The name GOTHIC,given to the style of architecture, painting, and sculpture which flourished in western Europe, mainly France and England, between the 12th and 15th centuries and the later Middle Ages.
By the end of the 14th century, the fusion of Italian and Northern European art had led to the development of an International Gothic style. For the next quarter of a century, leading artists travelled from Italy to France, and vice versa, and all over Europe. As a consequence, ideas spread and merged, until eventually painters in this International Gothic style could be found in France, Italy, England, Germany, Austria and Bohemia.
During the second half of the 19th century, architects in the United States began to lose interest in Greeko-Roman Classicism, and to adopt new domestic styles based loosely on medieval and other non-classical forms of building.The first post-classical styles, beginning in the 1830s,was the Gothic Revival .Gothic Revival architecture came to America from England about 1830. Its most famous practitioner, English born Richard Upjohn, a cabinet maker and draftsman, arrived in this country as a young man in 1829. Upjohn's best known work is Trinity Church in New York City, consecrated in 1846. He designed St. Paul's Cathedral in Buffalo, completed in 1851. His churches, and those illustrated in publications like his Rural Architecture (1852), served as patterns for countless buildings throughout the country.Alexander Jackson Davis was the first American architect to spread the Gothic gospel. He published floor plans and three-dimensional views in his 1837 book, Rural Residences. His design for Lyndhurst, an imposing country estate in Tarrytown, New York, became a showplace for the Gothic Revival style.Davis's friend and fellow architect Andrew Jackson Downing also promoted the Gothic Revival in his books on "cottage villas" published in the 1840s. The Hudson River Valley, where Downing resided, was the perfect setting for the kind of picturesque, rambling "irregular" designs he endorsed. It was chiefly Downing's book that led to the flowering throughout rural America of some very picturesque wooden Gothic architecture.Downing's one-year partner (Downing died in a fire) was Calvert Vaux who himself published a fairly influential pattern book entitled Villas and Cottage.Six years later, Vaux moved to New York City and soon partnered with the superintendent of a new park that was being created.