I thought we'd talk a little about Architecture this week. I've been fascinated by the subject for as long as I can remember; sketching homes since I was a child of about 10 or 11. Detailed floor plans began to enter my mind at about 14 or 15 years of age and I was determined to make a career from this interest in some way. Life did not work out quite the way I'd planned and motherhood took a front seat to other dreams, but did not diminish my quest for learning everything I could about Romantic Victorian dwellings, inside and out.
I quote from one of my favorite authors on the subject, Rickard Bailey......
Few periods of architecture have received as much attention and spawned as many devotees as the 70 years from 1840 to 1919 known as the Victorian Era. Named after Queen Victoria, who enjoyed an uncommonly long reign (1837 - 1901), this period captures the imagination of so many people because so much seemed to change and blossom over its duration. Even though the architecture of the time had its antecedents in the Gothic Revival that began a few years earlier, it is the Victorian Era that most people embrace because it epitomizes what had been lacking or stale in architecture for hundreds of years: liveliness, whimsy and, above all, freedom of expression.
Like most movements that develop and evolve over a broad expanse of time, no single individual or event seemed to drive the Victorian Revolution. Rather, a series of stirrings, ideas and concepts - aided by technology - pushed the movement from one stage to another until it reached a grand climax near the end of the century.
The Victorian Era had a long, full flower of nearly 70 years. The emotional appeal of this family of fanciful, delicate, decorative architectural styles was so strong that it took the harsh realities of a World War and the nihilism of the 1920s to dispel it. Yet, the romance of the era never really died. Whenever society has too much of modern technology, warfare or rampant commercialism, it inevitably recycles itself back to an era that is quieter, softer and more romantic.
Grand Victorian Style is, after all, one of those rare pleasures that must be experienced more with the heart than with the intellect - to be viewed and appreciated without regard to cost, reason or rationale. Victorians exist simply to be admired and loved - one of the last, great romantic adventures in Architecture!
Tomorrow we will take an in-depth look at the Queen Anne Style homes of the High Victorian Period.....my favorite.