Monday, October 9, 2017


In my latest Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs book, Dead Set Delphinia, at one point mention is made of the Queen Anne style house owned by the assistant bank manager, Graham Wardell. What is involved in Queen Anne architecture?

The Queen Anne style in Britain refers to either the English Baroque architectural style approximately of the reign of Queen Anne (reigned 1702–1714), or a revived form that was popular in the last quarter of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century (when it is also known as Queen Anne revival).

In British architecture the term is mostly used of domestic buildings up to the size of a manor house, and usually designed elegantly but simply by local builders or architects. Contrary to the American usage of the term, it is characterized by strongly bilateral symmetry with a Italianate or Palladian-derived pediment on the front formal elevation.

Queen Anne house, Fortuneswell, Portland, Dorset, ctsy Ajsmith141

When referring to the revived "Queen Anne style" of the 19th and 20th century, the historic reference in the name should not be taken too literally. Buildings in the Queen Anne style often bear little resemblance to English buildings of the 18th century. Instead, the Queen Anne style in other parts of the English-speaking world such and the United States and Australia is significantly different from that in the United Kingdom, and may hardly include any elements typical of the actual architecture of Anne's reign.
Alexander House - Salida, Colorado, ctsy Jeffrey Beall
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 the machine age—not what most people consider romantic.

The Queen Anne style became fashionable in the 1880s and 1890s, when the industrial revolution was expanding in the United States. North America was caught up in the excitement of new technologies. Factory-made, pre-cut architectural parts were shuttled across the country on a rapidly expanding train network. Prefabricated cast iron became the showy, ornate facade of urban merchants and bankers. The well-to-do wanted the same manufactured elegance for their homes as they had for their businesses, so exuberant architects and builders combined architectural details to create innovative, and sometimes excessive, homes.
Carson Mansion - Eureka, California

In the United States, the so-called "Queen Anne style" is loosely used to describe a wide range of picturesque buildings with "free Renaissance" (non-Gothic Revival) details rather than of a specific formulaic style in its own right. "Queen Anne", is broadly applied to architecture, furniture and decorative arts of the period 1880 to 1910; some "Queen Anne" architectural elements, such as the wraparound front porch, continued to be found into the 1920s.

Distinctive features of American Queen Anne style may include:

An asymmetrical fa├žade
Waterview Queen Anne house, close to Cumberland County, Kentucky, Ctsy Nyttend

Dominant front-facing gable, often cantilevered out beyond the plane of the wall below;
Queen Anne in Fairfield, Iowa built by George Franklin Barber, ctsy Jo Naylor

Overhanging eaves
Queen Anne in Cathlamet, Washington, ctsy Joe Mabel
Round, square, or polygonal tower(s)

Shaped and Dutch gables

A porch covering part or all of the front facade, including the primary entrance area;
Queen Anne House, Keene NH built between 1880-1895, ctsy Keene Pub Lib & Hist. Soc. Cheshire Co.
A second-story porch or balconies

Porches with pediments, usually triangular

Differing wall textures, such as patterned wood shingles shaped into varying designs, including resembling fish scales,

Queen Anne House, Hillsboro, Ohio, ctsy Nyttend

Terra cotta tiles, relief panels, or wooden shingles over brickwork, etc.

Dentils (small block used as a repeating ornament in the  bedmouth of a cornice

Classical columns

Spindle work and painted balustrades

Oriel and bay windows;
Oriel windows on Myrtle Street  Flats, San Francisco, California, ctsy Sanfranman59

Horizontal bands of leaded windows;

Monumental chimneys;
Gwynne-Love House built 1886, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Wooden or slate roofs.
Wheeler-Stallard House, Aspen, Colorado
Front gardens often had wooden fences.
Blades House, Ctsy Tradewinds
So, the next time you see a house and are tempted to say it is a Victorian, keep in mind it just might be more accurately described as an American Queen Anne.


Dead Set Delphinia, at just under sixty-seven thousand words, is my first full novel in the series. To purchase Dead Set Delphinia from Amazon, please CLICK HERE.

The book is also available on Kindle Unlimited. The print version will be available soon.

I have available three other novellas in the Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs series.

Book 6:  Cat's Meow
Book 7:  Bargain Bessie
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1 comment:

  1. Obviously I've seen the house in Colorado Springs, but I've seen the one in Salida also. Very impressive when seen 'live'. Thanks for the information. Loved it. Doris