Gothic Revival


Alexander Jackson Davis was the first American architect to champion Gothic domestic buildings; his 1837 book, ‘Rural Residences’, was dominated by Gothic examples. This was also the first house plan book published in this country. Previous publications had shown details, parts, pieces, and occasional elevations of houses, but Davis’s was the first to show three-dimensional views complete with floor plans. Andrew Jackson Downing expanded these ideas into pattern books published in 1842 and 1850.

Surviving Gothic Revival houses are most abundant in the northeastern states, where fashionable architects originally popularized the style. They are less common in the South, as the Civil War and Reconstruction all but halted building until the waning days of Gothic influence.

Excerpted from A Field Guide to American Houses, Virginia and
Lee McAlester, Alfred Knopf, New York, © 2000.

Garage Door

Vertical orientation of surface material
- Flush face surface material
- Blended trim boards
- Pointed arch windows or 2/2 windows
- Decorative carvings to simulate the decorated
verge boards on the gables

Entrance Door

- Elaborate panel door
- Pointed arches or Gothic motifs
- Arched panels and other decorative motifs
- Occasional windows on the sidelights


- Not commonly used on this style, but
simpler variations may use louvre or
panel shutters