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Queen Anne Victorian - (photo courtesy of Darryl Bonk)

Queen Anne Victorian – (photo courtesy of Darryl Bonk)

Queen Anne Revival - Kitchener, Ontario

Queen Anne Revival – Kitchener, Ontario

England’s Queen Victoria was the inspiration for the name of the extravagant and impressive variety of architecture that became popular during her reign from 1837 to 1901. During this time, homeowners conceived intricate architectural details for their homes and carried them out as a status symbol. The Queen Anne style is a sub-type of Victorian architecture, meaning that the Queen Anne style is a Victorian style.

Queen Anne-style homes do not have a common design as ornate details can be used to personalize every surface of this type of home. For example, turned posts, which are often carved in an attractive pattern, can be used to hold a porch up or as balustrades, carved wooden decorations commonly adorn the outside of this style while the roof should combine steep gables and conical roofs for the requisite tower, or turret (s) . A balcony often graces these never-dull exteriors.

What is Queen Anne Revival? Having once owned a Queen Anne Revival, I am partial to this style. It is an architectural style that has very little to do with the English monarch Queen Anne or the style of buildings constructed during her reign. The Queen Anne Revival is from the late Victorian era, and was most popular between 1890 and 1914. It drew its inspiration from different eras and incorporated many things into its designs. Occasionally referred to as “free Renaissance,” the builders of Queen Anne Revival buildings generally focused on asymmetrical facades, steeply-pitched and irregular rooflines, front-facing gables, overhanging eaves, circular or square towers with turrets in corners, unusual windows, wraparound verandas, highly ornamented spindles, fish scale siding, detailed textures and bright colours.

The style is difficult to define due to its eccentricities, and has been described as being exuberant and excessive, fanciful and flamboyant in outlook. Though falling out of fashion in the first decades of the 20th century, the style seems to have made a comeback in popularity.