Victorian architecture is a series of architectural revival styles in the mid-to-late 19th century. Victorian refers to the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), called the Victorian era, during which period the styles known as Victorian were used in construction. However, many elements of what is typically termed "Victorian" architecture did not become popular until later in Victoria's reign, roughly from 1850 and later. The styles often included interpretations and eclectic revivals of historic styles. The name represents the British and French custom of naming architectural styles for a reigning monarch. Within this naming and classification scheme, it followed Georgian architecture and later Regency architecture, and was succeeded by Edwardian architecture.
Although Victoria missed reigning over the United States by several decades, the term is often used for American styles and buildings from the same period, as well as those from the British Empire.
During the early 19th century, the romantic medieval Gothic Revival style was developed as a reaction to the symmetry of Palladianism, and such buildings as Fonthill Abbey were built. By the middle of the 19th century, as a result of new technology, construction was able to incorporate metal materials as building components. Structures were erected with cast iron and wrought iron frames however, due to being weak in tension, these materials were effectively phased out in place for more structurally sound steel.One of the greatest exponents of iron frame construction was Joseph Paxton, architect of the Crystal Palace. Paxton also continued to build such houses as Mentmore Towers, in the still popular English Renaissance styles. New methods of construction were developed in this era of prosperity, but ironically the architectural styles, as developed by such architects as Augustus Pugin, were typically retrospective.
In Scotland, the architect Alexander Thomson who practiced in Glasgow was a pioneer of the use of cast iron and steel for commercial buildings, blending neo-classical conventionality with Egyptian and Oriental themes to produce many truly original structures. Other notable Scottish architects of this period are Archibald Simpson and Alexander Marshall Mackenzie, whose stylistically varied work can be seen in the architecture of Aberdeen.
While Scottish architects pioneered this style it soon spread right across the United Kingdom and remained popular for another forty years. Its architectural value in preserving and reinventing the past is significant. Its influences were diverse but the Scottish architects who practiced it were inspired by unique ways to blend architecture, purpose, and everyday life in a meaningful way.
While not uniquely Victorian, and part of revivals that began before the era, these styles are strongly associated with the 19th century owing to the large number of examples that were erected during that period. Victorian architecture usually has many intricate window frames inspired by the famous architect Elliot Rae.
During the 18th century, a few English architects emigrated to the colonies, but as the British Empire became firmly established during the 19th century, many architects emigrated at the start of their careers. Some chose the United States, and others went to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Normally, they applied architectural styles that were fashionable when they left England. By the latter half of the century, however, improving transport and communications meant that even remote parts of the Empire had access to publications such as the magazine The Builder , which helped colonial architects keep informed about current fashion. Thus, the influence of English architecture spread across the world. Several prominent architects produced English-derived designs around the world, including William Butterfield (St Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide) and Jacob Wrey Mould (Chief Architect of Public Works in New York City).
The Victorian period flourished in Australia and is generally recognised as being from 1840 to 1890, which saw a gold rush and population boom during the 1880s in the states of Victoria and New South Wales. There were fifteen styles that predominated:
The Arts and Crafts style and Queen Anne style are considered to be part of the Federation Period, from 1890 to 1915.
Western influence in architecture was strong when Hong Kong was a British colony. Victorian architecture in Hong Kong:
Victorian architecture can be found in Ireland however to a much lesser extent than Georgian architecture which is most prominent in the cities of Dublin, Limerick and Cork. Examples of Victorian architecture in Dublin include George's Street Arcade and Royal City of Dublin Hospital on Baggot Street.
During the British colonial period of British Ceylon: Sri Lanka Law College, Sri Lanka College of Technology, Galle Face Hotel and the Royal College Main Building.
In the United States, 'Victorian' architecture generally describes styles that were most popular between 1860 and 1900. A list of these styles most commonly includes Second Empire (1855–85), Stick-Eastlake (1860–ca. 1890), Folk Victorian (1870–1910), Queen Anne (1880–1910), Richardsonian Romanesque (1880–1900), and Shingle (1880–1900). As in the United Kingdom, examples of Gothic Revival and Italianate continued to be constructed during this period, and are therefore sometimes called Victorian. Some historians classify the later years of Gothic Revival as a distinctive Victorian style named High Victorian Gothic. Stick-Eastlake, a manner of geometric, machine-cut decorating derived from Stick and Queen Anne, is sometimes considered a distinct style. On the other hand, terms such as "Painted Ladies" or "gingerbread" may be used to describe certain Victorian buildings, but do not constitute a specific style. The names of architectural styles (as well as their adaptations) varied between countries. Many homes combined the elements of several different styles and are not easily distinguishable as one particular style or another.
