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In Praise of Southern Architecture

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art is focusing their annual journal, Classicist, entirely on the South this year

Southern architecture buffs, take note. The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, the New York-based nonprofit that celebrates classical architecture, urban planning, and building arts, is focusing their annual journal, Classicist, entirely on the South this year. Published each fall, the journal examines classical architecture around the world.

“The South has deep architectural and cultural roots, and the region’s influence can be seen in buildings, towns, and cities across the country,” says ICAA President Peter Lyden. “It’s also more alive than ever, with some of the world’s most impactful firms working there.”

The 139-page volume contains six essays, including an opening piece by Emilie Johnson, associate curator of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, about the plantation’s enslaved master craftsman John Hemmings and the contributions of African-American craftsmen to antebellum architecture in the South. There are also two portfolios, chuck-full of pictures: one by contemporary classical architects, professional architects, and one showcasing the work of the next generation—students. You’ll find residential work in Georgia by D. Stanley Dixon; farm buildings, such as a barn by architect Ken Tate in Kentucky; and civic buildings, like the Alabama fire station by Nequette Architecture & Design (all pictured below). You can even catch a glimpse of a home you’ve seen in the pages of Garden & Gun on page 68.


Photo: Timothy Dunford

A Georgia house designed by D. Stanley Dixon Architect.



Photo: Timothy Dunford

A Kentucky barn designed by Ken Tate Architect.



Photo: Chris Luker

An Alabama fire house designed by Nequette Architecture.


Whether you’re curious about Southern architectural history or want to pour over photos of new structures built to look old, this valuable resource is a smart addition to any Southern library (click here to purchase).

The ICAA will turn its attention southward again this spring, hosting the 11th Annual Philip Trammell Shutze Awards in Atlanta, Georgia, a program that recognizes emerging architectural talent in the Southeast.