A primer on these touchstones of Neo-Classical architecture.
Synopsis: The author provides a good introduction to architectural trim derived from classical models. It includes a glossary of terms and illustrations showing variations in proportion and style. The text provides historical background.
Moldings are structurally non-essential building elements that help ease the transitions between large, primary structural elements. In Classical Greece and Rome, these primary elements were the plinth, the column, the capital, the entablature and the pediment. Over the years, Classical orders — the interrelationship of the dimension, proportion and location of these elements — were established. Composed of both structural and non-structural elements, they became accepted as proportionately correct and aesthetically pleasing. These strict proportions were adapted much later, when a maturing and increasingly humanistic Europe turned to the Classical past for architectural inspiration.
The Neo-Classical period lasted 150 years or so, and passed through several phases, known in the United States as Georgian (or Colonial), Federal and Greek…