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Stone Street Historic District


The Stone Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1] Adaptation copyright © 2009, The Gombach Group.

Description

The Stone Street Historic District is composed of four residential properties containing a total of five contributing buildings, one non-contributing outbuilding and no intrusions. It is located on the west side of Stone Street between Bridge Street and Division Street. The boundaries are defined by the plots of numbers 5, 7 and 9 Stone Street and number 18 Division Street. The one-acre Stone Street Historic District boundaries were established to enclose this architecturally distinctive grouping of larger village properties and exclude areas of more marginal integrity and distinction. A void created by a widening of the railroad right-of-way forms the eastern boundary of the Stone Street Historic District. Regularly spaced and set back along the street, the houses create an orderly and intact streetscape. Companion houses opposite the Stone Street Historic District on the east side of Stone Street were demolished when the railroad right-of-way was widened and the top to the 1840's tunnel was removed at the turn-of-the-century. As a result, the row of houses remaining on Stone Street enjoy an open setting not originally a feature of the district.

In addition to being an unusually intact concentration of houses in the hamlet, the four principal buildings in the Stone Street Historic District represent an interesting cross section of periods and styles popular in the region. Examples of the Greek Revival, Picturesque and Second Empire styles are included in the Stone Street Historic District and are some of New Hamburg's more highly developed architectural specimens.

The Greek Revival two-story brick house located at 5 Stone Street is a house type represented throughout the hamlet and region. It resembles the Adolphus Brower and the Abraham Brower Houses, nominated individually as components of the multiple resource area, and indicates the popularity of the form and the material. Built in the 1850's, it also reflects the longevity of the Greek Revival style in the multiple resource area and the persistence of the two-story side-hall house plan. Local backyards and limestone quarries contributed to the easy availability of this house building-material in the hamlet.

Two examples of Picturesque styling are included in the Stone Street Historic District. The earlier attributed example (18 Division Street) is a notable example of the Victorian Gothic style as applied in the regional vernacular. This formal, two-story, center hall frame residence is a rare form and scale in the multiple resource area. The second example at 9 Stone Street represents the trend away from Georgian based forms to the more informal L-shaped village plans of the later nineteenth century. Ornament is also less formal and, unlike the previous example, less articulated. Decorated vergeboards, popular throughout the region but not conspicuous in New Hamburg, are displayed on the raking edge of the front gable.

The Second Empire style was one of the most widely used design sources in village architecture in the Hudson Valley in the 1870's and 1880's. New Hamburg does not contain many examples of the style; its local taste favored Gothic Revival style forms and design. The house at 7 Stone Street is the most distinctive Second Empire residence in the multiple resource area. While maintaining the two-story, three-bay format and brick material of earlier houses, the house also has a slate mansard roof, three-sided bay and ornate porch detail. It is accompanied by an intact carriage house reflecting the more common Gothic taste, with its central cross gable and vergeboards.

The Stone Street Historic District is a small catalog of house types popular in the hamlet in the mid to late nineteenth century. The Greek Revival, Gothic Revival and Second Empire periods are each represented with distinctive examples. As a group, the Stone Street Historic District gives an indication of the quality and style of one of New Hamburg's more substantial residential neighborhoods. Isolated now as a result of railroad expansion, the houses on Stone Street have preserved a sense of historic character in the multiple resource area.

Significance

The Stone Street Historic District is architecturally significant as an intact grouping of distinctive mid-to-late-nineteenth century residences in New Hamburg (1845-1870). As a group, the four properties composing the Stone Street Historic District represent the character and quality of residential life in the late nineteenth century in the multiple resource area. Physically oriented to the railroad, the Stone Street Historic District also reflects the impact of the railroad economy on the river port. Contrasted with the smaller lots and more modest dwellings on Point Street, the houses on Stone Street indicate a new era of prosperity and outlook in the hamlet. Separately, each property in the small district embodies characteristics distinctive in New Hamburg's architectural evolution. With examples of Greek Revival, Gothic Revival and Second Empire styles represented, the Stone Street Historic District is an impressive catalog of the late nineteenth century regional village vernacular.

