Virginia Federal Period Doors & Millwork

The Federal Period, spanning from the late 18th to the early 19th century, was a crucial era in American architecture that saw the emergence of distinct design elements and principles. In Virginia, during this period, homes became symbols of refined taste and elegance, reflecting the influence of Neoclassical ideals. One of the key architectural features that encapsulates the essence of Federal style homes in Virginia is the front door entryway.

The front door entryway of a Federal period home in Virginia was meticulously designed to embody the principles of balance, symmetry, and classical motifs. Elliptical fanlights and sidelights were popular components of these entryways, contributing to the overall aesthetic appeal. The use of ellipses in the windows was not merely decorative but also served a functional purpose by allowing an abundance of natural light to flood the entrance hall.

Windows spanning two sidelights became a distinctive hallmark of Federal style architecture in Virginia. The arrangement of these elements was carefully orchestrated to achieve visual harmony. The elliptical fanlight positioned above the door, along with the sidelights on either side, created a balanced and symmetrical composition. This adherence to symmetry was influenced by Neoclassical principles, which sought inspiration from classical Greek and Roman architecture.

The choice of elliptical windows was not arbitrary; it was rooted in the classical language of architecture. The ellipse, with its graceful curves, echoed the elliptical arches prevalent in ancient Roman structures. This classical reference was a deliberate attempt to evoke a sense of timelessness and cultural continuity. The use of classical motifs was a defining characteristic of Federal style architecture, as it sought to establish a connection with the ideals of ancient civilizations.

As we delve into the specifics of these front door entryways, it’s essential to acknowledge the craftsmanship that brought these designs to life. Gepetto Millworks, situated in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, played a pivotal role in manufacturing the intricate components of Federal period homes in Virginia. The artisans at Gepetto Millworks were adept at translating architectural drawings into finely crafted wooden elements, bringing authenticity and precision to each piece.

Gepetto Millworks embraced the architectural principles of the Federal period, ensuring that their creations adhered to the standards of balance and proportion. The ellipses in the windows were meticulously carved, and the sidelights were crafted with precision to complement the overall symmetry of the entryway. The choice of materials, often hardwoods like mahogany or cherry, added a touch of luxury to these architectural elements.

The Blue Ridge Mountains, with their natural beauty and serene landscapes, provided an inspiring backdrop for the artisans at Gepetto Millworks. Surrounded by such scenic vistas, the craftsmen found motivation to infuse a sense of craftsmanship and artistry into each piece they produced. This connection to nature and the local environment contributed to the unique character of the architectural elements manufactured by Gepetto Millworks.

Federal Period Doors & Millwork Produced Locally in Virginia

The Federal period in Virginia was marked by a departure from the ornate styles of the preceding Georgian era. Federal architecture embraced simplicity, symmetry, and a reliance on classical motifs. The front door entryways, with their elliptical fanlights and sidelights, epitomized these principles. The ellipses in the windows, while serving a functional purpose, also added a touch of grace and sophistication to the overall design.

Symmetry was a fundamental aspect of Federal architecture, and the front door entryway was no exception. The placement of the elliptical fanlight at the center, flanked by two sidelights, created a balanced and harmonious facade. This commitment to balance was not only an aesthetic choice but also a reflection of the intellectual currents of the time, which valued order and proportion.

The classical motifs found in Federal architecture were a deliberate homage to the ideals of ancient Greece and Rome. The architects and craftsmen of this period sought to evoke a sense of timelessness by drawing inspiration from the classical past. The use of ellipses in the windows, reminiscent of Roman arches, was a clear nod to the enduring legacy of classical architecture.

Gepetto Millworks, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, embraced these principles in their manufacturing process. The artisans at Gepetto understand the importance of precision and attention to detail in creating authentic Federal period architectural elements. The choice of materials, combined with skilled craftsmanship, resulted in front door entryways that not only adhered to the architectural principles of the time but also showcased the natural beauty of the wood.  In the federal period we see the impact of the deployment of machine labor to wood allowing for the explosion in trim and styling of some of the ornate libraries, entry halls, staircases and the ever present focal point of the front door.

In addition to the visual appeal, the front door entryways of Federal period homes in Virginia also served a functional purpose. The elliptical fanlights above the doors allowed ample natural light to enter the entrance hall, creating a welcoming and well-lit space. This consideration of both form and function reflected the pragmatic yet elegant sensibilities of Federal architecture.

