Newburgh Home-Styles: The Folk Victorian

021There is such a variety of home styles that comprise the historic districts of Newburgh. Most of my previous posts have focused mainly on my personal favorite which is the historic rowhouse. But, for those Newburgh Restoration followers who love a vintage free-standing home comprised of sticks and stones (stick built and stone foundations), consider an American classic, the Folk Victorian.

The Folk Victorian was one of the most widely constructed housing styles sweeping the country during the period from 1870 to 1910. Referred to as the “Everyman House”,  it was born out of the simple box frame and  L shaped designs of the previous decades, when basic free-standing frame housing was built for purpose, (not style) and sported little to no embellishments to its facade.


The Folk Victorian movement took advantage of the country’s new industrialization and the creation of machinery, like the jigsaw and the craftsmen who had learned to master it. It gave them the ability to create gingerbread trim, carved spandrels and lovely ballisters either customized for a specific home or pre-manufactured in distant places and shipped via a growing railroad system. It now allowed the most simple free standing frame houses to be more distinct with lovely attractive trims and a Victorian style perfectly suited for a more simple lifestyle than it’s more grand and wealthy relative, the ornate Queen Ann Victorian.


Some distinctive features of a true Folk Victorian are front porch embellishments such as carved ballister and spindle railings,  and carved spindles along the porch’s horizontal roof line. There are also thick simply carved porch posts with decorative gingerbread detail in the corners and usually a single front gable creating a pyramid shaped roof line (at times sporting a touch of gingerbread detail also). Many Folk Victorians are covered with clapboard siding, though over the years may have been replaced with vinyl due to excessive wear and tear.

The Folk Victorians pictured in this post are clustered in the Heights neighborhood of Newburgh (but you can find many others through out the city). If you choose to walk past these lovingly kept homes on Overlook Pl, on Courtney and along Liberty Street, notice the details that make them fine examples of that Victorian style.


Check here on Newburgh Restoration for listings of wonderful Victorians (and historic rowhouses and period homes) that may currently be for sale and within affordable  reach. It’s your chance to buy a slice of true Americana and you’ll also be part of revitalizing a New York historic treasure, Newburgh, NY!

3 Comment

  • Thanks Hannah…can’t help but appreciate and highlight the wonderful variety of historic “Heights” architecture on the blog here!

  • Thanks Hannah…Just such a beautiful variety of historic homes in “The Heights” and in the city. If my post reaches just one urban pioneer who becomes more interested in becoming an advocate or stakeholder in Newburgh’s revitalization…then I’m happy!!!