Italianate Near Newburgh’s Historic Downing Park, Yours for $399K

Tucked behind a picket fence, this tidy brick Italianate in Newburgh offers some picturesque charm and a renovated interior.

While updated, the house on the market at 14 Elm Street in the architecturally rich city still has some elements that might be familiar to the generations of one family that called it home for over 65 years. Those details, including an original stair with newel posts and wide-plank floors, give a hint to the 19th century construction date.

A short stroll from Newburgh’s Downing Park, planned in honor of hometown architect Andrew Jackson Downing, the house actually predates the completion of the park in 1897. The dwelling, which sits just outside Newburgh’s East End Historic District, is given an estimated 1875 to 1880 construction date in the listing and this seems to track with the development of the block and surrounding area.

a birds eye map of newburgh showing sketches of buildings and open land

An 1875 bird’s-eye view of Newburgh shows the city before the creation of Downing Park and depicts the block bound by Gidney Avenue, South Street, Carpenter Avenue, and City Terrace without any houses and without a mention of Elm Street. Map by HH Bailey & JC Hazen via the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library

If accurate, a map of Newburgh from 1875 doesn’t show block-long Elm Street in place that year. Instead it is depicted as a field, although houses are indicated in some of the surrounding blocks. Lots on the street were advertised for sale in the Newburgh Telegraph in 1874 and a bit of digging turned up an 1878 report of the construction of a two-story brick house under way on Elm Street near City Terrace. A map of 1913 shows two brick houses on Elm Street, one of them No. 14.

By at least 1886 the dwelling was home to Lafayette P. and Emogene Waite and their family. Lafayette, who went by the shorter LP in his professional life, was the publisher of popular city directories for a number of towns, including Newburgh. LP Waite & Co. Publishers had offices near the city’s waterfront.

In his will LP, who died in 1917, referred to 14 Elm Street as “my family homestead and residence.” The property went to his widow, Emogene, and ownership would descend in the family until the 1950s.

front porch with room for chairs

exterior showing oriel windows on side façade

The house is set back from the street with a front lawn and walkway leading to the front porch. The front facade includes a modest Italianate bracketed cornice, but a view of the side facade shows the flourish of twin Oriel windows. At the rear a one-story renovated addition holds a mudroom and a studio space.

In addition to the mudroom and the studio, the roughly 1,670-square-foot house has a living room, dining room, and kitchen on the main level. Upstairs are two bedrooms, a home office, and a full bath.

Off the foyer, a later arched opening leads to the front of the parlor with an exposed brick chimney wall (but not mantel) and pale wood floors. They continue into the dining room, which is open to the kitchen.

entry hall with original newel post and stairs up to bedrooms on second floor

living room with exposed brick chimney wall

There is more exposed brick in the kitchen along with white cabinets and a glass door that opens into the skylit mudroom. There is another skylight in the studio space, which has upgraded insulation and electricity, according to the listing.

The house does have just one full bath and that is upstairs. However, as shown on the floor plan, it sits just above the first floor studio and the listing notes there are plans available for converting that room into a second bath.

Outside space includes a rear deck, a patio, and off-street parking. The two-story carriage house shown in some of the listing photos belongs to the neighboring property.

There is more green space at Downing Park, which was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in honor of their late friend. Their sons John Olmsted and Downing Vaux were also part of the team and the project proved to be the last collaboration between the elder Olmsted and Vaux. While ideas for a potential park were being proposed in the 1880s, construction on the 35-acre green space wasn’t under way until 1894. By the time it opened to the public it included water features, meadows, woodlands, an observatory, and a great lawn.

Neglect in the 20th century led to the creation of the Downing Park Planning Committee in the 1980s to restore the landscape to its former glory. Work is ongoing and the Friends of Downing Park, a volunteer branch of the committee, raises funds and awareness, plans events, and coordinates clean-up days.

The house at 14 Elm Street is listed with Carson T. Carter of Hanson Real Estate Partners and is priced at $399,000.

first floor entry hall with wood floors

dining room with exposed brick chimney wall

dining room open to the kitchen

kitchen with white cabinets and ceiling fan

kitchen with exposed brick chimney wall and white cabinets

kitchen with white cabinets and glass door to studio

skylight in hallway to studio

studio with skylights

upstairs hallway with original stair

hall with view into bedroom

hall with wooden doors and floors

bedroom with ceiling fan and two windows

bedroom with ac window unit

small bedroom with two windows

bedroom with ceiling fan and two exposures

view from bathroom into the main bedroom

bathroom with white fixtures and dark gray walls

painted vanity and exposed brick chimney wall in the bathroom

stairs from cellar to upstairs

view of boiler in the cellar

door in cellar leading outside

picket fence enclosing the front garden of the house

front porch with blue shutters framing windows

blue painted wood deck on rear of house

deck with room for dining

view to two story garage or shed on property

tree covered yards

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