Gothic Architecture in 19th Century United States.
The United States is commonly referred to as a melting pot of people, ideas, and religion, a place where all can coexist in peace while still practicing their own customs. Along with their traditions immigrants also brought the architectural styles of their homeland, which they promptly put into use once in American soil. The Gothic architecture style was among these. At first, the Gothic architecture style, which carried with it so much an association with the Catholic Church that it had become its own style (Kidson, 108), were not very favored in the North since the population descended from, or belonged to, the group that had fled Europe in search of relief from religious persecution. The style also had disadvantages taking root in the southern parts of the country where the gentry, and therefore the rest of the population, refused it and instead preferred the effect of the classical styles, which represented order, grandeur, and had an air of monumentality about them. At the time, symmetry was one of the most prized elements in the architecture found in the United States. Gothic architecture "was without commitment to symmetry or level skylines, so it could be as broken as desired" (Girouard, 226). It was not until porticoes, columns, and other classical elements began to symbolize arrogance and oppression that Americans began to look away from the Roman and Greek styles and moved towards the Gothic style and its broken skylines. .
If settler's experiences in Europe first hindered Gothic Architecture, it proved to be its ally later on. When Europeans fled their motherland they did not seek to become Americans, they merely sought freedom to practice their religions, and therefore still thought of themselves as Europeans. With this frame of mind, they brought along with them everything they knew about institutions in their homelands, such as government, law, marriage, and architecture.