Story: Domestic architecture

Downing's plan (1st of 2)

The Gothic revival style in domestic architecture was pioneered by the American writer and designer Andrew Jackson Downing. From the 1840s he promoted Gothic revival dwellings as ideal for the pursuit of suburban nuclear-family life – hence the mother and child in this drawing, from one of his pattern-book plans. The steeply pitched gabled roofs, decorated bargeboards and lancet windows are all motifs of the style. Downing favoured stone as a building material, but some of his plans were realised in wood, leading to the term 'carpenter Gothic'.  

Using this item

University of Otago Library, Special Collections
Reference: A. J. Downing, The architecture of country houses: including designs for cottages, farm-houses, and villas, with remarks on interiors, furniture, and the best modes of warming and ventilating. New York: D. Appleton, 1850, p. 104

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How to cite this page:

Julia Gatley, 'Domestic architecture - 19th-century domestic architecture', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 September 2023)

Story by Julia Gatley, published 22 Oct 2014