As we admire these front door entryways, it’s worth noting that Federal style architecture in Virginia was not confined to grand mansions. The principles of balance, symmetry, and classical motifs permeated homes of various sizes and scales. Whether in urban townhouses or rural estates, the front door entryway became a focal point, signaling the taste and sophistication of the inhabitants.

The front door entryways of Federal period homes in Virginia stand as enduring examples of architectural excellence. The ellipses in the windows, spanning two sidelights, showcase a commitment to classical principles of balance and symmetry. Manufactured by Gepetto Millworks in the Blue Ridge Mountains, these architectural elements embody a harmonious blend of craftsmanship, natural beauty, and a deep appreciation for the Neoclassical ideals of the Federal period. As we continue to study and celebrate the architectural legacy of this era, the front door entryways remain iconic symbols of a bygone time, preserving the elegance and grace of Federal style architecture in Virginia.

The elliptical fanlight, positioned above the front door, is a key feature that distinguishes Federal period homes in Virginia. This design choice goes beyond mere aesthetics, as the ellipse itself is a shape laden with historical and cultural connotations. Inspired by the elliptical arches of ancient Roman architecture, the use of ellipses in the windows pays homage to classical ideals. It serves as a visual link to the timelessness of classical civilizations, emphasizing a connection to the intellectual and cultural heritage of the past.

The elliptical fanlight also plays a crucial role in welcoming natural light into the entrance hall. This functional aspect aligns with the practical sensibilities of the Federal period. The desire for well-lit interiors was not only an aesthetic preference but also a manifestation of the period’s interest in creating inviting and hospitable spaces. The soft, diffused light streaming through the elliptical fanlight contributes to the overall ambiance of the entryway, making it a warm and inviting focal point.

Complementing the elliptical fanlight are the two sidelights positioned on either side of the front door. This symmetrical arrangement enhances the visual balance of the entryway, a hallmark of Federal architecture. The sidelights serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. They allow additional light to enter the interior, further illuminating the entrance hall and creating a sense of openness. Moreover, the sidelights contribute to the grandeur of the facade, framing the entrance in a way that accentuates its significance.

The combination of the elliptical fanlight and the two sidelights creates a harmonious trio, each element enhancing the other’s impact. The ellipse, with its graceful curves, contrasts with the vertical lines of the sidelights, creating a dynamic visual interplay. This contrast adds a layer of complexity to the design, elevating it beyond a mere exercise in symmetry. The play of light and shadow on the intricate detailing of the fanlight and sidelights enhances the depth and richness of the overall composition.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, these architectural elements convey a narrative of cultural refinement and intellectual sophistication. The use of classical motifs, such as the elliptical arch, suggests a deliberate engagement with the philosophical and artistic ideals of antiquity. The Federal period was a time of intellectual curiosity and a desire to establish a distinct American identity that drew inspiration from the classical world. The front door entryway, with its unique combination of elements, became a canvas for expressing these ideals.

Gepetto Millworks, situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains, played a crucial role in bringing these unique design elements to life. The craftsmen at Gepetto understood the significance of the elliptical fanlight and sidelights in Federal period architecture. Their meticulous attention to detail and commitment to traditional craftsmanship ensured that each piece produced reflected the authenticity and elegance of the era.

In conclusion, the combination of the elliptical fanlight above the front door and the two sidelights flanking it represents a distinctive and iconic feature of Federal period homes in Virginia. This architectural ensemble goes beyond its visual appeal; it embodies the intellectual aspirations of the time, drawing inspiration from classical traditions. The play of light, the balance of forms, and the craftsmanship involved in creating these elements contribute to the enduring legacy of Federal style architecture. As we appreciate these front door entryways, we not only glimpse into a specific historical period but also witness the timeless beauty of design principles that continue to shape the look & flavor of our great Virginia Cities from Norfolk, Alexandria, to Charlottesville and Richmond.

federal style doors made to order virginia
federal style doors made to order virginia
federal style doors made to order virginia
federal style doors made to order virginia
federal style doors made to order virginia
federal style doors made to order virginia
federal style doors made to order virginia
federal style doors made to order virginia
Arc and Round Doors

Arc and Round Doors

Gepetto Craftsmen build arc, arched and round doors for general contractors across Northern Virginia.

