The Stick Style Architecture of the Emlen Physick Estate is characterized by:
The Physick House made news because it was different from any other house in Cape May. It was constructed in the avant garde Stick Style (see photo captions, above), while most cottages in town were still being built in the more conservative Italianate, Gothic and Mansard styles.
The Physick House is attributed to Frank Furness, who designed more than 600 buildings in the greater Philadelphia area in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Now recognized as one of this country's greatest Victorian architects, Furness fell out of favor by the mid-20th century, and many of his buildings, as well as his office, were destroyed. While no document exists to prove the Furness attribution, historians concur that he was the only architect who could possibly have designed the Physick House.
Such trademark features as the greatly oversized corbelled (upside down) chimneys, jerkinhead dormers, and porch brackets appear in many other Furness buildings of the period.