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Classical architecture enjoyed immense popularity at the turn of the 19th century. These architectural forms carried special meaning to Americans in particular, who self-consciously modeled and compared their political institutions with those of classical Rome and ancient Athens. Neoclassical designs appeared throughout the United States in this period. Even middling farmers chose to build or renovate existing homes in the pilastered, Greek Revival style, spurning the advice of some elites who urged them to build more humble, English-style cottages instead. For advice, builders could turn to "The Country Builder's Assistant" by Asher Benjamin (1773-1845), an American-born architect. This was first published in 1797 in Greenfield, Massachusetts.