This article is a part of a series from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission’s excellent field guide on the architectural styles found in Pennsylvania. In it, they’ve assigned key periods of development – from the Colonial period in the 18th Century to the Modern Movements of the 29th Century. This article focuses on an overview of the Traditional/Vernacular style in Pennsylvania from 1638 through 1950
PA Architecture Early Republic Period 1780 – 1830
The Early Republic Period marks the era when the English colonies declared their independence and the young nation was first established. The predominant style in this period was the Federal or Adam style, a refined version of the previously popular Georgian style. Federal style buildings were common in the period from 1780 to about 1830 and were distinguishable from their earlier Georgian counterparts mostly by the more delicate and elaborate classical details on similar symmetrical facades. The other style to develop in this period was the Early Classical Revival or Greek Revival style which drew its design inspiration more directly from the ancient buildings of Greece and Rome. This Early Classical Revival style continued to be employed for much of the nineteenth century, especially for buildings in public use, schools, churches, banks and government offices.