1842 Gothic Revival – Pittsfield, NY – $179,000

Status and price shown on OHD may not be current. To verify, check the links below.
Added to OHD on 7/23/19   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   24 Comments
For Sale

957 County Route 13, Pittsfield, NY 13411

Map: Street

  • $179,000
  • 3 Bed
  • 1 Bath
  • 3677 Sq Ft
  • 76.33 Ac.
Have you ever dreamed of living in the French countryside? If so, be prepared to be transported to Perouges upon entering the front gate of this storybook home. Bucolic views await you while you relax under the shade trees in the crafted garden, sipping cool water with mint from your very own spring. With it's expert carpentry, extreme care has been taken with the preservation of this uniquely lovely Gothic Revival home. Behold the original plaster walls, chestnut molding and woodwork as you discover one romantic room after the next. For your modern day living you will be absolutely enchanted by the La Cornue Range, Miele dishwasher, commercial grade washer (Little Giant)and Electrolux dryer. Adding to the European feel of this home, the beautifully hand crafted doors of your very own workshop are from Germany. This is not only a special home, it's a rare glimpse of another world and curated way of living. Will you be the steward?
Contact Information
Kathy Hartman, KW Upstate NY Properties
(607) 431-2540
Links, Photos & Additional Info

State: | Region: | Associated Styles or Type:
Period & Associated Styles: ,
Features: | Misc:

24 Comments on 1842 Gothic Revival – Pittsfield, NY – $179,000

OHD does not represent this home. Comments are not monitored by the agent. Status, price and other details may not be current, verify using the listing links up top. Contact the agent if you are interested in this home.
  1. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5363 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1889 Eastlake Cottage
    Fort Worth, TX

    While I can understand and appreciate the sellers’ enchantment with the beautiful French countryside, what I see here is one of the earliest relatively unspoiled “Downingesque” rural cottages I’ve yet seen.

    A.J. Downing was an early proponent of the Gothic Revival style as well as a horticulturist. His posthumous book, Rural Essays, was published in 1853 soon after Downing’s untimely death in a boating accident: https://archive.org/details/ruralessays00down/page/n7 The book explains Downing’s love of nature in the countryside as well as his ideas for relaxed country living. He felt the simple board and batten clad Gothic farmhouse was the most suitable for rural living. I would not be at all surprised if Downing or his colleague Calvert Vaux may have had a direct influence on the construction of this cottage. (there’s probably a matching design plan in one of the aforementioned architects’ publications) The cottage appears to be of traditional post and beam frame construction (pre-balloon framing) with very wide, time-worn, flooring boards with a patina that cannot be duplicated. The added French Gothic embellishments do not necessarily detract from the original 1840’s design. Whether intentional or not, the lavish landscaping seems to be in harmony with Downing’s philosophy about nature and only enhances the house as part of its picturesque surroundings.

    I sincerely appreciate the stewardship of previous owners as well as their restraint in not excessively modernizing this home. In my estimation, this is one of the rarest homes to ever be featured on Old House Dreams. My fondest wish would be for a knowledgeable purist with a conservator’s touch to becomes the next owner who could bring the entire house back to the early 1840’s and would make anything modern as unobtrusive as possible. I doubt there are many pure Downingesque cottages like this one still extant.

    40
    • Miss-Apple37Miss-Apple37 says: 1159 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Limestone house
      Langeais, Loire Valley,

      To me only a few elements look French: The double-doors with ironwork to the workshop, the French doors in the house, and the well tiny stone building with wooden door/ironwork. And the Miele dishwasher 😀 Maybe to Americans the yard has a French picturesque flair/feel, I can’t really say… Why is this house linked to France? Was the owner French or a France-lover? Why Pérouges? Which FYI looks beautiful (never been there and never heard of it either): https://www.perouges.org/en/perouges-in-pictures

      But yes, as you said John Shiflet, I mostly see a picturesque Gothic house. Not a French house or environment.

