Queen Anne - 1880 to 1910
"Anything Goes" is the best description for this architectural style, the most eclectic of the Victorian era styles. Having little to do with the Renaissance architecture associated with England's Queen Anne, the movement was named by a group of architects led by Richard Norman Shaw, who copied the half timbered and patterned masonry of the late medieval period. Queen Anne is the culmination of the Picturesque and Romantic styles and many details of these preceding eras can be seen on Queen Anne homes.
11 West Church Street in Fairport
This Queen Anne home at 11 West Church Street has a dominant front-facing gable, steeply pitched roof and a wraparound porch with Free Classic details that echoes the curve of the round tower. The tower has patterned shingles and raised decorative banding. It has a candle snuffer peaked roof with original slate and finial.
Queen Anne makes a point of two features: house shape and decorative detailing. It encourages asymmetrical (not balanced or equal) shapes and wall surfaces that are filled with bays, towers, overhangs and wall projections, further filled in with decorated surfaces using patterned shingles or patterned masonry. Plain, blank wall surfaces were not to be tolerated.
There were two unique decorative detail subsets of this style, namely American Spindle work and Free Classic, both of which became very popular during the 1880's. Through the latter half of the 19th century pre-cut architectural details had become readily available to the public and the home building market. Queen Anne was just the style to make use of these innovations.
Fairport has several wonderful examples of the popular Queen Anne style; the most notable is the home at 11 West Church Street. Take a stroll through the Village and see if you can find the Queen Anne architectural details that decorate so many of our village homes.
Steeply pitched roofs with irregular shapes; most commonly hipped with one or more lower cross gables and a dominant front gable. Towers and dormers are common, towers are usually placed at the front corner of the facade and dormers can be located on any of the roof presentations.
Delicate turned porch supports and balustrades or friezes that hang from a porch ceiling best characterize spindle work. Lacy decorative spandrels and knob like beads trim cutaway bay windows and gables. It is often call "gingerbread" or "Eastlake" decoration.
Classical columns are featured rather than the turned porch supports with delicate spindle work detailing. Sometimes these are the full height of the porch or placed on a pedestal at the level of the porch railing. The columns are commonly grouped together in units of two or three.
Porches are an important feature of Queen Anne homes, most commonly they are seen as a one-story porch that covers the entrance but they often extend around one or more sides of the house. Recessed porches are not unusual and can be found in second stories, gables, or towers.
Windows and Doors
Bay windows are prevalent and when roof gables overhang the bay window shaped into the wall below they form a cutaway bay window. These overhangs are then trimmed out with spindles or brackets. Windows themselves are fairly simple, usually a single pane or a single pane surrounded by small panes on one or more sides. Doors are simple also with decorative incised detailing and a single pane of glass in the upper half of the door.
A beautiful example of second story porches, delicate turned
porch supports and Spindlework ornamentation. This Queen Anne is at 48 West Church Street. In 2014 this house built for Irving Eldridge was designated a landmark. The carriage barn is also included in this designation.
80 West Church Street was built in 1900. It has many Queen Anne features such as the pent roof and decorative shingles in the gables, and the wrap around porch with beautiful curved spindles. The porch has classical Corinthian columns that are more often found in the later Colonial Revival style.
For an index of other styles that can be found in the Perinton area go to the Architectural Styles page in the History section.