Illustrated Architecture Dictionary
........ Styles of Architecture

Stick Style in Buffalo, NY

Click on illustrations for larger size -- and for more information


232 Crescent Ave.

Caulkins House - 415 Franklin St.

144 Edward St.

144 Edward St.



144 Edward St.

167 Park Street

Williams House, 429 North Street

56 Irving Place



148 Depew Ave.

Detail - 148 Depew Ave.

Detail - 148 Depew Ave.

Albert J. Wright House


Other examples:

Evolving out of the Carpenter Gothic, the Stick Style flourished in the mid- and late-19th century. It reached its height of popularity with Richard Morris Hunt's houses in Newport, Rhode Island, in the 1870s.

Hunt (portrait) was one of many American architects influenced by a mid-19th-century European revival of late-medieval rustic country architecture, most notably the gingerbread-ornamented chalets of the Alps and the half-timbered cottages of Normandy and Tudor England. He was exposed to Europe's architecture while studying at the most prestigious school of architecture in the Western world, L'Ecole Des beaux Arts in Paris, the first American to do so.

The asymmetrical composition of the Eastern Stick style is highlighted by functional-appearing decorative "stick work." The style is defined primarily by decorative detailing -- the characteristic multi-textured wall surfaces and roof trusses whose stickwork faintly mimics the exposed structural members of Medieval half-timbered houses. This is in contrast to earlier Gothic Revival that used the wall surface as a plane with decorative detail applied at the doors, windows, or cornices.

The emphasis on patterned wood walls seen in the Stick style was still further developed in the succeeding Queen Anne style.

Although proponents lauded the structural honesty of Stick style, the visible stickwork, unlike true half-timbering, was merely applied decoration with no structural relation to the underlying balloon-frame construction


Text Source: "A Field Guide to American Houses," by Virginia & Lee McAlester. New York: Knopf, 2000
See also: Highlights of Buffalo's History, 1860-1890

Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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