Ridge Ave Roxborough Historic District

Federal Architecture


The Federal style of  architecture, which emerged after the Revolutionary War, is closely  related to the earlier Georgian or Colonial style, but Federal buildings  are lighter and more delicate than their predecessors, which were  generally weighty with stout detailing. Like the earlier houses, Federal  houses are generally side-gabled, two-story, symmetrical boxes.  Wissahickon schist remained the predominant building material, but the  stone was sometimes faced with stucco. The Federal style was employed in  Roxborough Township from the 1780s through the 1820s.

The Levering-Jones House at  6341 Ridge Avenue, which also served for a short time as the General  Washington Tavern, is an excellent example of the Federal style (Figure  20). Built about 1796 by William and Martha Levering, the house was  converted to a tavern in the early nineteenth century. It was later  converted back to a residence and was the boyhood home of prominent  historian Horatio Gates Jones Jr. The house was restored to its original  appearance in the twentieth century. Its side-gable, symmetrical  façade, pedimented door surround, and pedimented dormers with Gothic  windows are all hallmarks of the Federal style.

The Starne-Smick House at 7552  Ridge Avenue, built about 1795, is another good example of a Federal  style house in Roxborough. Although without the high-style  embellishments of the Levering-Jones House, the Starne-Smick is a large,  well-preserved, significant example of the style. The Joseph Ozias  House of 1811 at 7953 Ridge Avenue is another example of a  well-preserved Federal style house. The cut-stone front façade with  quoins at the corners is an interesting feature of this otherwise modest  residence.


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This information has been posted by RMWHS with the permission of the Philadelphia Historical Commission.