Queen Anne was coined in England to describe buildings that supposedly were inspired by the transitional architecture of the pre-Georgian period when classical ornament was grafted onto buildings of basically medieval form. The English architect most closely associated with the Queen Anne style was Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912), whose sprawling manor houses were well known to American architects. (Poppeliers, 57)
The Queen Anne style played on contrast of materials. First floors were often brick or stone; upper stories were of stucco, clapboard or decorative shingles, which were used frequently in the United States in place of the tiles popular in England. Huge medieval-type chimneys were common. Roofs were gabled or hipped, often with second-story projections and corner turrets borrowed from French chateau. Gable ends were ornamented with half-timbering or stylized relief decoration. Molded or specially shaped bricks were used as decorative accents. Banks of casement windows were common, and upper panes were often outlined with stained-glass squares. Verandas and balconies opened houses to the outdoors (Poppeliers, 57).
Interior plans, which had been moving further and further from classical symmetry, were given even greater freedom. The fully developed Queen Anne plan featured the living hall, a central living and circulation space with both fireplace and grand staircase. This space flowed freely into other ample rooms. Rich, dark woods in wall paneling and beamed ceilings replaced the plaster ornament and bright wallpapers of the Italianate and Second Empire styles. (Poppeliers, 57-59)
William Watts Sherman House (1874, H.H. Richardson), Newport, Rhode Island. (Poppeliers, 59)
Col. Walter Gresham House (The Bishop’s Palace) (1887-93, Nicholas J. Clayton), Galveston, Texas. (Poppeliers, 59)
Glenmont (1880, Henry Hudson Holly), West Orange, New Jersey. Home of Thomas Edison. Shows Queen Anne characteristics such as a brick first story contrasted with decorative boarding on the second story, shingles in the gables, and a paneled chimney and prominent gables. (Poppeliers, 58)
Long-Waterman House (1889, D.B. Benson), San Diego, California. All-wood version of the Queen Anne style. Contrast is achieved between the narrow first-floor clapboards and the intricate second-floor shingle patterns. Gables are steep, turrets also provide vertical accents. The encircling veranda has spindlelike ornaments often found on the interior and exterior of Queen Anne houses. (Poppeliers, 57).
- Poppeliers, John C.S., et al. What Style Is It? A Guide to American Architecture. Washington, D.C.: The Preservation Press, 1983.
Also see Architecture / Style index.