The John L. Godfrey house, better known as "Cliff Cottage" on Kenduskeag Avenue was built in 1847 in the Gothic style. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN

A historic 1847 Bangor home that’s been called one of the finest examples of the Gothic revival architecture style in New England went up for sale last week.

The Godfrey-Kellogg House, located at 212 Kenduskeag Ave., went on the market this week at $540,000. The six-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home with a barn and carriage house is located on 4.8 acres along the Kenduskeag Stream, overlooking Bangor’s famed “Lover’s Leap” cliff. It’s been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973.

A number of photos of the exterior and interior of the house can be seen on the website for Better Homes and Gardens, the Masiello Group, the agency selling the home.

Maine’s state historic preservation officer, Kirk Mohney, said the house is among the most unusual examples of the Gothic revival style in New England, because even after expansions were added to the original house, all those expansions were kept in the same architectural style.

“It’s generally regarded as one of the most unusual examples of that style, because all the things they added to it over time — the dormers, the carriage house, and so on — are all done in that picturesque style,” said Mohney, referring to the ornate decorations that were a hallmark of the Romantic era.

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN

According to historian Deborah Thompson, in her 1988 book “Bangor, Maine: An Architectural History,” John Godfrey, a Bangor lawyer and later Judge of Probate, built the house according to his romantic sensibilities, naming it Cliff Cottage for the nearby Lover’s Leap cliff, so-named for a local legend involving a Native American couple leaping to their deaths. Many of the original elements of the interior remain, such as the inlaid parquet floors and the fireplace, and the exterior has been painted gray for all of its 172 years.

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

Most examples of Gothic architecture in New England are churches and meetinghouses, with prominent examples in Maine being St. John’s Catholic Church in Bangor and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. There are comparatively few Gothic Revival-style residences, however, with Bangor in particular featuring many more homes and buildings designed in a Greek Revival or Second Empire style.

Cliff Cottage was home to the Godfreys for several generations, and many members of the family held prominent roles in Bangor history, including Edward Rawson Godfrey, a local lawyer who started Bangor’s first airfield in 1927. The airstrip, known as Godfrey Field, was later taken over by the armed forces and eventually became Dow Air Force Base. Today, it’s known as Bangor International Airport.

In the mid-20th century, the house was sold to the Kellogg family, including Dr. Robert Kellogg and his wife, Juliet Spangler Kellogg, and their six children, Bob, Judy, Betty, Zip, Sara and Mary. In 2002, the Kelloggs sold the house to James and Ellen Tobin, the present owners.

[iframe url= “” width=”600″ height=”450″]

Cliff Cottage is one of the more expensive homes for sale in Bangor, though it’s not the most expensive. That distinction goes to two homes presently on the market, both priced at virtually the same amount. The first is a six-bedroom, Colonial-style house built in 1900 located at 466 State St., across the street from Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center and priced at $850,000. The other is a 6,500-square foot house built in 2005 located on 13 acres at 1026 Essex St., behind Bangor High School, priced at $849,000.

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.