Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Regal Queen

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Of all the Victorian house styles, Queen Anne is the most elaborate and the most eccentric. The style is often called romantic and feminine, yet it is the product of a most unromantic era -- the machine age.

Virginia and Lee McAlester, authors of A Field Guide to American Houses, identify four types of detailing found on Queen Anne homes.
Spindled - This is the style we most frequently think of when we hear the term "Queen Anne." These are "gingerbread" houses with delicate turned porch posts and lacy, ornamental spindles.
Free Classic - Instead of delicate turned spindles, these homes have classical columns, often raised on brick or stone piers. Like the Colonial Revival houses that would soon become fashionable, Free Classic Queen Anne homes may have
Palladian windows and dentil moldings.
Half-Timbered - Like the early Tudor style houses, these Queen Annes have decorative
half-timbering in the gables. Porch posts are often thick.
Patterned Masonry - Most frequently found in the city, these Queen Annes have brick, stone, or terra-cotta walls. The masonry may be beautifully patterned, but there are few decorative details in wood.

A list like this can be deceptive. Queen Anne architecture is not an orderly or easily classified. Bay windows, balconies, stained glass, turrets, porches, brackets and an abundance of decorative details combine in unexpected ways.

Even the history of the style is bewildering. These homes were built during the age of Queen Victoria. So, why are they called Queen Anne? Popular during the time of Britain's Queen Victoria, Queen Anne architecture has little to do with the 18th century Queen Anne. Moreover, the exuberant style bears little resemblance to the formal architecture which was popular during her time. Rather, British architects borrowed ideas from the earlier Medieval era.
In the United States, Queen Anne houses became lofty, fanciful, showy, exuberant expressions of the machine age.
Excerpts from


Lori said...

Oh, those are my favorite homes!!! I think I had one or lived in one in another life!! And yep the ice cream place was and is still at stateline (west side of 31)! I don't know if they have the ice cream anymore but to be honest it would be to sad to go and find out or have one! That's funny you knew where I meant! Take care , Lori

Secondhandrose said...

You are a gifted teacher. Thanks for the lesson.

vickie said...

I love your history lessons!
hugs, Vickie

Stephanie said...

Oh these are gorgeous homes. I wish I could whisk you away here with me to visit our historical district! We have some lovely examples of Queen Anne homes. I drool over everything you post! Always look forward to what you will teach us next!

Angelic Accents

Dolly said...


I love them all!
Bertie your blog is such a treat to visit.. and so educational!

When I saw this blog... I thought of you!

Its so us! :-)

Hugz, Dolly

Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Bertie, these are so beautiful! I love them all! And I love learning from you!! :0) Thank you for the new knowledge.


KLKinFLA said...

Hi, Bertie
Thanks for stopping by, and for the kind's nice to meet you! Love this post. Those homes are beautiful!

The French Nest said...

Just came across your blog and have enjoyed reading your previous posts. Your photographs of these beautiful Victorian homes are stunning!


Ele said...

Oh, I want them all...but not to clean. LOL. Thanks for your comments on my church. I think it will stay chippy!