New England Architecture 101 – Stick Style

The signature style element of Stick Style homes makes them easy to identify.

By Aimee Tucker

Oct 20 2023


The standout Stick Style home.

Photo Credit : Illustration by Rob Leanna

Arriving after the gingerbread Gothic Revival and before the ornate Queen Anne, Stick Stylehomes are wooden-clad with a multigabled roof, but their most distinctive feature is an exterior that features raised wooden strips (aka “stickwork”) that vaguely reflects the home’s structural framework.

Time Period: 1860–1890

Defining Characteristic: Decorative stickwork detailing

Famous Example: John N.A. Griswold House in Newport, Rhode Island

Where to Find Stick Style Homes: Throughout the Northeast, including in the Wilder Street Historic District of Lowell, Massachusetts

1. Exterior: Narrow boards (stickwork) arranged in decorative horizontal, vertical, and diagonal patterns

2. Roof: Gabled and steeply pitched, with overhanging eaves and exposed rafter ends

3. Porch: Featuring decorative diagonal braces