The temple-front façade is derived from classical architecture, particularly Greek and Roman temples. This type may be found in the designs of public, religious, and institutional buildings, but in commercial use, the temple front was usually a small bank building.
Two façade designs were most popular: one with a portico and pediment (prostyle), the other with an entrance framed by columns and by the end walls of the building (dityle in antis). License was taken by many designers; if a pediment was not used on the façade, a parapet or balustrade took its place. Buildings situated on corers were often designed in such a manner that the side along the street repeated the pattern of the façade columns though the use of engaged columns or pilasters.