The Dickson-Williams Mansion is an example of Federal style architecture popular between 1780 – 1830. The style shares its name with its era, the Federalist Era. The architecture is also known as the Adam style for the British architect Robert Adam.
In the early American republic, the founding generation consciously chose to associate the nation with the ancient democracies of Greece and the republican values of Rome. The Federal style replicated the balance and symmetry of Georgian architecture that had been practiced in the American colonies. The style of the Dickson-Williams Mansion closely relates to the Early Classical Revival style of architecture also prominent during the time period.
The house is distinctive from the street view with double chimneys at each end. The parlor occupied the right side of the main floor, with a fireplace and intricate plaster decoration on the ceiling. The rooms on the left side of the main hallway were used as a library and the other as a dining room. A circular staircase, ascending three flights, has a mahogany railing with intricate carvings on the risers. The staircase was joined with wooden pegs. A wing on the left housed the kitchen.
When built the home was located on the block bordered by Main, Church, Irish and Depot streets. The formal gardens had six beds with a central walkway leading to the front of the house. A seating area was located in the bordered gardens. The design is English and the front of the gardens were called the “Green Lot.” Boxwood-lined walks led from Main Street to the gardens. There were vineyards on the Depot Street side, with a row of servant houses beginning at the main house which led to the corner of Depot and Irish streets, where there was a spring and ice house.