Federal Guide

Architectural Styles of Greater Boston: Federal Style

We like to think of our home as a reflection of ourselves, so what does your home say about you? If you live in one of Boston’s many Federal style homes, perhaps it means you’re a history buff, you enjoy a sense of balance (just look at the symmetry!), or maybe you simply appreciate the classic aesthetic of these stately homes. Whatever the reason, we don’t blame you (we love them, too), which is why we chose Federal style to kick off Robert Paul Properties’ new guide: Architectural Styles of Greater Boston.

federal style

When you hear the words “Boston architecture,” chances are this is what comes to mind. Federal architecture has been incorporated into the city’s design since it’s early development, evidenced in many of the most celebrated buildings, from Faneuil Hall to the gold-domed State House and the picturesque homes of Beacon Hill, such as this Chestnut Street masterpiece. These buildings exude both a sense of significance and charm that is undeniably characteristic of Boston as a whole.

Much like the city, Federal architecture plays a prominent role in United States history, having emerged in the years following the Revolutionary War. After gaining independence, the United States  looked to ancient Greece and Rome for inspiration developing an architectural form that would be uniquely American, while also expressing the strongly-held republican ideals of the people, and the Federal style was subsequently born.

Easily recognized by their flat, symmetrical facades and Palladian windows, Federal style buildings often include projected wings to escape the confines of a simple box. Classical geometric patterns are applied to the mantels, walls, and ceilings, lending a sophisticated visual appeal.
To learn more about Federal architecture and where it can be seen throughout the city, visit our guide, Architectural Styles of Greater Boston!