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Top 7 Books About Plantation Houses

Beautiful Southern Mansions and Antebellum Architecture


The history of the American South is dark, yet its architecture was often magnificent. With Greek pillars, balconies, formal ballrooms, covered porches, and imposing staircases, America's plantation houses reflect the power of wealthy landowners prior to the Civil War. Here are favorite photo books with pictures of plantation houses, southern mansions, and antebellum architecture.

1. Plantation Houses and Mansions of the Old South

Plantation Houses of the Old South
This softback by J. Frazier Smith features over 100 detailed illustrations and 36 floor plans, depicting such residences as Andrew Jackson's Nashville homestead, the Greek Revival Rosedown estate in Louisiana, and the Forks of Cypress. The text and photos trace the evolution of southern housing from one-room cabins to large estates.
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2. Under Live Oaks: The Last Plantation Houses of the Old South

Under Live Oaks
All the states of the Deep South are represented in this classic hardcover from Caroline Seebohm and Peter Woloszynski. Learn the stories of houses and their owners. Included: an Italianate villa in Columbus, Georgia; the charming Catalpa in St. Francisville, Louisiana; and the historic Sherwood Forest in Charles City, Virginia.
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3. Architecture of the Old South

A historic look at antebellum architecture in the United States from the 17th century to the Civil War. Many styles are represented in this book from Mills Lane and Van Jones Martin. 225 color photos and many old prints and drawings illustrate Colonial, Federal, Greek Revival, and Romantic styles.
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4. Marvelous Old Mansions and Other Southern Treasures

In this 239-page softback by Sylvia Higginbotham you'll find 132 historic homes, eight gardens, and thirteen living villages or historic districts located throughout Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
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5. Vestiges of Grandeur: The Plantations of Louisiana's River Road

An in-depth visual journey through the hidden mansions of New Orleans' River Road area. Once the center of grandiose living in the south, the region is now a ghost town of endangered structures. This book features over 200 color photographs with extensive captions explaining the architectural significance and history of each mansion.
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6. Virginia Plantation Homes

Author David King Gleason takes us on a grand tour of 80 distinctive plantation homes of Old Virginia, many of which were built before the antebellum period and reflect colonial, English Georgian, and Jeffersonian styles of architecture. The book includes 146 color photos with captions that provide histories of each house, its builder, and subsequent owners.
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7. Plantation Homes of Louisiana and the Natchez Area

Another great collection from David King Gleason. Here he focuses on the aura of Louisiana's plantation homes - some beautiful, some crumbling from neglect. Included are 120 full-color photographs with information about the construction, history, and condition of each house.
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