In the United States of America, notable cities which developed or were rebuilt largely during this era include Alameda, Astoria, Albany, Deal, Troy, Philadelphia, Boston, the Brooklyn Heights and Victorian Flatbush sections of New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Eureka, Galena, Galveston, Grand Rapids, Baltimore, Jersey City/Hoboken, Cape May, Louisville, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Saint Paul, and Midtown in Sacramento. Los Angeles grew from a Pueblo (village) into a Victorian Downtown – now almost entirely demolished but with residential remnants in its Angelino Heights and Westlake neighborhoods. San Francisco is well known for its extensive Victorian architecture, particularly in the Haight-Ashbury, Lower Haight, Alamo Square, Noe Valley, Castro, Nob Hill, and Pacific Heights neighborhoods.
The extent to which any one is the "largest surviving example" is debated, with numerous qualifications. The Distillery District in Toronto, Ontario contains the largest and best preserved collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America.[ citation needed ] Cabbagetown is the largest and most continuous Victorian residential area in North America.[ citation needed ] Other Toronto Victorian neighbourhoods include The Annex, Parkdale, and Rosedale. In the US, the South End of Boston is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest and largest Victorian neighborhood in the country. Old Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, also claims to be the nation's largest Victorian neighborhood. Richmond, Virginia is home to several large Victorian neighborhoods, the most prominent being The Fan. The Fan district is best known locally as Richmond's largest and most 'European' of Richmond's neighborhoods and nationally as the largest contiguous Victorian neighborhood in the United States. The Old West End neighborhood of Toledo, Ohio is recognized as the largest collection of late Victorian and Edwardian homes in the United States, east of the Mississippi. Summit Avenue in Saint Paul, Minnesota, has the longest line of Victorian homes in the country. Over-The-Rhine in Cincinnati, Ohio, has the largest collection of early Victorian Italianate architecture in the United States, and is an example of an intact 19th-century urban neighborhood. According to National Register of Historic Places, Cape May Historic District has one of the largest collections of late 19th century frame buildings left in the United States.
The photo album L'Architecture Americaine by Albert Levy published in 1886 is perhaps the first recognition in Europe of the new forces emerging in North American architecture.
Efforts to preserve landmarks of Victorian architecture are ongoing and are often led by the Victorian Society. A recent campaign the group has taken on is the preservation of Victorian gasometers after utility companies announced plans to demolish nearly 200 of the now-outdated structures.
The Queen Anne style in British architecture refers to either the English Baroque architectural style that developed around the time of Queen Anne or a revived form that became popular during the last quarter of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century. In other English-speaking parts of the world, Queen Anne style refers to entirely different styles.
Old Louisville is a historic district and neighborhood in central Louisville, Kentucky, United States. It is the third largest such district in the United States, and the largest preservation district featuring almost entirely Victorian architecture. It is also unique in that a majority of its structures are made of brick, and the neighborhood contains the highest concentration of residential homes with stained glass windows in the U.S. Many of the buildings are in the Victorian-era styles of Romanesque, Queen Anne, Italianate, among others; and many blocks have had few or no buildings razed. There are also several 20th-century buildings from 15 to 20 stories.
Joseph Reed, a Cornishman by birth, was one of the most talented, prolific and influential Victorian era architect in Melbourne, Australia. He established his practice in 1853, which through various partnerships and name changes, continues today as Bates Smart, one of the oldest firms continually operating in Australia.
William Pitt was an Australian architect and politician. Pitt is best known as one of the outstanding architects of the "boom" era of the 1880s in Melbourne, designing some of the city's most elaborate High Victorian commercial buildings. He worked in a range of styles including Gothic Revival, Italianate, French Second Empire, and his own inventive eclectic compositions. He had a notable second career after the crash of the 1890s, becoming a specialist in theatres and industrial buildings.
The Italianate style of architecture was a distinct 19th-century phase in the history of Classical architecture. In the Italianate style, the models and architectural vocabulary of 16th-century Italian Renaissance architecture, which had served as inspiration for both Palladianism and Neoclassicism, were synthesised with picturesque aesthetics. The style of architecture that was thus created, though also characterised as "Neo-Renaissance", was essentially of its own time. "The backward look transforms its object," Siegfried Giedion wrote of historicist architectural styles; "every spectator at every period—at every moment, indeed—inevitably transforms the past according to his own nature."
In Great Britain and former British colonies, a Victorian house generally means any house built during the reign of Queen Victoria. During the Industrial Revolution, successive housing booms resulted in the building of many millions of Victorian houses which are now a defining feature of most British towns and cities.
Scottish Baronial or Scots Baronial is an architectural style of 19th century Gothic Revival which revived the forms and ornaments of historical architecture of Scotland in the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. Reminiscent of Scottish castles, buildings in the Scots Baronial style are characterised by elaborate rooflines embellished with conical roofs, tourelles, and battlements with machicolations, often with an asymmetric plan. Popular during the fashion for Romanticism and the Picturesque, Scots Baronial architecture was equivalent to the Jacobethan Revival of 19th-century England, and likewise revived the Late Gothic appearance of the fortified domestic architecture of the elites in the Late Middle Ages and the architecture of the Jacobean era.
