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Victorian Gothic House Styles: History and Pictures

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Carpenter Gothic
Carpenter Gothic Shaw House in California

Carpenter Gothic Shaw House in California

Photo: Jupiterimages Corporation

The fanciful Gothic Revival style spread across North America via pattern books such as Andrew Jackson Downing's popular Victorian Cottage Residences (1842) and The Architecture of Country Houses (1850). Some builders lavished the fashionable Gothic details on otherwise modest wooden cottages.

Characterized by scrolled ornaments and lacy "gingerbread" trim, these small cottages are often called Carpenter Gothic.

Homes in the Carpenter Gothic style usually have these features:

  • Steeply pitched roof
  • Lacy bargeboards
  • Windows with pointed arches
  • One story porch
  • Asymmetrical floor plan

Some Carpenter Gothic homes have:

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