With picturesque trim and an inviting front porch, this shingled, Gothic-style cottage has some 19th century curb appeal and a location in the heart of downtown Irvington, N.Y.
The house on the market at 12 North Cottenet Street was built during the post-railroad boom days of Irvington and sits just blocks away from the railroad station with MetroNorth service to the city.
The Westchester County town on the eastern banks of the Hudson River, once a small village known as Dearman, changed its name to Irvington in 1854 to honor author Washington Irving — who was still living nearby at his estate, Sunnyside. The surrounding landscape was dotted with other grand country estates, including Lyndhurst, the 1838 Gothic Revival castle designed by Alexander Jackson Davis. The railroad, and the accompanying building and population boom, arrived in 1849.
Over the ensuing decades the core of the downtown, included in the Irvington National Register Historic District, was built-up with commercial and residential structures in the popular styles of the time, including Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne and more.
This house was built, like many of the residences, on one of the side streets running off of the spine of Main Street. Originally known simply by alphabetic monikers, the streets were renamed for noteworthy residents in the early 20th century. Cottenet, formerly C Street, was renamed for Francois Cottenet, a textile importer who built a grand villa, Nuits, in Irvington in the early 1850s.
A historic building inventory form completed in 1981 dates the 12 North Cottenet Street house to circa 1870. An included photograph shows that by the time it was documented any original bargeboard trim it may have had was removed and the front porch was enclosed.
It’s not clear if the decorative trim that now adorns the house is based on surviving bits of original material or historic images, but bargeboard trim accenting steeply peaked gables was a common design element for cottages and villas of the type. Landscape designer architect Andrew Jackson Downing popularized the style with plans for country homes in the Gothic styles included in his books such as the 1851 “The Architecture of Country Houses.”
The house appears on a map of Irvington dated circa 1872 with the notation of “Mrs. De k.” The name was left incomplete and some initial digging didn’t turn up any firm information on the construction date and original owner.
In the 20th century, the house was in the hands of one family for at least 40 years before being sold in 1993 to the current owners. In addition to the work on the exterior, the interior shows some renovation, some original period details and some projects for a new owner to tackle.
There is plenty of space inside with multiple parlors or living rooms, a dining room and kitchen on the first floor, five bedrooms and an office on the second floor and more room in the attic above. Period details on the first floor include crown moldings, mantels, pocket doors and stained glass.
There are two woodburning stoves, one in a living room and the other in the kitchen. The kitchen spans the rear of the house and has a bold, copper-painted tin ceiling, wood cabinets and a tile floor.
There are two full baths, one on the first floor with wainscoting and a claw foot tub and another on the bedroom floor.
Upstairs some of the bedrooms have floors in need of some TLC, but the rooms appear spacious, have closets and some have mantels. One of the bedrooms and a windowed home office space have doors leading out to a rear deck. A spiral staircase leads down to the yard below.
The attic level has beamed ceilings, painted wood floors and a view of the Hudson from the window in the peaked gable. It’s shown set up as an office in the listing photos with the windowed niche large enough for a desk to make the most of the relaxing view.
Out back there is a storage shed at the rear of what appears to be a large yard with space for a gardening enthusiast to get creative.
As noted, the house is right in downtown with shops, restaurants and the Irvington Town Hall Theater, which has a streaming 2021 season, nearby.
The house is listed for $999,000 with William Boeckelman of Coldwell Banker Realty.
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