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Federal & Adam

The Adam style of architecture is named after famed British architect Robert Adam who combined symmetrical housing lines with fussy swags, ribbons, dentil molding, and elaborate color schemes. This style arrived in the United States around 1780 when the country was newly formed and people were intrigued by architecture that would set a grand tone.

Adam's style derived from the neoclassical movement, which focused on studies of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. Many people were eager to embrace these stately Adam style homes, as they represented a significant shift away from the popular colonial style that filled many neighborhoods.

Unlike many understated colonial homes, the Adam homes featured a grand entrance set off by decorative columns, a dramatic roof overhang and a fanlight window above the front door. Rooms, windows and the overall flow of the floor plan was guided by geometric shapes, such as hexagons, ovals, and circles. As the style became popular, it soon was adapted to American tastes and called the Federal style.