Federal Architecture: characteristics and works

In the world of architecture, few era’s or time made a great impact among the people like Georgian, roman and so on in the European countries, like that each part of the globe was influenced by specific architectural era’s and this architecture is the one which influenced the American architecture mostly and even today we can recognize the essence of federal architecture in most of the American architecture.

During the late ’70s and early ’80s, federal architecture played a very important role to influence the people of America and reshaped the architectural style of the country, mostly inspired by Georgian architecture the federal architecture formed as a national architectural style of the nation.

The light structure with less decoration has always been the primary pattern of federal architecture philosophy, the revolution of the architecture style begun with Charles Bulfinch the renowned architect who helped America to go after federal architecture, with materials being influenced from classical architecture and British architectural style he formed something new and it became a trend among the American architects.

federal architecture


Like every other architecture style, this architecture has its own patterns and characteristics, simple yet elegant is one of the core characteristics of the architecture with two or three Stories building, curved and polygonal floor plans can be seen in almost all the federal architecture buildings.

Federal adopted some features of Georgian but always preferred the simple exterior and narrow columns, unlike Georgian architecture and either square or rectangle box-shaped structure.

Clapboard and bricks were the major material used in this architecture according to the geography, some parts even cared about the fireproof of the building, hip roofs with balustrade and center gable with front façade pediment were the most common roof structure followed in the federal architecture style.

federal architecture

Architects and their works:

Charles Bulfinch the earliest known professional American architect act as the reason behind the popularity of federal architecture in America, we can even call him the father of federal architecture but not officially, most of his work resembled the mixture of Georgian and roman architecture which indeed he studied and got inspired him as an adult, architecture has been his passion until one of his experimental work failed which actually made him a star architect after, most of his works are of governmental building and Massachusetts statehouse is fine to work of Charles Bulfinch.

The Massachusetts statehouse by Charles Bulfinch is one of the earliest and grand proofs of federal architecture, the statehouse earned him a remarkable name in the world of architecture and motivated more American architects to follow the federal architecture style, we can witness the larger influence of Georgian and roman architecture characteristics in the statehouse building from the classical entrance to the magnificent central dome, it is one fine architecture lecture to American architects.

Thomas Jefferson without a doubt one of the greatest politician of America but he is also a legendary architect, Jefferson played a major role in reshaping the entire structure of America and architecture actually helped him to do it, he is fond of the classical architecture style but rather his ideologies expanded and at the end, he mastered numerous architectural styles, this architecture is one among them and Virginia state capitol is the proof for that.

Virginia state capitol by the famous architect Thomas Jefferson is a remarkable work of the federal era, the most simple and yet marvelous structure earned a name for the federal architecture all around the globe, the interior of the building is a treasure to explore, from the circular roof to the rotunda in the middle with marvelous sculptures and state made it one of legendary architectural work of the late 17th century.


Federal architecture earned a name for American architecture in the world of architecture and impacted several countries to follow their hybrid styles of constructing buildings with the mixture of several architectural styles and present is as one, even today this architecture is considered as the national architecture style of America.

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