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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Reference Number 13000025
State New York
County Cattaraugus
Town Ellicottville
Street Address 6805 Poverty Hill Road, Ellicottville, NY
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 02/20/2013
Areas of Significance Architecture
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Located at 6805 Poverty Hill Road in the town of Ellicottville, Cattaraugus County, New York, the John J. Aiken House meets Criterion C of the National Register of Historic Places for its architecture. Constructed ca. 1837 for Reverend John J. Aiken, the building is an excellent example of an early, mortise-and-tenon constructed Greek Revival house from the early{o-mid nineteenth century era of development around Ellicottville. Rev. Aiken was locally significant as a prominent religious and business leader with strong ties to the Western New York community. The vernacular Greek Revival house reflected his initial success as a businessman and the respect he earned as a missionary. Rev. Aiken chose the Greek Revival style for his property, which was the dominant trend in residential architecture in the early nineteenth century. Associated with the culture and values of ancient Roman and Greek architecture, the design of the house indicated the attempt to showcase the growing cultural and architectural sophistication of the Ellicottville community in the 1830s, rising beyond the hard-scrabble pioneer cabins of early settlers. Modestly ornamented and embellished, the mortise-andtenon constructed house demonstrated the attempt to show this level of refinement in spite of a lack of locally available highly-skilled artisans and high quality materials and finishes. inexpensive, available woods were accented with faux-painting to elevate them to resemble hardwoods, while doors and windows featured simple eared surrounds. While the decorative elements were modest, the house displayed key characteristic features of the Greek Revival, including an articulated front entry door with pilasters and entablature, a prominent frieze band at the eaves and a front-gabled block with side wing massing.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria