Focusing on the Newport villas of Richard Morris Hunt, this study develops the thesis that picturesque imagery and foreign sources are critical to the understanding and interpretation of American wood houses of the late 1850s through the early 1870s. Before 1860 American architects had broadened their range of sources to include contemporary German rustic architecture. In 1855 the Beaux-Arts trained Hunt had returned to America. His presence and the example of his Griswold house (ca. 1861-1863) in Newport helped direct attention to Continental and especially French rustic architecture. Comparison of American resort houses by Hunt and other architects with designs illustrated in European publications of that time reveals the influence of the contemporary revival of half-timber and vernacular rustic architecture abroad. The picturesque American domestic architecture that resulted from this infusion of foreign ideas, often described as "Stick Style," reached its apogee with Hunt's Newport houses of the early 1870s.
- Copyright 1983 The Society of Architectural Historians