Architectural Styles: 1800s

Greek Revival


Identifying features include temple-like front-facing gables; broad cornices, and wide, colonnaded porches.  

Greek Revival was a popular style from the 1830s to 1850s. Surviving examples on Staten Island include homes, churches and public buildings.

Gothic Revival


Gothic Revival architecture flourished from the 1840s to 1860s. Hallmarks of the style include steeply pitched roofs with front-facing gables; bargeboard decorative trim; and pointed-arch windows.  Later in the 1800s, the style evolved into Victorian Gothic.  

Second Empire


Typical features include Mansard roofs with scalloped slate shingles, bracketed wood cornices, and dormers with decorative molding. The roof design accommodated an extra floor of light-filled living space at the attic level. This style was popular from the 1860s through the 1880s.


Italianate style: 1800s

Italianate-style houses were built from the 1840s to 1860s on Staten Island. This style features low hipped roofs with overhanging eaves, and tall, narrow windows. Other distinctive elements include ornamental brackets, widely spaced under the cornice, and small rectangular windows at the attic level.

Queen Anne

Queen Anne style: 1800s

This style swept the country from the 1880s through the early years of the 19th century. Identifying features  include the use of both clapboard and scalloped or other patterned shingles; gables with bay windows and decorative details; towers and turrets, and wrap-around porches.

Romanesque Revival

Romanesque Revival style

Gaining popularity in the mid-1800s, features of this style include masonry construction, typically monochrome brick; rounded-arch windows and doors, and gabled roofs, sometimes with adjacent towers. Romanesque Revival architecture in the U.S. took its inspiration from 11th and 12th century European churches.

Other 1800s Architectural Styles

Stick Style


Popular from circa 1860 to 1890, this style represented a transition between Gothic Revival and Queen Anne architecture. The name is derived from the decorative wood trim (stickwork) applied to exterior walls, gables and porches. Other identifying features include: Asymmetrical design with steeply pitched roofs and cross gables with deep eaves; decorative trusses; prominent turrets and wrap-around porches. (Photo courtesy of Thomas Good/NLM; Wikimedia Commons)

Shingle Style


Late 19th century Shingle-style homes are more austere than the elaborately embellished Queen Annes: The naturally weathered wood shingles take center stage. 

Steeply pitched gable roofs, cross gables, and asymmetry of design are typical features, as well as towers and turrets that are not free-standing but incorporated into the main structure. Windows often are multi-light on upper sashes and single-pane on the lower sashes.



High Victorian Gothic


Churches and other public buildings were built in this style after the Civil War ended in 1865. Two examples on Staten Island are St. Paul's Memorial Church on St. Paul's Avenue in Stapleton (1870) and St. John's Church on Bay Street in Rosebank (1871), both official NYC landmarks. Hallmarks of the style include pointed-arch doors and windows, and masonry construction with contrasting colors, such as the use of local grey traprock and Connecticut brownstone on St. Paul's Church.