The Columbia County Historical Society (CCHS) has announced the newest itinerary in its ongoing Drive Through History series, which offers free, self-guided driving tours of Columbia County history. “Exploring Federal Architecture,” the new road trip, visits houses and other structures built during the Federal period.
The Federal period (1790-1820) saw both the founding of the United States and the rise of America’s first national design style, both of which were heavily influenced by the ancient democracies of Greece and Rome. Federal architecture is characterized by symmetry and simplicity, punctuated with fine design details such as fanlights, decorative garlands, bald eagle motifs and other patriotic symbols — a style embodied by the James Vanderpoel “House of History” in Kinderhook.
Other stops on the “Federal Architecture” tour highlight similarities and regional variations in this style, including: the Elisha Gilbert House (New Lebanon), the Anson Pratt House (New Concord), Richmond Hill (Germantown), the Robert Jenkins House and other structures in Hudson, and the Joab Center House, often referred to locally as the “Old Turtle House.”
The new road trip joins the following lineup of Drive Through History tours: Hidden Hamlets; Dutch & Mohican Heritage Tour; Lights, Camera, Road Trip!; Legends & Folklore; Sacred Spaces Part I and II; Artifacts of Industry; Patriots & Patroons: Politics in Columbia County; Good Apples; and Schoolhouse Stories.
First launched in summer of 2020, Drive Through History road trips highlight a wide range of historic and cultural sites throughout Columbia County. CCHS now offers two ways to engage with these road trips: an interactive, map-based itinerary for viewing on mobile browsers or a PDF that may be downloaded and printed.
The full itinerary can be found on the CCHS website. For further information, contact Carrie Rodgers at Communications@cchsny.org.
Photo of James Vanderpoel ‘House of History,’ a c.1820 Federal-era mansion courtesy Columbia County Historical Society.