Right from page 1, paragraph 1, Southern architecture forms the “exquisite” bones of Ivy Springs, Tennessee, (based on Franklin, TN), the setting for Hourglass by Myra McEntire. Our main character, Emerson, lives in a warehouse her architect brother converted into lofts. He also renovated the former phone company and turned it into a restaurant, aptly called the Phone Company.
When Emerson tracks down the actual Hourglass, here’s how she describes it:
A Greek Revival Style plantation house spread out in front of me–big, rambling, and red brick with tall white columns flanking the wide front door.”
Greek Revival is a classic antebellum (pre-war) style popularized by Tara in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. Here’s the house the Hourglass is based on (thanks to Myra for the pictures!):
The converted warehouse where Emerson, Thomas, Dru (and later Micheal) live may have looked like this building, which has Italianate influences. These buildings and houses are often angular and brick with white accents, curved windows, a flat roof line and heavy, overhanging cornices.
Myra sent us this picture, which looks an awful lot like the Phone Company might. The red brick storefront was probably built in the 1940s. It’s very plain and utilitarian compared to buildings constructed before the Great Depression.
If you head a little further south from Tennessee, you’ll find many other uniquely Southern types of architecture. Here are a few (click on the thumbnail for the full-sized image):