Solid Wood Door Builder Richmond

Gepetto builds complex wood projects including decorative and architecturally designed arched doors and gates. Provide us with a basic 2D or 3D design sketch and we can have shop drawings (detailing their solid wood joinery) made for your approval. We work with with Autodesk and can build out your plans drawn from any 2D software or in Smartdraw, Vectorworks, Monograph, Sketchup, Big Time, Revit, Mosaic, Cedreo, artCAD, Bluebeam, Streamtime, ArchiCAD, nanoCAD, SkySite, BricsCAD.

We build solid wood core doors from any specie of lumber you specify. If you need a solid mahogany door to resist swelling and humidity we have suppliers for the raw materials necessary. Decorative Arch tops, and window lights on the round are all possible by our skilled millwrights. Choose Gepetto Millworks to be your round door builders and your door will be handmade from Rockett’s landing on the James River in Richmond VA


Arched Door Builder

Arched Door builder in Richmond VA can make any door design to your order. Round door building can be confusing so shop drawings will be commissioned from your napkin sketch so you can see how it all fits together.

Round Door Maker using hand joined mortise & tenon

Arched Door Builder - Round Door Maker
Rounded and unique arc door’s require precise hand fitting to give your room the centerpiece look in a wall opening. Have your architect confidently draw you a rounded door from a full hobbit circle to a gentle arc and we will build door and frame.

Arc & Round Door millwork design & build

Have your architect confidently draw you a rounded door from a full hobbit circle to a gentle arc and we will build door and frame.

Many of our oversized doors and gates require custom steel or cast iron hinges which we also produce in house. Can you imagine the tolerances for fitting two steel hinges on a thousand pound wooden door or gate?

Those tight tolerances scare away many builders, but we are accustomed to meeting the needs of very demanding projects. Pictured below sits a site tested pre-paint mechanically driven gate measuring approximately 10 feet by ten feet. Gepetto fashioned the steel framing and mechanical attachments as well as the custom brass all weather bushings that

Arched Door Manufacturer

Gepetto Craftsman are ready to take your call for any type of custom door manufacture or production. Each one of our finished pieces are locally made in Richmond VA.

During the Gothic period, builders found that pointed arches could make structures with amazing power and stability. The architectural designer builders experimented with changing steepness the arch had presented the solution that pointed arches pushed out less than spherical arches. Italian designer and engineer Mario Salvadori (1907–1997 ). “the important difference between Romanesque and Gothic arches rests in the sharp structure of the latter, which, besides presenting the new artistic concept, has the significant result of reducing the arch thrusts by as much as fifty percent.”

Arched wood doors may take almost any kind of room to the next level of creative space. Whether the designing architect uses the arch in the window or the door we have built great results in a half moon light above a rectangular door as well as a half circle light built into the door matching the arc of the top. Wood arch patterns are referred to in architectural styles from ‘free arch’ – means it follows no mathematical center to ‘true arch’ – meaning 180-degree half round with center at the same as the horizontal plane. Dig into architectural history and you’ll find Gothic arches, Tudor arches, oval arches, and throne arch styles. Think large doors for larger openings and a skilled architect will want to split the arch bridge at center of the two doors creating a lovely split opening. Get funky and modern and you can split the arch unevenly creating all sort of fabrication challenges for us in the shop. Don’t worry, we like variety and will solve all of the joinery in our shop-drawings that you will have the chance to approve before we plane out the planks in the species needed.

Arched Door Builder from historic Virginia

The arches used in Romanesque architecture are nearly always semicircular, for openings such as doors and windows, for vaults and for arcades. Wide doorways are usually surmounted by a semi-circular arch, except where a door with a lintel is set into a large arched recess and surmounted by a semi-circular “lunette” with decorative carving. the Romans also used a curved arch to create an illusion of symmetry. We have designed media rooms with a Romanesque feel that uses solid wood paneling to achieve modern amenities like a ginormous 4k media screen with neo-classical fit and finish in line with the exterior elements of the stately Virginia homes in the Fan of Richmond. The semi-circular doors sometimes have a central jamb to support the load or provide extra security. We offer molding productions services to further fit and finish the residential or commercial space with unique and timeless wood craftsmanship.

