Popular from 1830 to 1860, the Gothic Revival style was part of the mid-19th century picturesque and romantic movement in architecture, reflecting the public's taste for buildings inspired by medieval design. Pattern books published by Andrew Jackson Downing greatly influenced the spread of the style. Downing’s books, Cottage Residences and The Architecture of Country Houses, helped popularize so-called Picturesque styles such as the Italianate through images, plans, and details.
The most commonly identifiable feature of the Gothic Revival style is the pointed arch, used for windows, doors, and decorative elements like porches, dormers, or roof gables. Other characteristic details include steeply pitched roofs and front facing gables with delicate wooden trim called vergeboards or bargeboards. This distinctive incised wooden trim is often referred to as "gingerbread" and is the feature most associated with this style.
The Gothic Revival style was also popular for churches, where high style elements such as castle-like towers, parapets, and tracery windows were common, as well as the pointed Gothic arched windows and entries.
Example of the Gothic Revival style can be found in the Andover Street Historic District, downtown, and in other neighborhoods throughout the city.