The Federal Style House

The dominant form of architecture in America from approximately 1780 to 1820, the Federal Style is a more delicate variation of the Georgian Style that preceded it. Federal Era designers took inspiration from the work of Robert and James Adam, Scottish brothers who themselves were inspired by the archaeological discoveries at Pompeii and Herculaneum. One of the style's foremost practitioners was Samuel McIntire (1757-1811) of Salem, Massachusetts. A number of fine McIntire homes remain in Salem, including the Gardner-Pingree House depicted below. The house presents a symmetrical, five-bay facade and was built in brick—a departure for McIntire, whose previous designs had been executed in wood. Though more expensive than wood, brick had significant advantages, including fireproofing and relief from the humid climate of the area.

Click on the highlighted sections for information on the individual components of the Federal/Adam Style. The seven highlighted areas are, from top to bottom: the chimneys, balustrade, cornice, belt course, windows, portico and doorway.

Mapped @ Image Mapper