Photos by Melissa Chua
The biggest underdog architect of the antebellum was probably Calvert Vaux (like “hawks”), who, in addition to designing Central and Prospect Parks, built the gorgeous Gothic revival home in this illustration.
We live in an age where trekking through nature’s expanse, glamping under starry skies and “living with intention” have become big ticket experiences. Not unlike today, the London-born visionary Vaux says of his time: “Every American who is in the habit of traveling, which is almost equivalent to saying every American…has an equally unaffected love for ‘the country.’ The possibility of ease and a country place or suburban cottage, large or small is a vision that gives a zest to the labors of industrious thousands.”
Vaux had the chance to realize this vision on Newburgh, NY, a picturesque hamlet in which he built country homes overlooking the Hudson River, just steps from George Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War. His house No. 14, pictured here, provides “plenty of veranda space and a cool, open arrangement of rooms,” as well the poetic trefoil and quatrefoil motifs you can find on Vaux’s Central Park arches and bridges.
House No. 14