Does your personal version of the American dream still include a house with a white picket fence? Then perhaps one of these historic fence-rimmed properties will pique your interest.
While white picket fences have become inextricably tied to the mid-20th century suburban vision of achieving the American dream of home ownership, the simple fences have been part of the American landscape since the 18th century. The neatly aligned wooden stakes created a clean boundary around domestic spaces and could be easily painted or whitewashed as needed.
Our three house picks all date to the 19th century and are located in New York, in Orange, Rockland and Dutchess counties. They range in price from $399,000 to $1.745 million. In addition to the required symbolic fencing, all of them have front porches and a bit of period detail remaining inside.
Which would you choose?
First up is our least expensive house, a 19th century cottage in Warwick. The petite two-story house at 51 Woodside Drive sits on a large wooded lot.
In addition to the small stretch of fence, there’s also a wraparound porch with a rubble stone foundation to add to the charm — it’s also a perfect spot for a porch swing.
On the inside, the four-bedroom house has a few period details still evident. The entry has a nice newel post and there appear to be some wide-planked floorboards upstairs.
Elsewhere there have been some changes over the years — there’s just one fireplace pictured and it’s a more recent stone one with a wooden mantel. The kitchen and the 2.5 baths look like they’ve had some updates within the last few decades as well.
The house is listed for $399,000 by Kathleen Eubanks of Keller Williams Hudson Valley United.
Next is a house at 254 Piermont Avenue in South Nyack that is described in the listing as “Brooklyn comes to Nyack.” The crisp white house has some nice scalloped shingles in its front-end gable and bay windows on the side facade. A report for a proposed South Nyack National Register Historic District refers to the house as a modest Queen Anne house built circa 1880-1910 on a street filled with some of the town’s finest houses.
In addition to the picket fence this one’s got another welcoming front porch and swing. While the water isn’t viewable from the porch, the Hudson River is located just a couple of blocks away.
What exactly makes this a “Brooklyn” house, according to the listing? Is it reminiscent of similar houses in many of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods (and throughout the country) such as the Fiske Terrace-Midwood-Park Historic District? Or are they implying that the exposed brick, white walls, carefully placed plants and sparse furnishings are Brooklyn-esque? They don’t elaborate.
Regardless, the house appears to be large and light-filled, with five bedrooms, two full baths and two half baths spread out over three floors. Some period details remain, including moldings and pocket doors.
The house is listed for $895,000 by Bonnie Kelly of Wright Brothers Real Estate.
Our final selection is the most expensive of the three, and also the largest — both in the size of house and the amount of land. The circa 1850s farmhouse at 9 McNeil Road in Pine Plains is set on almost 28 acres of land, and the property includes a barn, guest cottage, writer’s studio, pool and pool house.
Past the front porch (no sign of a swing at this one) and inside the house are some nice mid-19th century details, including the front doors, staircase, moldings, wide-planked floorboards and bracketed archways.
At almost double the square footage of the previous two houses, this one has many more rooms spread out over the three stories. There’s no floorplan, but the listing mentions a formal dining room, parlor, great room and a buttery in addition to the six bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.
The house is listed for $1.745 million by Charles G. Vetter of Houlihan Lawrence-Lagrangeville Brokerage.
- A Pattern Book-Perfect Second Empire in Rhinebeck Asks $1.695 Million
- Three Pint-Sized 19th Century Cottages in the Hudson Valley for Under $400K
- A 17th Century Dutch House in the Land of Henry Hudson Asks $999K