      3
      • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5363 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1889 Eastlake Cottage
        Fort Worth, TX

        Since you are based in France, I highly respect your comments about the French connections in this house. Besides the French made appliances the only other details that looked (Gothic) French to me were the ornate iron door hinges. The fountain might be considered French but such details are fairly common in other types of gardens. The landscaping is beautiful in any case. Thanks for your input!

        3
        • AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 402 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1850 Italianate, classical
          New Haven, CT

          The house itself aside, I actually see a lot of French or at least continental European influence in this property rather than traditional American Gothic Revival. The heavily carved boxwoods are not an American invention and one sees them much more commonly in Europe than in the US. The lion’s head spouting water and the small structure that contains it is clearly not American in origin, but rather is Continental European. While the house itself is unequivocally Downingesque (and pre-Vaux, given a building date in the 1840’s), the furniture looks much more eclectically French to me than American Gothic Revival. All those metal chairs with a vaguely Empire or Napoleonic shape, the rush-seated chair and the non-Gothic nature of virtually all the furniture (it’s all pre-Gothic or post Gothic, IMO, and unlike almost anything Downing ever designed in the way of furniture) make me think of France, as does the upholstered bed with the clearly cabriole legs and feet. So, I vote with John Shiflet’s original take on this property, the clearly American Downingesque board and batten house notwithstanding–I see continental European influence everywhere in the furnishings of the house as well as in the gardens outside. Downing intended his Gothic Revival to be English-inspired since in the 1840’s, Americans were overwhelmingly of English extraction, and that is largely why Downing felt it very appropriate for Americans to model their houses, gardens and furniture upon English prototypes. The one irony I did note were the Greek key door frames, which were exactly the Classical Revival influences Downing was arguing against as inauthentic to the American ancestral experience.

  2. JimHJimH says: 4943 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Otsego County has a wealth of homes built in its most prosperous era from 1840 to 1870. This was the 77 acre farm of Harvey Light and later his son G. Hobart Light. Harvey purchased the property in 1842, explaining the date, though the house may have been built a few years after. I agree with John’s hope for continued preservation of this humble and rare rural gem on its original farm acreage 175 years later.

    15
  3. JoeJoe says: 755 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1820 Federal
    Baltimore, MD

    The street view is from 2009 and shows it in the middle of being painted this golden color over a formerly dark brown stained wood finish. It gives an interesting perspective.

    3
  4. natira121natira121 says: 602 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1877 Vernacular
    Columbia River Gorge, WA

    I think I just had a mild heart attack. All this glorious rusticity ON 76 ACRES for under 180K?????? This is obviously in a different dimension than the one I am in.

    24
  5. peeweebcpeeweebc says: 1061 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1885 Italianate.
    MI

    Agree with all above. Only a true lover of unique historical homes would appreciate this beauty. Some folks may see it as being a dirty, cold and mismatched mess, while others lust over it!

    10
  6. Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 1025 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1905 Neoclassic & 1937 Deco

    I love whoever tucked those teddy bears into the sleigh bed!

    Sweet house, but I’ll take the yard and the dogs.

    9
    • brigidbrigid says: 503 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1930 Eclectic Lake Cabin
      Smalltown, OK

      The bears are the sweetest! I actually let out an ‘awwwe’ when I saw them
      LOVE the house and all the rustic decor.

  7. montana channingmontana channing says: 257 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1835 Federal
    unity, ME

    I think I might reroute that stovepipe but other than that, I agree with all said. an absolute complete gem to be handled with extreme care. my fave part is those big doors and hinges although the room with the 2 leather chairs comes in a close second. breathtaking! !

    4
    • natira121natira121 says: 602 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1877 Vernacular
      Columbia River Gorge, WA

      The stove pipe cracked me up! I need to show my son that picture next time he complains about my short pantry door!