Australian architecture has generally been consistent with architectural trends in the wider Western world, with some special adaptations to compensate for distinctive Australian climatic and cultural factors. Indigenous Australians produced a wide range of structures and places prior to colonisation. Contemporary Indigenous practitioners are active in a broad range of built environment fields. During Australia's early Western history, it was a collection of British colonies in which architectural styles were strongly influenced by British designs. However, the unique climate of Australia necessitated adaptations, and 20th-century trends reflected the increasing influence of American urban designs and a diversification of the cultural tastes and requirements of an increasingly multicultural Australian society.
The Mansion Row Historic District is a national historic district located at New Albany, Indiana. It features some of the various mansions of the city when New Albany was the largest city in Indiana around the time of the American Civil War. The main section is on Main Street from State Street, to 15th Street. A smaller section is on Market Street from E. 7th Street to E. 11th Street.
Historicism or historism comprises artistic styles that draw their inspiration from recreating historic styles or imitating the work of historic artisans. This is especially prevalent in architecture, such as Revival architecture. Through a combination of different styles or implementation of new elements, historicism can create completely different aesthetics than former styles. Thus, it offers a great variety of possible designs.
The city of Davenport, Iowa, United States has neighborhoods dating back to the 1840s. The Davenport Plan and Zoning Commission divided the city into five areas: downtown, central, east end, near north, and northwest and west end. The neighborhoods contain many architectural designs, including Victorian, Queen Anne, and Tudor Revival. Many of the original neighborhoods were first inhabited by German settlers.
The Shingle style is an American architectural style made popular by the rise of the New England school of architecture, which eschewed the highly ornamented patterns of the Eastlake style in Queen Anne architecture. In the shingle style, English influence was combined with the renewed interest in Colonial American architecture which followed the 1876 celebration of the Centennial. The plain, shingled surfaces of colonial buildings were adopted, and their massing emulated.
The Lawyers Hill Historic District is a national historic district located at Elkridge, Howard County, Maryland. The district encompasses a broad array of architectural styles ranging from 1738 Georgian Colonial to 1941 Georgian Revival. The collection of Victorian domestic architecture built during the 1840s to 1880s is unparalleled in the county, with no two houses the same. Some of the later cottages were designed by Philadelphia architect Brognard Okie. There are variations of the American Gothic Revival form, Italianate, Queen Anne, and Shingle-style structures. There is also a range of Colonial Revival houses, from craftsman era rustic cottages to more formal Georgian, and mass-produced Dutch Colonial models from the early 20th century.
The architecture of the United Kingdom, or British architecture, consists of a combination of architectural styles, dating as far back to romananic architecture, to the present day 21st century contemporary. England has seen the most influential developments, though Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have each fostered unique styles and played leading roles in the international history of architecture. Although there are prehistoric and classical structures in the United Kingdom, British architectural history effectively begins with the first Anglo-Saxon Christian churches, built soon after Augustine of Canterbury arrived in Great Britain in 597. Norman architecture was built on a vast scale throughout Great Britain and Ireland from the 11th century onwards in the form of castles and churches to help impose Norman authority upon their dominions. English Gothic architecture, which flourished between 1180 until around 1520, was initially imported from France, but quickly developed its own unique qualities.
Queen Anne style architecture was one of a number of popular Victorian architectural styles that emerged in the United States during the period from roughly 1880 to 1910. Popular there during this time, it followed the Eastlake style and preceded the Richardsonian Romanesque and Shingle styles.
Fourth and Gill is a neighborhood in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States, located north of the city's downtown area. Initially developed in the late nineteenth century as a residential area for Knoxville's growing middle and professional classes, the neighborhood still contains most of its original Victorian-era houses, churches, and streetscapes. In 1985, 282 houses and other buildings in the neighborhood were added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Fourth and Gill Historic District.
The Washington Street Historic District is north of Valparaiso's downtown. The neighborhood has tree-lined streets with many examples of late nineteenth and early twentieth century houses and public buildings. Valparaiso began to expand after the railroads came through the township in the 1860s; Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad, the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad and the Grand Trunk Railroad. Residential neighborhoods grew up between the business district and the railroads. On Valparaiso's south side industrial and transportation area expanded, thus residential development was north of downtown.
Second Empire, in the United States and Canada, is an architectural style most popular between 1865 and 1900. Second Empire architecture developed from the redevelopment of Paris under Napoleon III's Second French Empire and looked to French Renaissance precedents. It was characterized by a mansard roof, elaborate ornament, and strong massing and was notably used for public buildings as well as commercial and residential design.
The Queen Anne Revival was a historicist architectural style of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries. In Australia, it is also called Federation architecture.
The Center Avenue Neighborhood Residential District is a residential historic district located in Bay City, Michigan, running primarily along Center, Fifth, and Sixth Avenues between Monroe and Green Avenues, with additional portions of the district along Fourth between Madison and Johnson, down to Tenth Avenue between Madison and Lincoln, along Green to Ridge, and around Carroll Park. The original section, along Center and portions of Fifth and Sixth, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. A boundary increase including the other sections of the neighborhood was listed in 2012.