If the continued chilly weather has you dreaming of fireplaces and cozy historic houses this virtual tour of fireplaces from the historic town of Newburgh, N.Y is sure to satisfy your craving. From practical cooking fireplaces to intricate marble surrounds, the vintage images showcase a mix of styles sure to inspire some envy.
Perched overlooking the Hudson, Newburgh was strategically important during the Revolutionary War and a hub of commerce in the early 19th century. Important names in 19th century architecture put their stamp on Newburgh, leaving behind an architectural wonder of a town.
While urban renewal projects of the 1960s demolished blocks of buildings, the town also worked to document its significant architectural legacy. It established a historic district in 1973, which includes building styles from the 18th to the early 20th century. All of the interior images below were taken for the Historic American Building Survey (HABS). The HABS program was started in 1933 to document U.S. architectural heritage through architectural drawings and photographs, many Newburgh houses were documented in the 1960s and 1970s.
The jambless (sideless) fireplace in the Hasbrouck House, now the Washington Headquarters historic site. The stone house was constructed in stages in the 1700s and the large, open fireplace is typical of Dutch-American houses of the period.
A view of the marble mantels in the 1830 Captain David Crawford House, a grand Federal-style mansion built for a shipping magnet. The house is now the headquarters of the The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands.
A glimpse of the double parlor and the marble fireplaces of the Thomas Marvel House (aka James Walker Fowler House). According to an architectural survey of Newburgh, the house was built circa 1840s, altered in 1859 and demolished in 1972.
Classical detailing, including ionic columns, in the William Cuthbert House built circa 1851 and designed by Calvert Vaux and Andrew Jackson Downing. Vaux is known in Brooklyn for designing Prospect Park with Frederick Law Olmstead. The house was converted into the City Club in the early 20th century. The house was restored in the 1970s but gutted by fire in 1981, the shell of the building still stands.
An intricately carved marble mantel competes for attention with an elaborate plaster cornice at the Warren House, another 1850s house by Vaux. The plans for the “picturesque symmetrical” home were printed in Vaux and Downing’s book Villas and Cottages in 1857 and the description included an itemized cost of construction — the mantels in the house cost $614.50.
A marble mantel topped with a grand mirror at the Halsey Stevens House. Built circa 1855 from a design by Vaux and Frederick Withers, it too makes an appearance in Downing’s Book Villas and Cottages and is described as a “suburban house with attics.”
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