Various architectural styles came out of the Victorian era and often blended features from each style. Transitions to or from the Victorian era resulted in houses that might have combined Richardsonian arches on Stick-style homes, or Greek Revival (which came before) features on a Queen Anne.
The main Victorian residential architectural styles are:
- Queen Anne: Full or partial-width asymmetrical porch that may wrap around to other sides; steeply pitched, irregular roofs, textured, ornate shingles
- Richardsonian Romanesque: Built with rough-faced stone or sometimes brick rather than wood, with lot of details, like parapets, towers, and arches
- Stick Style: Steeply pitched, gabled roof; diagonal or curving supports on porches; steeply pitched cross gables; wooden wall cladding, flat ornamentation
- Shingle Style: Asymmetrical facade, ample use of shingles on siding and roof, front porch, multi-level eaves
- Eastlake: An architectural and furniture design movement identified by spindlework or gingerbread ornamentation which was done by machines
- Second Empire: Distinctive mansard roof, dormer windows, molded cornices, and decorative brackets
- Folk Victorian: Basic, symmetrical house design with some details, like porches with spindlework, brackets under eaves, and gabled roof
Of course, there are many variations and subtypes within the primary styles of Victorian houses.
A green Victorian features a turret (tower) and Queen Anne detailing under eaves and on the porch. Built around 1892, this home is located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Painted-Brick Row Houses
Lynne Lopee captures stunning images of old houses and buildings around Toronto, Canada, and other places. These Victorian row houses in Toronto’s Alexandra Park are made of brick and don’t have the usual frilly details, but their steep gabled roofs are a hint as to their style.
Shadowcrest Victorian Home
Max Mann rents out his five-bedroom Victorian in the Catskills to short-term vacationers. Built in 1901 from designs by popular architect (and marketing genius) George Barber, this beauty features scalloped shingles, turrets, gables, and decorative balustrades.
Oak Park Victorian Home
Urban planner and historic preservationist Susie Trexler enjoys hunting for old homes in the Chicago area. Located in the city’s historic Oak Park district, this Queen Anne was built in 1885 and is on the same street as a Shingle style designed by and lived in by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
First-grade teacher Fawn Rumsfield and her husband, Ethan, are in the process of renovating an 1895-built Victorian, which she documents in her blog, Rumfield Homestead. The home, in a small town outside of Dallas, features elements of Stick, Queen Anne, and Folk Victorian.
Heritage Hill House
Discovering roadside architecture and attractions like the world’s largest (fiberglass) talking cow, Seth of Highway Highlights often encounters old homes with character. This one, in the Heritage Hill Historic District of Grand Rapids, Michigan, features a prominent tower with fish scale shingles. Regardless of their shape, towers start on the first floor of a building, while turrets are smaller towers on second or third stories and extend or project at an angle.
Marshall Harris House
The Marshall Harris House in Janesville, Wisconsin, is a neat clapboard Queen Anne from a Barber mail-order design that bears similar features to a house in Barber’s The Cottage Souvenir No. 2 catalog. Among them: ornamental Eastlake-style balusters and spindlework.
High-Style Queen Anne
Designed by architects Frank Longstaff and Henry Nelson Black, the Roland G. Gamwell House was built in 1892 in what is now the Fairhaven Historic District in Bellingham, Washington. With no expense spared, the elaborate Queen Anne includes a turret room and intricate woodwork by Italian craftsmen from Seattle. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
Handsome Mansard Victorian Home
While working on her own Victorian in Yonkers, New York, old-house aficionado Samantha is often inspired by other vintage homes she admires on local drives and via social media. A Second Empire house she captured on one of her trips to Nyack displays that trademark mansard roof along with fancy-cut shingles.
Southern Charm Victorian House
When not minding the store—Southern Girl Vintage, in Dunnellon, Florida—Tonya searches nearby states for vintage treasures. Along the way, she photographs abandoned houses in various stages of disrepair. This Queen Anne in Green Cove Springs, Florida, retains its charm and architectural elements are left intact.
Grand Lady of Ocean Park Victorian Home
Destroyed by fire in 2001, the Corbin-Norton House was painstakingly reconstructed to match the original Queen Anne residence built in 1891. Built for hardware entrepreneur Philip Corbin, the mansion was a Victorian masterpiece at a seashore park in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard that displayed his company’s high-quality and innovative hardware and architectural elements. In the years before it was bought by Peter Norton in 1991, the home was slowly stripped of its original splendor. Norton, CEO and founder of Norton Utilities, restored the home in the 10 years he owned it before the devastating fire.
Reassembling Design Associates Inc., and the same restoration team, Norton oversaw the rebuilding of the historic house. Completed in 2004, it even has replica door hardware that matches the original.
Downtown LA Victorian Home
Carroll Avenue and vicinity near downtown Los Angeles is a neighborhood with well-preserved Eastlake Victorians. This beauty’s architectural details are enhanced with an updated paint scheme—plum, pale avocado, a muted peach/pink—that puts the colors in the right places and emphasizes elements without getting carried away. Whoever did this is an expert in color design.
Designed by architect Thomas Hanley, Glanmore House was built in 1883 in Belleville, Ontario, and is an eclectic French Renaissance-inspired Second Empire design. Characteristic Second Empire features include a turret, mansard roof, dormer windows, and iron cresting.
House on Crockett Street
On Crockett Street’s Heritage Row in the Northeast Texas city of Sherman is the C.S. Roberts House, Grayson County’s only Eastlake-Stick Victorian residence. Built in 1896, the home stayed in the family until it was preserved by the Sherman Preservation League.
Queen Anne Cottage
While not as embellished as its bigger Queen Anne sisters, this tidy cottage in Fremont, North Carolina, has all the right stuff, on a smaller scale. Among its Victorian elements: front-facing gables; a wide, asymmetrical porch with a turret; and Stick-style porch supports.