Federal-style architecture is the name for the classicizing architecture built in the newly founded United States between c. 1780 and 1830, and particularly from 1785 to 1815. This style shares its name with its era, the Federalist Era. The name Federal style is also used in association with furniture design in the United States of the same time period. The style broadly corresponds to the classicism of Biedermeier style in the German-speaking lands, Regency architecture in Britain and to the French Empire style.
In the early American republic, the founding generation consciously chose to associate the nation with the ancient democracies of Greece and the republican values of Rome. Grecian aspirations informed the Greek Revival, lasting into the 1850s. Using Roman architectural vocabulary,the Federal style applied to the balanced and symmetrical version of Georgian architecture that had been practiced in the American colonies' new motifs of neoclassical architecture as it was epitomized in Britain by Robert Adam, who published his designs in 1792.
American Federal architecture typically uses plain surfaces with attenuated detail, usually isolated in panels, tablets, and friezes. It also had a flatter, smoother façade and rarely used pilasters. It was most influenced by the interpretation of ancient Roman architecture, fashionable after the unearthing of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The bald eagle was a common symbol used in this style, with the ellipse a frequent architectural motif.
The classicizing manner of constructions and town planning undertaken by the federal government was expressed in federal projects of lighthouses, harbor buildings, and hospitals. It can be seen in the rationalizing, urbanistic layout of L'Enfant Plan of Washington and in the Commissioners' Plan of 1811 in New York.The historic eastern part of Bleecker Street in New York, between Broadway and the Bowery, is home to Federal-style row houses at 7 to 13 and 21 to 25 Bleecker Street. The classicizing style of Federal architecture can especially be seen in the quintessential New England meeting house, with their lofty and complex towers by architects such as Lavius Fillmore and Asher Benjamin.
This American neoclassical high style was the idiom of America's first professional architects, such as Charles Bulfinch and Minard Lafever. Robert Adam and James Adam were leading influences through their books.
In Salem, Massachusetts, there are numerous examples of American colonial architecture and Federal architecture in two historic districts: Chestnut Street District, which is part of the Samuel McIntire Historic District containing 407 buildings, and the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, consisting of 12 historic structures and about 9 acres (4 ha) of land along the waterfront.
Modern reassessment of the American architecture of the Federal period began with Fiske Kimball, Domestic Architecture of the American Colonies and the Early Republic, 1922.
The Greek Revival was an architectural movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, predominantly in Northern Europe and the United States. It revived the style of ancient Greek architecture, in particular the Greek temple, with varying degrees of thoroughness and consistency. A product of Hellenism, it may be looked upon as the last phase in the development of Neoclassical architecture, which had for long mainly drawn from Roman architecture. The term was first used by Charles Robert Cockerell in a lecture he gave as Professor of Architecture to the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 1842.
Neoclassicism was a Western cultural movement in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that drew inspiration from the art and culture of classical antiquity. Neoclassicism was born in Rome largely thanks to the writings of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, at the time of the rediscovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum, but its popularity spread all over Europe as a generation of European art students finished their Grand Tour and returned from Italy to their home countries with newly rediscovered Greco-Roman ideals. The main Neoclassical movement coincided with the 18th-century Age of Enlightenment, and continued into the early 19th century, laterally competing with Romanticism. In architecture, the style continued throughout the 19th, 20th and up to the 21st century.
The architecture of the United States demonstrates a broad variety of architectural styles and built forms over the country's history of over two centuries of independence and former Spanish and British rule.
Charles Bulfinch was an early American architect, and has been regarded by many as the first native-born American to practice architecture as a profession.
A mansion is a large dwelling house. The word itself derives through Old French from the Latin word mansio "dwelling", an abstract noun derived from the verb manere "to dwell". The English word manse originally defined a property large enough for the parish priest to maintain himself, but a mansion is no longer self-sustaining in this way. Manor comes from the same root—territorial holdings granted to a lord who would "remain" there.
