• Fort Parade Ground and Officers Quarters as seen from Guardhouse

    Fort Scott

    National Historic Site Kansas

Post Construction - Architecture and Design

Before the Civil War, the United States Army did not have or use any standard plans for the construction of a fort or specific military buildings. The Quartermaster Department was responsible for the design, construction, and supply of the U.S. Army forts located in the interior of the United States and on the frontier. The quality of the building construction depended on the ability of the individual quartermaster officer assigned to a specific fort.

Three styles of architecture were used to design the buildings of the fort. The name of each style and it's general characteristics are as follows:

 
Post Hospital

1. French Colonial: has wide exterior staircases and porches, a broken roofline covering the porches, and many large windows. Best Example: Post Hospital/Visitor Center.

 
Well and Canopy

2. Greek Revival: extensive use of columns and pillars with ornamental capitals or tops. Doric column used at Fort Scott is tapered and has a square capital or top.

 
Headquarters

3. Vernacular: common, plain with no ornamentation. Best examples, Post Headquarters, Quartermaster Storehouse & small stone outbuildings behind Officer's Row.

 
Architectural elements Doric ColumnDoric CapitalPiazza

Architectural Terms

  • French Colonial Architecture: the dominant architectural style used at Fort Scott.
  • Greek Revival Architecture: the ornamental architectural elements (pillars) used at Fort Scott.
  • Doric Capital: the flat square top of the wooden porch columns used at Fort Scott.
  • Doric Column: a wooden Greek Revival Style tapered column used at Fort Scott.
  • Piazza: a wide exterior porch.
 
 
Hewing a Log
Construction Main Page

Did You Know?

The hosptial/visitor center is the best example of French Colonial architecture on site. Note all of the elements.

Fort Scott uses three styles of architecture: French Colonial, Greek Revival, and vernacular. The most dominant is French Colonial; characterized by wide porches, stairways and a broken roofline. Most living quarters are on the second floor to avoid bad air believed to exist at lower levels.