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Architectural Monographs: The Unique Farmhouses of Old ‘New Netherlands’

EWP Farmhouses New Netherlands

The Colonial architecture of Massachusetts and Virginia tends to get all the attention and accolades when it comes to historical remembrance, but the Dutch had plenty of their own charming structures throughout their colony of ‘New Netherlands,’ in areas of what we know today as New York and New Jersey. By 1915, when this issue of the White Pine Monographs was written, many had been sadly neglected.

EWP Farmhouses New Netherlands 2

The ones that remained at that time were photographed and displayed throughout this issue, and they’re brimming with beautiful and unique architectural details like gently curving roofs, railings along the rooflines and artistic stained glass around the doorways.

EWP Farmhouses New Netherlands 4

While it’s hard to tell exactly when they were built, many seem to have been erected around the same time as the earliest remaining examples in New England and Virginia. While the English brought many of their home country’s architectural traditions with them to America, the Dutch seem to have started over altogether, with the houses remaining in Long Island and New Jersey resembling “nothing but themselves,” being even more radically different from the work of the Dutch in Holland than they were from the work of the other colonists.

EWP Farmhouses New Netherlands 3

“This difference is not alone a question of material, which might be expected in a new country, but is also a question of form and detail. The steep-pitched roofs of Holland were here transformed into low gentle lines, and the narrow flat cornices of the mother-country were replaced by broad overhanging eaves, from which Classic treatment in general was absent.”

See the whole gallery and read more at the White Pine Monograph Library.


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