Colonial homes come in many strands and variations. "Colonial house" may be used broadly to encompass homes built from the earliest European settlements until well after Independence. On one end of the spectrum are the rustic cabins with their informal colonial house plans, that grew up over time to become rambling, comfortable farmsteads. On the other end are the grand brick Colonial home plans such as Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest. Whether colonial homes are built of white pine from the Northeast, or warm brick further south, Colonial house plans share simple geometries, axial arrangements of rooms, and essentially classical details. A few samples, representing the range of colonial house plans may be found here.
Historic Home Plans --- Colonial Homes --- Riversdale

colonial home plan

Riversdale, The Calvert Mansion - ca. 1810

Classical Palladian country mansion, historic home of the Calverts
$59 - 10 Sheets measuring 18 " x 24 "
Ext. Dimensions, not shown on plans
2+ Stories, 4+ Bedrooms, 4+ baths
Built ca. 1810, Riverdale, Maryland
Drawings prepared by HABS in 1992


Riversdale - The Calvert Mansion - ca. 1810

Riversdale, on the shores of the Anacostia, near Riverdale, Maryland, was begun Henry Joseph Stier in 1801 and completed by his daughter, Rosalie Stier Calvert over the course of 10 years. Rosalie's letters to her father, collected in the book, "The Mistress of Riversdale", by Margaret Calcott, provide a vivid glimpse into the culture and politics of the time, as well as a detailed record of the construction of the Mansion. Rosalie's son, Charles Benedict, agriculturalist and U.S. Congressman, expanded the estate.

As a work of art these prints are worth purchasing in their own right. For those of you interested in building a historically inspired house, these plans offer a wealth of information. Riversdale boasts a very high level of classical ornamentation and these drawings capture it in accurate detail. Columns, arches, cornices, door trims, window openings - all are carefully drawn to scale. Key plans on some pages provide a basic floor layout but are not fully detailed and dimensioned. Riversdale, is truly a grand country house. But its details could be applied to classical inspired designs in the city or the country.

  • Building name:      Riversdale

  • Designer/Architect:      Unknown

  • Date of construction:      circa 1810

  • Location:      Riverdale, Maryland

  • Style:      Colonial, Palladian

  • Number of sheets:      10 sheets measuring 18"x24"
Sheet List
  • Cover sheet, information, Vicinity Plan

  • 9 sheets of details, various scales

The prints you are purchasing are crisp, high resolution black line copies on white bond paper. The original drawings were beautifully delineated in 1992 by the Historic American Building Survey. The original drawings rest in the Library of Congress.

SHIPPING: Your drawings are shipped to you, by US Postal Service, rolled, not folded, in a Priority Mail tube.

IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO BUILD: These plans are NOT complete architectural drawings as might be required by your local permitting agency and do not contain all the structural, waterproofing and other details and information necessary for construction. But your local builder or architect should be able to adapt these drawings and add to them as necessary. What they do provide is accurate design information about a REAL Colonial building, not a pseudo-colonial tract house as you will find in the house plan magazines on your supermarket shelf. (CO006)

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