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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Federal architecture~celebrating our independence

Shortly after the Revolutionary War, Americans began to celebrate their Independence in almost every aspect of their lives. One of the most lasting forms of patriotism came in the form of Federal architecture. Before the war with England, many homes had been built in the Georgian style that honored the British monarchs, George I-IV. The new architecture, which was a variation of neo classical design, came to be known as the Federal style, which occurred in the post revolutionary years until around 1830.



Woodlawn, was built in 1805.

While Georgian and Federalist homes are very similar, there are a few areas that distinguish the two. Georgian homes are very angular and generally square. Federal style homes often have curved lines and and very detailed decorative flourishes. Georgian homes are generally built of brick or stone while Federal homes have a smooth facade usually built of clapboard.



This home was once owned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and was also at one time occupied by George Washington.


Roofs can be flat, low pitched or hipped ( sloped on all four sides) and are often shielded with a balustrade.



The Benjamin Hawkes house in Salem, Massachusetts.

You will often find a Palladian (or fanlight) window over the entry way door.



As well as narrow side windows on either side of the front door.



Decorative crowns can often be found over windows or the front door.





American eagle motifs show up in a variety of mediums both in the interior and exterior.



More elaborate homes have rounded porches that are supported by columns that are topped by beautiful capitals.


Windows are arranged symmetrically and generally are double sash, with six, eight or twelve panes of glass which are separated by thin wooden supports called muntins. Shutters are also a key characteristic on Federal styled homes.


This is a grand example of tooth like dentil moldings topping the cornice.





While Federal styled homes were generally built for the wealthy, there are examples, such as the Millard and Abigail Fillmore house in East Aurora, New York, that show a more modest home.



Sadly, as some of these grand historical homes are now well over 200 years old, many have fallen into disrepair or being torn down. Please check your area for conservation efforts so that these architectural displays of our forefathers early patriotism will remain a part of our county's glorious heritage.


Long may she wave.

This post is dedicated to our men and women serving in the armed forces who know firsthand that freedom isn't free.

29 comments :

Glenda~Many Fond Memories said...

Thank goodness we have this style. I love this. It's one of my choices in a home.

Ciao
Glenda

Miss Sandy said...

Loved all the architectural details in this post. It was interesting to see the home owned by Longfellow (a favorite poet of mine) and George Washington. We have many homes in our capital city in a very old district of this style. The district has now been revitalized and many of these grand old homes are being refurbished. Happy 4th!

Shimmy Mom said...

I love the architecture from that era. Great post!
And thanks for stopping by my blog as well.

VINTAGE GIRL AT HEART said...

Beautiful post.. architectural details are a favorite of mine and I love old rich and historic homes.
May you have A blessed 4th of July!!!
..you are right.. freedom is not free......

KarenHarveyCox said...

These are wonderful photographs of some beautiful homes and architecture. Happy 4th of July. Karen

ceekay said...

Thanks for stopping by....love those big gorgeous homes! Have a great 4th!

Lora said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog! I've really enjoyed my visit here, you have a beautiful blog! Hope you have a happy 4th!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

I love traditional homes! Only in America will you see so many different styles of architecture! Beautiful photos to remind us of our heritage.

Susie Harris said...

They just dont build them like they used too. I loved them all... Thank you for the tour, Susie H~

Kate said...

cute idea!!! thanks for signing up for the giveaway:)

ellen b. said...

Beautiful tour of "Federal Architecture" I really do love older things...
Happy 4th to you.

Charm & Grace said...

You have a very beautiful blog. I am looking forward to reading your older posts. Thanks for visiting mine!

Happy Independence Day!
Christi

John Aydan said...

Awesome styles, thanks tonne for sharing this wonderful home design informations...

The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

I love federal homes for their symmetry and front doors.
Cool post! Happy 4th to you~
Nikki

Sue said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog just now. I enjoyed reading your post and think that you would enjoy a visit to Mount Pleasant in Philadelphia. http://www.fairmountparkhouses.org/244-37.html
Happy Fourth!
Sue

Pink Icing on the Cake said...

Hi Laura,
Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hi. Your post today is really beautiful, such beautiful homes. They just don't make them like that anymore.

Hugs,
LeAnn:)

Mary said...

Simply gorgeous! Happy 4th!
xoxo,
Mary

Jeanne said...

I agree with your decor to adore. Your pics are amazing. Have a wonderful July 4th.

Jeanne

Nicole said...

Wow those are some amazing homes. It's incredible what they were able to do with their limited tools. Love your blog, you have some beautiful pictures. Hey, I have that Anne of Green Gables cook book too. Thanks for visiting!

Dana said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your post! I am so glad to have met you through the Flag Waving blog of Kari and Kijsa! Happy Independence Day!

Heidi Ann said...

Hi Laura, Happy 4th to you! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a nice comment! I so appreciate it!...may I also say that I absolutely loved your post today about architecture, styles, etc. Being a decorator too & a huge fan of old, historical houses, it just spoke to me!!! I was sorry when I was done reading!...I will be back again to visit!....Heidi XO

ohiofarmgirl said...

I think history is so interesting...gives you a since of where we came from and why things are the way they are...Thanks for sharing...and thanks for visiting my blog too. Dianntha

TattingChic said...

Thank you for that beautiful post! I love architecture. Those were some absolutely beautiful homes, I never thought of architecture in the way your presented it. That was very well done.
Happy 4th of July!

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

Laura - what a beautiful blog! I love the architecture of homes! Our home was built in 1905, and I'm still trying to figure out what "type" of home it is!!
Karla & Karrie too

Kari & Kijsa said...

A beautiful historic tour! Loved all the architecture lessons and photostoday and perfect ofr a Fourth post!! Beautiful!

Happy Independence Day!
kari & kijsa

Kim said...

I'm glad you visited my blog. The photos on your blog are beautiful & the architectural info was very interesting. Hope you enjoyed your Fourth!

Willow said...

I had to smile about the 200 year old houses in our neighborhoods. There aren't any in Southern CA, only Native American village sites that are that old. We have newer copies of the Federalist style.

Thank you for sharing that wealth of information. I learned a lot!

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

Dear Laura - you have the most fabulous taste you know - I' drooling over the ceiling roses:-)

This really is a spectacular post - there's so much work in it! thank you!!

I think this heritage issue is a world wide problem - here in Hong Kong especially

take care!

felicity

diana loves to travel said...

Laura, I love you blog! I just finished reading a wonderful book that has been made into a movie (I need to add it to my blockbuster queque!) Love in the Time of Cholera...takes place in Panama and is a love story. My favorite style of decor is a mix of Caribbean/Tropical/British Colonial/Spanish.
Read this book and your head will be filled with pictures of homes, rooms and clothing from the early 1800's. Someday, I hope to have a tropical beach get a way decorated in that style!!! I enjoyed looking at your post with photos of rooms that I would love to live in! Thanks for sharing your creativity. Diana