House with English Gothic Architecture
A house plan in the English neo Gothic or Gothic Revival architecture style.
¶ This design is presented as an example of what may be done in the embellishment of a Gothic residence in the Decorated manner. This is a subdivision of the Pointed architecture style, dating back to the thirteenth century, and considered the perfection of Gothic architecture. The Early English being the first in order of time, flourished in the twelfth century, but toward the latter end of the thirteenth was lost sight of in its more attractive successor, the Decorated. The chief characteristics of the former were small, lancet-pointed windows, (having no tracery, from which it has sometimes been termed the lancet-pointed style), and deeply cut mouldings with a few sculptured enrichments: the whole arrangement being productive of a bold and simple effect. The latter seems but a continuation of the Early English; its principal features are, large windows enriched with graceful, easy flowing tracery, and a ruling richness of details; it prevailed throughout the greater portion of the fourteenth century, and was finally superseded by the Perpendicular, which is ranked as the last strictly Gothic style.
¶ Whether we have succeeded in investing the design before us with even a moderate share of the expression portrayed by the graceful, ever-upward tendency of Decorated Gothic, we must leave to our readers to decide. The style in its purity is almost too poetical to be practical, and that artist who combines the two qualities without a jar, may be said to be successful indeed.
¶ And yet that we rank it among the possible achievements, may be readily inferred from the attempt here made. One of the principal objections attending the use of pointed windows, is the apparent necessity of abandoning all shutters or blinds; this we have proved in practice not to be an absolute consequence; the difficulty can be surmounted by building walls with a sufficient hollow to admit of sliding shutters, placed within or without the sash, as circumstances may dictate. This of course adds to the cost; but where this is not admitted as an objection, the pointed window can often be introduced with a very happy effect, - we mean in such designs as are under the influence of the pointed roof.
Gothic Room Layout
¶ The entrance feature to this house, B, picture 62, is formed by neo Gothic piers and arches supporting a portion of the building, and ulay properly be called a porch, although not so nearly inclosed as Gothic porches usually are. A is a carriage-drive. From either of these the staircase hall D, 14 by 14 feet, is entered. C is a drawing-room, 14 by 19 feet, with a triple bay window, a feature of frequent occurrence in domestic architecture of the Gothic period. E is the dining room, 17 by 14 feet, worthy of marked notice on account of its fine octagonal bay, and capability of extension by opening the folding or sliding doors to F, 14 by 14 feet, ordinarily intended as a sitting-room, but available as an addition to the dining room on great festive occasions. A wide veranda G shelters the windows of drawing and sitting rooms, and would in most situations be a pleasant place of evening promenade.
¶ H, 12 by 16 feet, is the kitchen, having a side door to the veranda L, and a room attached for summer use K, 10 by 12 feet. M is a pantry with a small china closet. Adjacent to these the private stairs and a passage to a side entrance; a door also affords communication with the veranda L. We now notice the second or bedroom floors, picture 63. A, C, D, and E are all first-class bedrooms, reached from below by the main stairway and through the hall B. F is a dressing room, H a large wardrobe, and G a bedroom entered from the half-landing of the private stairs. K a flat, which the country housekeeper would probably use for airing linen, etc., to which end a door is given to the room 0-. The private stairs are continued to what is properly termed the roof-story, which may be divided into bedrooms, closets, etc., the light being obtained from the dormer windows.
¶ This design was executed in the vicinity of Germantown some years ago, under our superintendence, and met with marked favor among the admirers of Gothic as applied to country building. The cellar walls are built of stone, and dashed, i.e. roughly coated with mortar on the inside; cellar windows provided with grating; main walls built of brick, the exterior coated with stucco, or rough-cast; and the roof covered with slate of diamond form. The gable tracery is wood, carved from heavy plank; the verandas, drive, balconies, and pinnacles are also of wood, thoroughly painted and sanded. A furnace for warming the building is located in the cellar, with brick air-bedroom and the necessary conducting pipe, making a coniplete system for warming all the principal rooms.
¶ With proper management in the purchase of materials, the cost of the above design, at Philadelphia rates of workmanship, completed in good style, is about $10,000.
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