      2
    • Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 982 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1918 Bunkhouse
      WestOfMiddleOfNowhere, KS

      The circuitous route of the stove pipe was intended to put some second-hand heat into the room it passes through. I’d have to leave it, just because of its authenticity and stark contrast to the way we do things now. This house is amazing!

      5
  8. MJGMJG says: 1709 comments
    OHD Supporter

    CT

    I wonder what the original front porch looked like. You can see the markings of the roof line on the front!

    1
    • AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 402 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1850 Italianate, classical
      New Haven, CT

      All the copies of my books by and about AJ Downing and his compatriots are elsewhere right now, but a quick google or wikipedia search of AJ Downing’s houses, like the Rotch house in New Bedford, MA. or the Delamater house in Rhinebeck, NY, should give you the basic idea as both of those are Gothic Revival houses with a central projecting gable.

      • MJGMJG says: 1709 comments
        OHD Supporter

        CT

        Yeah but I just mean on THIS house what was the porch like. There are variations in designs. Maybe an old photo will appear.

        • AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 402 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1850 Italianate, classical
          New Haven, CT

          Downing’s Gothic Revival porches for smaller residences (i.e., not for castles, but for small villas and cottages) were basically pretty similar. I’ll email you some examples directly to save time and you’ll see how they all follow the same basic outline, all of which fit in entirely with the very outline of the porch that once graced this house. Or you can look through the attached book that John Shiflet provided and see if you find some on your own.

          • MJGMJG says: 1709 comments
            OHD Supporter

            CT

            So though I appreciate you emailing me, I actually am pretty familiar with the style of porches for this type of house already. I’m not questioning what types of porches were on houses like these, I’m just talking about this house in general. Let’s say there were only 5 probable styles, my question is (and its not a real question for anyone on the board unless they have an old photo or drawing) which one of those five styles did “this” house have. And the only way to know exactly what this particular house had is an old photo or drawing.

            I always want to know what the original looks for any house. Because sometimes there are alterations, even if slight, to accommodate the owners taste or other shockers that make you say OH I have never seen that before stylistically.

  9. ZannZann says: 558 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1940 Cottage
    Mobile, AL

    This looks like a fairy tale brought to life. The teddy bears tucked into bed brought the Goldilocks feels full circle. Completely precious.

    Someone has clearly loved this home and decorated around it, not for it. It’s perfect.

    4
  10. MichaelMichael says: 2392 comments
    1979 That 70's show
    Otis Orchards, WA

    Between those epic hinges on the double doors and the wide plank flooring, I’m sold!

  11. shellyshelly says: 12 comments
    1920 Arts & Crafts Colonial
    Litchfield County, CT

    Wow! What an enchanting home and yard!
    It’s all so beautiful, even the dogs really complement this place-I wonder if the owner is open to negotiation for the pups? Doubtful.
    Those well loved leather chairs made me feel like this is a place that two life-long friends would gather together and chat quietly while sipping tea from mismatched coffee mugs, gently laughing all while they take in the nature and enjoy the company of each other and the dog.
    I felt like I needed to be quiet and whisper my “wows” while I looked at these photos-it’s so serene and special, it feels like a secret.
    I hope that a very special person grabs this place and cares as much about it as previous owners have.

    1
  12. WishingAnDreamingWishingAnDreaming says: 141 comments
    Longview, TX

    Looks like something out of a Renaissance Faire! Love it! I’d redo the bathroom though and make it look more like the rest of the house.

    2
  13. Those long door/windows are so beautiful. One of my favorite features of old houses. What is the correct name for these?

Comment Here


Think before you type! Keep comments a friendly place for each other, owners and agents.
Comments that do not add value to the conversation in a positive manner will not be approved.

Click here to read the comment rules, updated 1/12/20.
Commenting means you've read and will abide by the comment rules.

OHD does not represent this home. Price, status and other details must be independently verified. Do not call the agent unless you are interested in the property.