Address: 28 W. Lake St., Skaneateles, New York. County/parish: Onondaga.
1 contributing building.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places July 27, 1979.
Also known as:
The Reuel E. Smith House (also known as The Cove, The Gingerbread House, or Cobweb Cottage) located at 28 West Lake Street in Skaneateles, New York is a picturesque house designed by Alexander Jackson Davis, and later modified by Archimedes Russell. It was built during 1848–1852 and is a "good example of the Gothic Revival mode, which was a reaction against the stringencies of the Greek Revival style" as exemplified by the nearby Richard DeZeng House. It is the only house designed by Davis in Onondaga County that has survived since the demolition of the Charles Sedgewick Cottage on James Street in Syracuse.
The house was photographed by Historic American Buildings Survey photographer Jack Boucher in 1962. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It has been portrayed in several artworks.
In 1979, State Commissioner of Parks and Recreation Orin Lehman said that the Reuel E. Smith House "embodies some of the major currents of mid-nineteenth century thought in literature and art as well as architecture."
In 1981, the Reuel E. Smith House received a federal Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service grant for restoration of the pink stucco exterior, the roof, and the chimneys, which described the home as "an excellent example of Gothic revival style" with "considerable intrinsic merit."
The home was built for Reuel Smith, partner in a New York City shipping firm. His son E. Reuel Smith inherited the estate. "E.R.", as he was called, was a prominent figure in the village having married into Skaneateles royalty, his wife being Elizabeth DeCost. (Elizabeth DeCost's great-grandfather was William J. Vredenburg, one of the earliest settlers of Skaneateles.) E.R. died at the home in 1911. Their son, DeCost Smith, noted painter of the American West, was born at the Reuel Smith House. Reuel's grandson Sedgwick married Elsa Watts Smith, who in 1975 sold the property to Robert & Shirley Feldmann. The Feldmanns sold the property in April 2017. The current owners of the home are Justin and Dr. Rebecca West Reeves.(read more...)
National Park Service documentation: https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/79001612