A Brief History of Crown Molding

The origins of crown molding go back almost 4,000 years to ancient Egypt when the Pharohs built opulent temples with the first known crown moldings. The Greeks copied and expanded the use of crown moldings in their architecture.

When the United States was first formed in the late 1700’s architects looked to the first democracy in the world, Greece, for inspiration in their design. Thus, Greek patterning of dentil moldings and the three traditional shapes of ellipse, parabola and hyperbola were commonly used.

Crown moldings originally were made of carved stone in ancient times, and then transistioned to wood, then plaster and now is made of a variety of materials. It has always required additional labor and skill to install and, therefore, has always been a sign of luxury and expense in a home.

Today, moldings are used to divide the space in a room making it more cozy. It also adds visual interest through the interplay of light and shadow in the design of the molding.

Joseph Himali