Residential example of High Georgian architecture in Newport, Rhode Island: Vernon House. Built by Benjamin Harrison in 1760.

The Vernon House in Newport, Rhode Island is a stunning example of High Georgian design in a residential setting. Some trademark High Georgian characteristics are:

  • steeply sloped hipped roof

  • decorative balustrade at Widows walk

  • large decorative door

  • alternating curved and peaked dormer

  • clapboard siding and interior shutters

This house also had Chinese paneling on interior walls, indicating interest in trade with distant cultures.

In addition, this house served as Compte de Rochambeau’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War, during which General Washington and Lt. Jefferson strategized at this house.

The Touro Synagogue is the oldest surviving synagogue in America, dating back to 1763. It was built in the High Georgian style and exemplifies that through its architectural characteristics such as:

  • shallow sloped roof

  • painted brick, emulating smooth stone construction which equates to civic importance and permanence

  • very plain exterior with only a decorated portico hinting at elaborate classical interior

  • Vitruvian classical column proportion

This prominent structure was a testament to the religious freedom experience in the Rhode Island colony. The architect, Peter Harrison, had never been in a synagogue before, so he largely worked from books.


An example of Commercial, High Georgian architecture here in Newport, Rhode Island: Brick Market. Built by Peter Harrison in 1722.

The Brick Market was built in the High Georgian architectural style and featured these design traits:

  • shallow sloped roof

  • brick exterior — equates to civic importance

  • alternating peaked and curved pediments

The building was inspired by/imitative of Inigo Jones’s Banqueting Hall in London as published in books.


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