Taking its name from the newly instituted federal form of government, this style was popular from 1790 to 1840. Often referred to as the Adam style, it first developed in England and was named for three brothers whose designs popularized the style. It is really a refinement of the Georgian style, which was popular in the years preceding the Federal style. Like the Georgian style, the Federal style is designed around center hall floor plan and has many of the same elements of the Georgian style such as symmetry, classical details and a side gabled roof, yet it is different in its ornamentation and sophistication.
Federal details are more delicate, slender and finely drawn than their Georgian counterparts and may feature swags, garlands and urns. Also, more formal elements were introduced in the Federal style, such as the front door fanlight window, sometimes with flanking sidelights, and more elaborate door surrounds and porticos.
Federal style homes can be found in several neighborhoods including the Andover Street and Tyler Park Historic Districts. Lowell's earliest commercial buildings were also designed in the Federal style and examples can be found throughout the downtown area.