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Gothic Revival Homes and Styles

Updated on February 3, 2016

The idea and lifestyle, in general, of Gothic, is fascinating and interesting, and it never quite leaves the mindset of a small group of people through generations, including Gothic architecture, which represents homes built during what's identified as the Gothic Revival, which this article is about.

If you're wondering just what a home built in the design and architecture of Gothic revival, just think of a number of the scary movies you've seen with the homes used as a prop for the story. While a caricature, it's still very close and accurate as to what a Gothic home is, minus a few obvious embellishments.

What is called the "Gothic Revival" began in the mid-1800s, with some placing the date 1840 as the year, although it's doubtful you could put an exact year on it.

The inspiration for the Gothic Revival and application in homes came from the middle ages when Catholicism used it in their buildings and castles had that style of architecture as well.

Included as elements in Gothic Revival homes was unique finials, steep roofs, chimneys in groups, and pointed arches on windows, among other things.

In America the first documented Gothic Revival home was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis in 1832. In England, which is credited with the Gothic Revival, 1749 is the date usually used as the beginning of the architectural movement.

In this article we'll look at the outer look of a Gothic Revival home rather than what it looked like on the inside. A picture in these cases will speak much louder than words, as you are able to view and visualize what the architects, builders and homeowners were all looking for and working towards during this interesting time.

You can view more on Gothic decor here.

The first Gothic Revival building we're looking at below is one built and designed for Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), with his wife Olivia being the one that worked with the architect to design the home.

It's located in Hartford, Connecticut in what is called the High Victorian Gothic style. The architect was Edward Tuckerman Potter. 

Gothic Revival Home of Mark Twain

Considered one of the top Gothic homes in America, called the Oak Hill Cottage, it's located in Mansfield, Ohio, and was built in 1847. This is also considered a Victorian Gothic design.

On a side note, Mansfield, Ohio is also the home of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield.  

There is a very different looking Gothic Revival home, this one located in Melbourne, Australia. It was designed by architect Joseph Reed.

Ohio Gothic Revival Homes

Gothic Revival home designed by architect Joseph Reed

This High Victorian Gothic home was designed by Richard M. Upjohn and built in Hartford, Connecticut in 1875 for businessman Charles Boardman Smith. 

High Victorian Gothic Design

As this Gothic Revival home located in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA shows, while the Gothic style is identifiable in homes, it includes a wide variety of elements in the design, depending on the wants of the one whom it was being built for, and the architect doing the designing, as shown here.

Gothic Revival Home in Knoxville

This is a later style of Gothic Revival home with an interesting history, as it was built in 1888 by Confederate Army Brigadier General William Temple Withers
The actual architectural style is called Gothic Stick. It's located in Ocoee, Florida. 

Medford Gothic-Style Home

Gothic Stick Home

This is the last Gothic Revival photo included in this article. I like the two side-by-side chimneys, and the ornate and decorative trim around the various parts of the home. If I was going to go with the Gothic Revival style, this is one that I would probably choose.

The large number and styles of Gothic Revival homes is mind boggling, and fascinating to look at. Even though they include many similar features, and you can in most cases fairly easily identify them, the incredible diversity within the style makes you want to go deeper and deeper into the large number of homes and looks included. 

I wanted to keep posting photo after photo of the homes because there were so interesting and unique, but had to have some self control. But these homes give a good introduction to the wide variety of Gothic Revival homes out there. 


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