Gaineswood

805 S. Cedar St., Demopolis, Alabama

Photos 

Gaineswood

Northeast (front) elevation. About 1910

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress

Map 

Description 

Begun in 1842 and modified in stages over eighteen years (1843-1861), Gaineswood is one of America's most unusual neoclassical Greek Revival-style mansions. Amateur architect and cotton planter Nathan Bryan Whitfield refined his mansion with the help of skilled African-American craftsmen as the stylistic preference in America shifted from Greek Revival to Italianate. Gaineswood's sprawling, asymmetrical floor plan and lavish decorative detail brilliantly reflect that shift. The drawing room (ballroom) is highlighted by vis-à-vis mirrors, fluted Corinthian columns and pilasters, and a coffered ceiling with decoative Italianate plasterwork. The parlor and dining room have domed ceilings with windows added in 1860 to illuminate the home. Gaineswood is one of the few Greek Revivial homes that has Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, November 7, 1973

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 5, 1972
Reference number
72000167
Architectural style
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival
Area of significance
Architecture
Level of significance
National
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Building
Historic function
Single dwelling
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1825-1849
Significant years
1842; 1860