Gothic Revival in New York

The Gothic Revival began in England in the second half of the 18th century and lasted throughout the 19th century. It was a conscious movement to revive medieval Gothic architectural forms.

It’s called ‘Gothic Revival’ because it echoes Gothic architecture, that developed in France in the twelfth century. Gothic was a style used for churches and was meant to emphasize the divine. Inspired by medieval architecture, the 19th-century Gothic Revival transformed it into a decorative fanciful style.

Main characteristics:

  • Elongated tall silhouette
  • The flying buttress – projecting support built against a wall and forming an arch with that wall
  • Pointed arches
  • Vaulted ceiling
  • Tracery – an architectural solution by which windows are divided into sections of various proportions by stone bars or ribs of molding
  • Light, airy interior
  • The gargoyles – a spout in the form of a grotesque human or animal figure projecting from a roof gutter to throw rainwater clear of a building
  • An emphasis on decoration and the ornate

St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Architect: James Renwick Jr.
Built: 1858 – 1879
Location: Fifth Avenue, bet. E50 and E51.
Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
Architects: Heins & Lafarge, Cram and Ferguson
Built: 1892 – present
Location: Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street

One Comment Add yours

  1. Michael Lazar says:

    Very informative, thanks!


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