The Adam or Federal architecture style was the dominant style in the United states around the period of 1780-1820’s. It came about as a refining development of the earlier Georgian architectural style. The term Adam style has it’s roots in the work of the Adam brothers, who at the time of this style’s popularity, had a large architectural firm in Britain. The influence of Robert Adam’s design techniques were so that the federal house plans style is often referred to as the English Adam style house plans here in the America.
Federal colonial home designs are usually a simple box like that of the Georgian colonial style, french colonials, dutch colonial, and early classical revival architecture. It is usually a two story with two or more rooms deep. Windows and doors are always arranged in a symmetrical pattern. What makes the federal style different from other colonial home designs is that the simple box may be modified with projecting wings on one or both sides.
Identifying features of the federal colonial architecture style include a fanlight over the front door with or without sidelights. The fanlight is usually a semi-circular or elliptical shape. The front door is often emphasized with decorative moldings. The windows are double-hung sashes with 6 panes per sash and are aligned horizontally and vertically in a symmetrical pattern five rank on the front facade. The windows are never in pairs; however, palladian style window in three parts are common above the front door. The roofs are mostly hipped and can be seen gabled as well. Federal style house plans are commonly seen with and without covered entries.