Whether you want inspiration for planning arched doors into your Virginia home we are one of the few shops in Virginia able to build designer arched doors from scratch. Houzz has 80,000 pictures from decorators and architects all across the country. Look pictures of historic arched doors to inspire your architectural design for a church, school, or club. Contact the Pros at Gepetto who make great architectural mill-work happen and see what kind of great pricing you can get for your groundbreaking idea, or curbside appeal grabbing door design. Explore what’s out there in your city, and make a statement with your front door.

In an interesting historic note on the artch, throughout Maya sites, you’ll come across gateways and doorways that look somewhat like an arch, but which are structurally quite different. You are witnessing a corbelled vault! Builders of at least some Maya sites were familiar with a true arch (they were used here and there, largely in underground construction), yet corbelled vaults were used in the majority of cases, despite their drawbacks. A corbel vault’s construction set’s it apart by offsetting successive courses of stone at the spring line of the walls so that they project towards the archway’s center from each supporting side, until the courses meet at the apex of the archway (often capped with flat stones). For a corbelled vault covering the techniques is extended in three dimensions along the lengths of two opposing walls. The best set of drawings of the diverse range of shapes and sizes of corbel vaults can be found in the Sylvanus Morley book “The Ancient Maya”. A corbel arch (or corbeled / corbelled arch) is an arch-like construction method using a more primitive the stone mason technique of corbeling to span a space or void in a structure, such as an entrance-way.

Corbel arches constructed by offsetting successive courses of stone (or brick) at the springline of the walls so that they project towards the archway’s center from each supporting side. The angle of the arch limited by the size of the material until the courses meet at the apex. Although an improvement in load-bearing efficiency over the post and lintel, corbeled arches are not entirely self-supporting structures, and the corbeled arch is sometimes termed a false arch for it’s mechanical flaws. Unlike “true” arches the structure’s tensile stresses (caused by the weight of the materials) forming the arch are transformed into compressive stresses. Corbel arches and vaults require significantly thickened walls and an abutment of to fill to counteract the effects of gravity, which otherwise would tend to collapse each side of the archway inwards. But as a modern door design, that harkens back to the primitive roots it can be an inspiring shape of a false arch. Arched door builder in Richmond can add a point or other decorative rounding

Within the modern building industry of 2020, door panels without any framing are referred to as “slabs.” Residential entry door slabs are primarily manufactured in wood, insulated steel, and fiberglass. Vinyl entry doors are also available, as are doors produced with other composite materials. Interior doors are most commonly made of wood, but rarely of solid wood. The arched door builder most commonly features a hollow core and a face or skin of veneer. Unfortunately, these doors are only as good as their adhesives – which technically are very cheap. Yes, it’s easier to CNC route an arc into a ‘high grade’ of high density particle board – but if you’re looking for the traditional craftsman who is going to align the grain of a solid plank for solid block mortise and tennon joining – then give us a call for your needs. There’s simply no comparision – nor solid feel – as a door made cleanly from wood who’s cells grew molecular bonds with each other for a few decades.

Aesthetics drive the use of wood for doors and windows in commercial, institutional, and multifamily construction projects. According to the Window & Door Manufacturers Association a trade association representing over 145 U.S. and Canadian manufacturers and suppliers of windows and doors, wood is “highly versatile due to its botanical structure, composition, and properties. As a material, it has high strength in relation to its weight, high heat- and electrical-insulating properties, and desirable acoustical properties.” But that language itself doesn’t convey the aesthetic beauty of a deep thud of your arched wood door we built shutting firmly fitted in its frame. The solid wood aesthetic grows from the roots up as we craft and shape your custom door from a solid plank. We use the most modern of tools to be time and cost efficient in the manufacture of your wood door – but we continue to honor the strength of truth of the grain and species of the lumber you specify for your door.

We are a custom arched wood door and frame manufacturer that refuses to use computer aided machining but specialises in constructing custom strong wood doors that old fashioned way – by hand. Improve the appearance of the interior or exterior of your home, office or restaurant with hand carved entryways made by professional craftsmen and inspired by the past.

Arch Door Manufacturing Virginia

Arch, Round Top and Radius Solid Wood Door Maker builders in Richmond VA can make any door design to your order. Shop drawings can be commissioned from your napkin sketch for new construction, or we can restore any style of door from any historic period.
Arch, Round Top and Radius Solid Wood Door Maker builders in Richmond VA can make any door design to your order. Shop drawings can be commissioned from your napkin sketch for new construction, or we can restore any style of door from any historic period.