Circa 1780 – 1820
The Federal style was very similar to the earlier Georgian style architecture but it tended to be slightly more refined in its details. The Federal style (also known as Adamesque) developed in the United States after the Revolution as an homage to another great republic: Rome. Unlike the Georgian forms that praised the ideas of Rome by imitating the Italian Renaissance, the Federal style imitated the monuments themselves as they were revealed through archaeological digs in Italy and Greece. The basic shape of a Federal home was a box that was two or more rooms deep and frequently the box would have been modified by adding projected wings or matching dependencies. The subtypes include the simple, but most used, side-gabled roof, a two-story building with a hipped roof, a three-story building with a hipped roof, a center gable home, and the townhouse. Like Georgian architecture, Federal homes value the principles of balance and symmetry but on a more polished and refined scale. This meant that if a dependency, like a porch, was designed to be on one side of the home, something had to be built onto the opposite side of the home to balance it out. This also meant that the windows had to line up in equal numbers around the entry door, usually with two windows bracketing the door on the first level and five windows across the upper levels.
There was one large stylistic difference between the Georgian and the Federal style: the addition of a fanlight above the door. Federal styled doors usually included a highly detailed door surround and often a large Palladian window could be found on the second level along with elliptical or half-circular windows on the side or front gables. Some decorative moldings remained the same as In the Georgian period, like the use of dentils, pilasters, sidelights, quoins, and the belt course but the Federal style made use of very different decorative elements over the windows. Windows in wooden homes sometimes had elaborate and carved decorative entablature with a design in the frieze and some masonry examples of the style were made with windows that were dressed with keystone lintels, flat lintels, or even a simple keystone. The windows themselves were mostly 6 over 6 and double hung sashes but in contrast to Georgian windows, the muntins of Federal windows are usually much narrower.