Celebrated Victorian Architect, Gothic Revival Aficionado Designed Own Home in Restrained Style

Photo by Susan De Vries

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A starchitect of the 19th century, Richard Upjohn was particularly known for his Gothic Revival churches, trimmed with finials, arches and crenellated spires. In 1843, he designed his own home at 296 Clinton Street in Cobble Hill in a much more restrained style.

This now vaguely Greek Revival house on the corner of Clinton and Baltic was home to Richard and Elizabeth Upjohn and their children for several decades. The building was originally three stories high, and the shadow of the original cornice can clearly be seen, over a slightly bowed front.

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His son, Richard M. Upjohn, grew up in the house and followed his father into architecture. He left his own mark on the house with alterations and additions, included adding a fourth story and echoing the detailing of the earlier cornice.

It is a large but simple home for the man often considered the “father” of American Gothic Revival Architecture. Richard Upjohn’s legacy includes Trinity Church in Manhattan and in Brooklyn such landmarks as Christ Church in Cobble Hill, Grace Church in Brooklyn Heights and, with his son, the gates at Greenwood Cemetery.

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[Photos by Susan De Vries]

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