Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Benjamin L. Ford, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Phillip D. Neusius, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

R. Scott Moore, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Donald W. Buckwalter, Ph.D.


This investigation was designed to analyze the classical influences in 19th century Syracuse, New York by analyzing specific patterns present in the layout, architecture, and grave markers of the city and its residents. The construction of the Erie Canal in 1820 was used as a baseline for this investigation. The analysis showed that the classical tradition was not well represented during the early settling of the village; however, after the opening of the Erie Canal, the classical tradition was adopted throughout the city. Architecture within the city reflected the adoption of the classical tradition as seen by a spike in popularity of Greek Revival Style architecture following the opening of the canal. The classical tradition further influenced the lives of the citizens in a more personal context as seen by the grave memorials within the city's primary cemetery. Following the popularity of the Greek Revival Style architecture, classical decoration and architecture appeared within the cemetery, representing an individual's attachment to the classical tradition. The results from the investigation showed that the classical traditions in the city of Syracuse appeared after the construction of the Erie Canal not only because of national trends, but also, because of the attempt to legitimize the city. This tradition effected citizens on a public level, appearing in the layout of the city and architecture, and on a personal level, represented by the grave memorial decorations.