Gingerbread cherished again

Cookie-cutter detail it has been dubbed and today it is all the rage. New owners of old homes cherish it. They lovingly and lavishly apply paint to preserve their Victorian gingerbread trim in all its bold efflorescence.

Carpenter's Gothic -- another name for the wooden scroll work -- was bought ready-made or fretworked on the site, to drape cottages and summer castles from Maine to California.

A touch of trim was seldom enough, although the fine home in Augusta, Maine, with its handsome porch plaque, proves that moderation could add piquancy without visual pain.

Excess was the name of the carpenter's game and the homeowner's joy. Examine the "stick style" board-and-batten beauty discovered this past summer in Montpelier, Vermont, with its striking, leaf-like ornamentation draped over doors and windows, and falling from every peak.

Examine the stylish summer cottage located in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. Trim could be bought by the wagon load from millwrights and applied by the running foot to fit the dictates of every purse and person.

Victorian, of course, was not confined to wood houses alone. It was also applied to such things as a lovely bench found in restored Larimer Square, Denver, Colorado. Salvaged and refurbished, it provides pleasure for tourist and citizen alike.

No matter where you travel across Canada and the United States, the brash and the beautiful can be discovered.Not only will they catch the discerning eye, but they'll gladden the appreciative heart.

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