McLallen House

A Quiet Morning in Trumansburg

stone hitching post
There aren't any official 'historical preservation districts' in Trumansburg.  Instead the village retains a lot of its 19th century structures and charm simply because the folks who live here like it that way.  Perhaps most emblematic of this attitude of enlightened conservatism are the many stone hitching posts that line the residential streets.

The posts are split out of the native siltstone and most of them retain the iron rings through which many generations of reins once passed.  The lichen growing on the side of the one at left is an indication of the high air quality in this rural location.


Residential Neighborhoods

The "McLallen House" bed & breakfast is so-named for its location on McLallen Street.  There are, however, several actual McLallen homesteads still standing in the village, including this one to the right. 

The "Mud House" is made of adobe, which is quite unusual to find  in upstate New York.  It was built in 1848 by William McLallen, a son of John McLallen, one of the original settlers of Trumansburg.  William was a business partner of Joseph Biggs, who built the house that has become "McLallen House".

McLallen historic adobe house
McLallen historic homestead Another McLallen homestead.  This one was built in 1832 in the Federalist style by another son of John McLallen.  
McLallen historic homestead
This Federalist style house was built by David McLallen, yet another son of John (who had 13 children).  Most of the north side of the village was once owned by the McLallen family.  It was carved out of the Treman military grant tract and given to them in exchange for clearing the land.

Between the 1850s and the 1870s many houses in the village were built in the Italianate Victorian style.  Some, like McLallen House, were originally clapboard and some, like the one at right, are brick.  All, however, share the shallowly pitched roof, wide eaves held up by ornate brackets and tall, narrow windows.  Many have cupolas and most have arched doorways.

Note the siltstone foundation on this house, which is also used to make all the sidewalks in the village.

Italianate Victorian house
Italianate historic home Another example of the Italianate Victorian style.  This house is distinguished the shallowly arched lintels over and small brackets under the windows.  A sun porch and a bay window have been added to the southwest side of the house, but the house lacks a cupola.
In addition to the Italianate homes, there are many gabled Victorians in Trumansburg.  Most of them would likely be classified as "Folk Victorian" because they include elements of any of the different styles of the day.  The gingerbreading under the eaves of the house at right recalls the Gothic Revival, but the shuttered central window brings to mind the Stick style.
Victorian home
Second Empire home
Some rather pure expressions of Victorian architecture do exist in the village.  This Second Empire house is the only one of its kind in Trumansburg.  The scale of the windows and doors is enormous (9 or 10 feet tall).  The builder had a sense of humor too.  Note how the lintels on the ornamental windows on the porch roof match those that emerge from the mansard roof on the third floor.

The Commercial District

This commerical block is all that is left of the historical part of the "Lower Village", so called because it is in the small valley carved by Trumansburg Creek.  The buildings on the north side of Main Street burned down in 1921 and a flood in 1935.

The building with the tan bricks and the Romanesque -arched windows (fourth from the right) was originally the Biggs department store.  The ground floor now houses a laundrymat and thrift store.  The second floor is residential and the third is storage.  The floors above the storefronts in Trumansburg are often residences, which contributes to the vibrancy of the downtown.

downtown Trumansburg
upper village
The front of the Trumansburg Liquor Store includes large painted, enameled metal panels.  Hazelnut Kitchen, a popular nouvelle cuisine restaurant, is next door.  Before the opening of Hazelnut Kitchen in 2007 the space was occupied by Simply Red from 2003. It was called the The Store at Tremaine's Village before that and Kostrub's before that; for many years it has been central to the social fabric of the village.  The place functioned as a sort of 'village wide web' where you could visit to find out what was going on and who was making it happen.
Perhaps the contemporary social equivalent of the old diner is found at Gimme! Coffee.  Between the opening of their doors at 7 a.m. and around 10 a.m. just about anybody you'd want to run into will stop in for a cup of joe.  Of course, compared to the old diner the coffee's more expensive, but it tastes better.  And you're a lot more likely to smell patchouli ...
Gimme! Coffee
Main Street, Trumansburg
June and overcast.  Go figure.

:: McLallen House :: 30 McLallen Street :: Trumansburg, New York  14886 ::

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