Alexander J. Davis (American, 18031892)
Watercolor, ink, and graphite on paper; 21 3/4 x 15 5/8 in. (55.2 x 39.7 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1924 (24.66.17)
Although Benjamin Latrobe's Sedgeley (1799), a classically planned house with some exterior Gothic details, is sometimes cited as the first Gothic Revival villa in the United States, Glen Ellen was the first truly Picturesque American Gothic home. Its design was inspired by two seminal English Gothic Revival models: Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill (174976) and Sir Walter Scott's Abbotsford (181215; 1819). These two houses delighted Robert Gilmor during a tour he made of England and Scotland. Davis recorded that his partner Ithiel Town (17841844) and Gilmor were responsible for the design of the cruciform floor plan, while Davis designed the Gothic ornamentation. Glen Ellen was demolished in the 1930s.