Newman - Cotter House
112 West Avenue, Fairport NY 14450
In 2013, the Fairport Historic Preservation Commission designated the home and carriage step/horse hitch at 112 West Avenue a landmark. The home is located on a corner lot - West Avenue and Cole Street and fulfills 4 of the 5 criteria for designation. It is a home that is recognized feature of the neighborhood, had historic personages and social history associated with it, and is an example of a Transitional Stick to Queen Anne architecture style.
Built in the 1870's, this home is an outstanding example of a Transitional Stick (1860-1880) to Queen Anne (1880-1910) architecture style. This photo taken in 2010 by Keith Boas.
Feature of the Neighborhood
The Newman/Cotter house stands with grace and style on the corner of West Avenue and Cole Street. The unique wrap-around porch gives it prominence on West Avenue. It has been featured in house tours and on the cover of Fairport’s 2010 "Front Porch Friendly" calendar.
History of Ownership
William M. Newman built the home in the mid 1870’s, presumably in the Stick style of architecture. He was a businessman and builder who served as a Village leader and contributed to the physical growth of Fairport.
In 1887, the next owner Mr. Walter A. Parce was reported in the “Monroe County Mail” newspaper to have been, “making some improvements on the front of his house”. Based on the lack of a porch and bay window in the Beck & Pauli litho of 1885, it is believed that Mr. Parce added the front porch and east side bay window. In so doing, he modernized the Stick style house in the Queen Anne style, popular at that time. .
In 1906, James H. Cotter purchased the house and moved there with his wife, the former Catherine V. Waddell and their children. Upon James H. Cotter’s death in 1951 his son James E. Cotter and then a short time later, Marie Cotter Phillips took over ownership. As a result, the Cotter family owned the home for 84 years, from 1906 to 1990.
This photo, 1909 and shows Catherine W. Cotter on the porch. You can see that virtually every detail of the porch, shingles and window enframements are intact.
James H. Cotter served the village as a trustee and Village President. He became a Trustee on the Board of Education and served on the board for 38 years, being President of the board for 6 years. He was also chairman of the National Recovery Act (NRA) compliance board of Fairport. Mr. Cotter was a salesman for 43 years for the American Chemical and Agricultural Company working out of the Buffalo office. For 40 years he was a member of the Fairport Fire Department.
His son James E. Cotter, who lived a bachelor life until about age 40, lived at home until that time. He worked as a butcher for Hollander & Root, located at 34 South Main Street for 3 years and then purchased the business in 1925. The Cotter Market closed in 1942 after 17 years in business. James E. belonged to the Fairport Business Men’s Club and like his father, was involved with the Fire Department, serving as a Trustee in 1925 and Fire Chief in 1939.
A marble carriage step/horse hitch was found in the garage of the home.
Marie C. Phillips moved with her family to the home in 1906. She married Fred M. Phillips. Her son, Fred (Ted) J. Phillips, was a Fairport Postmaster for many years. In her later years, Marie did as many widows did to make ends meet. She was a seamstress who took in sewing and she rented her extra rooms to gentlemen boarders. She was also very involved in community organizations like the Fairport Food Institute, Home Bureau, Senior Citizens and Golden Age Club.
Stick to Queen Anne Style
The home built in the 1870’s is an outstanding example of a Transitional Stick (1860-1880) to Queen Anne (1880-1910) architecture style. The two styles are similar in that they use wall surfaces as primary decorative elements. The widespread adoption of balloon framing techniques allowed for irregularities in the ground plan and the use of bays, towers, overhangs, and wall projections.
The curved brackets along the top of the porch posts form a triangle shape which is called a spandrel.
112 West Avenue has an asymmetrical façade with steeply pitched cross gable roofline, a one-story wrap-around porch and a bay window. The porch has simple posts with an unusual banister and spindle pattern. Along the top of the posts are curved brackets with spindles.
The vergeboards on the gables have a band with fluted wood, a cut pattern and curve at the end. The gables also have vertical boards, fluted horizontal boards and bands cut to resemble shingles. The window and door enframement are crossed at the top corners and have the same cut pattern in the corners.
Here you can see a vergeboard, fluted horizontal board and clapboard cut to appear like a row of shingles.
The front entrance has tall paneled doors with windows on the top half. The clear glass panes have colored rectangular panes on three sides. The door enframement is the same as the window surrounds. There are large double hung, one-over-one windows on the first floor and the gables have windows with multiple square panes.