circular wreath and vines, a reflection of English Adam styling, can be seen on the face of the pediment. After Nelson Wheeler’s death in 1920, the Wheeler family donated 20 acres of virgin white pine to the state, a sight that became known as Heart’s Content. This donated sight was the genesis of today’s Allegheny National Forest.

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