Stone Street was New Hamburg's prime residential area. Set back from the commercial activities along Main Street and Point Street, the tranquility of the neighborhood was destroyed when the railroad expanded from two to four tracks and enlarged its right-of-way through the center of the hamlet in the late 1920s, blowing the top off the 1840's tunnel in the process. All of the houses on the east side of Stone Street were either torn down or moved. Bridge Street was constructed at this time, slicing through the block just to the south of the district, displacing several houses on the lower end of Stone Street near Main Street. These four houses are the best preserved grouping of residences from the peak period of New Hamburg's prosperity.

All four properties in the Stone Street Historic District were once part of the same parcel owned by Samuel T. Ellis and Maria Ellis, who bought lots #11 through #15 indicated on the original town survey map in 1841. Ellis reserved the northernmost two lots for himself (nos. 14 and 15, now 18 Division Street) and is known to have been living there before 1850. After his death in 1857 his wife and son, Samuel P. Ellis (who was a mason by trade), began to sell off the remaining lots.

Marvin Van Anders, listed in the 1870 Dutchess County business directory as the proprietor of the New Hamburg Hotel on Point Street, bought lot number 11 in 1857 and built the unassuming brick residence at 5 Stone Street. The appearance of this house as late as 1857, if not later, documents the persistence of the brick Greek Revival style tradition in the hamlet. Built in the period when the Picturesque style was equally active, the house's complete conservatism is compelling. Perhaps it is a factor of the local masonry tradition and of Samuel P. Ellis's own work.

Lot number 12 (7 Stone Street) changed hands several times until Peter and Rachel LeRoy bought the property in 1864. The house as it now exists, with Second Empire mansard roof and heavy, bracketed cornice, was constructed during the LeRoy's twenty-year tenure. Peter LeRoy was at the time captain of the river sloop "First Effort" and an ice yacht racer of some renown. As a captain traveling up and down the river, he probably had a wider exposure to the current architectural styles than many of his neighbors. This residence is one of only two examples of the Second Empire style in the hamlet; however, the brick core of the building is almost an exact match to the Van Anders House just to the south. While current ornament was applied to the roof and porch, the brick construction and the three-bay, two-story form are conspicuous links to the hamlet's architectural tradition. A turn-of-the-century post card shows the original porch of the Van Anders House as being bracketed in the same style as the LeRoy House and the Bogardus House just one door to the north.

In 1870, Ellis sold lot number 13 to William H. Bogardus, listed in the Dutchess County Business Directory of 1876 as baggage master of the Hudson River Railroad. The house at 9 Stone Street is first shown on the 1876 O.W. Gray Atlas map. Scroll-sawn porch ornament and a decorative vergeboard were embellishments to dress up the otherwise modest structure. The shouldered window trim, meanwhile, was patterned after the Ellis House next door. The house also represents the modification, both in form and plan, of the rectangular Georgian house type in the nineteenth century with the addition of an unbalanced wing.

The Ellis House was the earliest of the four houses to appear on early maps. With its formal center-hall plan and thick stone foundation it embodies the usual conservative characteristics, but evidently it too came under the strong local influence of A.J. Downing and Calvert Vaux's picturesque style and was either renovated or rebuilt in a Victorian Gothic made c.1870. Its large central cross gable and bracketed cornice reflects the general trend to the Picturesque; however, it appears to be in a later stage of the style as it evolved into a more Italianate interpretation of the Gothic taste in the 1870s and 1880s. The heavy brackets, classical architraves and arched porch are indications of this later Victorian transition.

What has been collectively labeled the Hudson River bracketed style is evident on all of these houses, whether dressing up a fairly modest structure (9 Stone Street), adding interest to a Second Empire style residence (7 Stone Street) or defining a particular variant such as the Ellis's Victorian Gothic house (18 Division Street). Thus these four houses not only have historical connections through their builders to the railroad and river trade, the lifeblood of the hamlet's commerce in the second half of the nineteenth century, but also demonstrate the unifying design elements that link New Hamburg's residential architecture together during this period.

  1. Larson, Nancy, New York State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, Stone Street Historic District, nomination document, 1979, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Stone Street Historic District Map

Street Names
Stone Street

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