Samuel McIntire was an American architect and craftsman, best known for the Chestnut Street District, a classic example of Federal style architecture. Born in Salem, Massachusetts to housewright Joseph McIntire and Sarah (Ruck), he was a woodcarver by trade who grew into the practice of architecture. He married Elizabeth Field on October 10, 1778, and had one son. He built a simple home and workshop on Summer Street in 1786.
Alexander Parris was a prominent American architect-engineer. Beginning as a housewright, he evolved into an architect whose work transitioned from Federal style architecture to the later Greek Revival. Parris taught Ammi B. Young, and was among the group of architects influential in founding what would become the American Institute of Architects. He is also responsible for the designs of many lighthouses along the coastal Northeastern United States.
Asher Benjamin was an American architect and author whose work transitioned between Federal architecture and the later Greek Revival architecture. His seven handbooks on design deeply influenced the look of cities and towns throughout New England until the Civil War. Builders also copied his plans in the Midwest and in the South.
Neoclassical architecture is an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century in Italy and France. In its purest form, it is a style principally derived from the architecture of classical antiquity, the Vitruvian principles, and the work of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio.
The Salem Maritime National Historic Site is a National Historic Site consisting of 12 historic structures, one replica tall-ship, and about 9 acres of land along the waterfront of Salem Harbor in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem Maritime is the first National Historic Site established in the United States. It interprets the Triangle Trade during the colonial period, in cotton, rum, sugar and slaves; the actions of privateers during the American Revolution; and global maritime trade with the Far East, after independence. The National Park Service manages both the National Historic Site and a Regional Visitor Center in downtown Salem. The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior.
Minard Lafever (1798–1854) was an American architect of churches and houses in the United States in the early nineteenth century.
Franklin Place, designed by Charles Bulfinch and built in Boston, Massachusetts in 1793-95, included a row of sixteen three-story brick townhouses that extended in a 480-foot curve, a small garden, and four double houses. Constructed early in Bulfinch's career, Franklin Place came after he had seen the possibilities of modern architecture in Europe and had determined to reshape his native city. It was the first important urban housing scheme undertaken in the United States, and the city's first row-house complex. However, years of decline and the push of industry into the area forced its demolition in 1858.
The Chestnut Street District is a historic district bounded roughly by Bridge, Lynn, Beckford, and River Streets in Salem, Massachusetts. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and enlarged slightly in 1978. The district contains a number of architecturally significant works of Samuel McIntire, a builder and woodworker who had a house and workshop at 31 Summer Street, and who designed and built a number of these houses, and others that display the profits made in the Old China Trade by Salem's merchants. The district is a subset of a larger locally designated McIntire Historic District.
Downtown Salem District is a historic district roughly bounded by Church, Central, New Derby, and Washington Streets in Salem, Massachusetts. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, and represents a major expansion of the Old Town Hall Historic District, which was listed in 1972.
Salem Common Historic District is a historic district bounded roughly by Bridge, Derby, and St. Peter's streets, as well as Collins Cove in Salem, Massachusetts, United States.
Sag Harbor Whaling Museum is a museum in Sag Harbor, New York, dedicated to the town's past as a prosperous whaling port. It houses the largest collection of whaling equipment in the state of New York.
In the United States, the National Register of Historic Places classifies its listings by various types of architecture. Listed properties often are given one or more of 40 standard architectural style classifications that appear in the National Register Information System (NRIS) database. Other properties are given a custom architectural description with "vernacular" or other qualifiers, and others have no style classification. Many National Register-listed properties do not fit into the several categories listed here, or they fit into more specialized subcategories.
The Colonel Green G. Mobley House, also known as The Magnolia, is a historic house in Gainesville, Sumter County, Alabama. The two-story wood-frame house was built for Colonel Green G. Mobley, a native of Fairfield County, South Carolina, and his wife Henrietta, a native of Vermont. The Greek Revival-style structure was completed circa 1845. Architectural historians consider it to be among West Alabama's most refined expressions of domestic Greek Revival architecture.
A pattern book, or architectural pattern book, is a book of architectural designs, usually providing enough for non-architects to build structures that are copies or significant derivatives of major architect-designed works.