Westcott Community

The Westcott Neighborhood of Syracuse, NY

A vibrant eastside neighborhood rich in history, culture, food and entertainment

Walking Tours

The Old Neighborhood Part I

Stop #39

1920 East Genesee Street

  • Built: 1920
  • Architect: Unknown
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This bungalow-like house is unusual for it rustic stonework on the facade and front porch.  While cobblestones were often used in construction in the 18th and early 19th century, the construction methods mostly was abandoned when cheap cut stone or brick was more readily available to builders.  In the late 19ht-century, however, cobblestone build was popular again as part of a rustic revival used especially for “camp” architecture – including palatial summer homes in the Adirondacks and elsewhere. But the popularity also trickled into the vocabulary of “natural” elements and process championed by members of the Arts & Crafts movement, including Craftsman houses, from where it also found its way to popular home catalogs.

Bungalow-style houses with cobblestone porch were popularized in the catalogs and magazines. Three different models using cobblestone were illustrated in Bennett’s Small House Catalog of 1920. Unfortunately, maintaining rounded stones of any size in wall construction, especially in a cold climate with a regular freeze-thaw cycle, is difficult. Mortar breaks, and the rounded cobbles slip and slide in their position, resulting in dislocated stones, and sometimes collapse.