Architecture / Style / Federal


  • 1780-1820 (Blumenson)
  • 1780-1820 (Baker)


The Federal style is typified by a low pitched roof, smooth façade, large glazed areas and elliptical fan light with flanking slender side lights. Geometric forms such as polygonal or bowed bays accentuate the rhythm of the exterior as well as indicate new interior spaces. Tripart windows often are framed in recessed arches. Ornamental elements found on many of the houses during this period herald the work of the English designers, the Adam brothers. Also known as: Adam, Adam Style, Adamesque, Adamesque Federalist, Federalist.



Sources Cited

  • Blumenson
  • McAlester, Virginia. A Field Guide to American Houses: The Definitive Guide to Identifying and Understanding America’s Domestic Architecture. New York, NY: Knopf, 2015.

Also see Architecture / Style index.