This Victorian-Gothic house is located in Freehold NJ. I would estimate it to have been built around 1860-1880.
Distinguishing features of this style are the steeply pitched roofs and cross gable including pointed arched windows as shown on the 3rd floor window.
Many Gothic buildings have bargeboard ornamentation (gingerbread) along the gable edges and eaves. Over the years this was most likely removed.
More obvious changes over the years is a newer porch. The porch would have most likely been in front only – not wrap-around. The porch roof would have been constructed of tin and slightly sloped for it should not be visible from the street.
The newer giant porch roof appears like wings and is obviously out of place on this house. The original porch would also have square porch posts. This porch was probably re-done in the late 19 or early 20th century since the Colonial Revival round Doric columns were popular at that time. The ugly balustrade and rail were installed a few years ago by the current absentee landlord.
Up to a few years ago, this house had a plain slate roof.
I would doubt that the original roof was slate – it was probably wood shingle or a standing seam roof.
Slate became more popular in the area towards the end of the 19th century.
Although a slate roof is beautiful and preferred, the asphalt replacement is nice with the design on the roof – that is the one thing I have to give the owner credit for.
The house is currently covered with asbestos shingles – this was installed by a previous owner.
As for the windows, all were two-over-two double-hung windows. Some have been changed to plastic six-over-six, but thankfully the owner ran out of money (this is what one of the tenants told me).
While the original window sashes are arched, a rectangular storm window was installed.
The gap between the top of the storm window and the arch was filled in. This gives you an entirely different look – not a good one either.
To top it off the storm window is bright white cheapening the look of the entire house. See the effect of white windows on a house .
Additionally board and batten shutters are completely wrong for this style and period house. The diamond attachments are way too cutesy. They would probably look better on a 1950 Cape Cod. Better to have no shutters!
This tells me that the owner did not know what he was doing. See www.oldhouseguy.com/shutters for more information.
Check out the great Gothic 3rd floor window in the gable.
The pointed gothic windows and the gable panel above are one of the best features on this house.
The shutters appear to be original on this window only.
The colors chosen work well with the house and are correct for the period. However, a word about white paint. White is ok to use if it is a predominant color on the house. When you have nice earth tones as you have here, this bright glaring white creates a sharp contrast which stops your eyes from seeing other details. Additionally, these white features are just shouting “plastic”, drawing your attention to and allowing the negative features to rule.
The valleys in the roof are white aluminum although not really noticeable in this photo. Never put a white valley in your roof unless you for some strange reason have a white roof.
Below I painted the white parts of the house a red color to match the existing red just to show how it softens the house and makes it more pleasing to view. Actually I think the green would be a better trim color. You can compare the difference below.
Notice the chimney is original although Gothic homes usually had chimney pots.
Landscaping is way overgrown. Removing the jungle would help the appearance of the house.
The white storm door has to go. White or painted a trim color – it has a negative unwelcoming effect on the house and to the visitor. The front door is supposed to be inviting to make you want to enter the house. Even a full glass door will eliminate the 3D effect and warmth you will experience without a storm door.
I was told all interior millwork was removed and replaced with new wood. The reason was that “it was very plain and nothing special.” I guess that makes it ok. It’s sad when buildings like this fall into the wrong hands.
Sadly most homeowners really believe their changes are for the best. As much as we may want to blame the homeowner, there are sharks out there that just want to sell homeowners everything they can. Maybe a little education about architecture could have saved this house.
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