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. 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.
An architectural style is characterized by the features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of style in the visual arts generally, and most styles in architecture related closely to the wider contemporary artistic style. A style may include such elements as form, method of construction, building materials, and regional character. Most architecture can be classified within a chronology of styles which changes over time reflecting changing fashions, beliefs and religions, or the emergence of new ideas, technology, or materials which make new styles possible.
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Known as the Victorian era, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire.
In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, and its later half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodists, and the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Britain's relations with the other Great Powers were driven by the colonial antagonism of the Great Game with Russia, climaxing during the Crimean War; a Pax Britannica of international free trade was maintained by the country's naval and industrial supremacy. Britain embarked on global imperial expansion, particularly in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history. National self-confidence peaked.
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.
Symmetry in everyday language refers to a sense of harmonious and beautiful proportion and balance. In mathematics, "symmetry" has a more precise definition, that an object is invariant under any of various transformations; including reflection, rotation or scaling. Although these two meanings of "symmetry" can sometimes be told apart, they are related, so in this article they are discussed together.
Palladian architecture is a European style of architecture derived from and inspired by the designs of the Venetian architect Andrea Palladio (1508–1580). What is recognised as Palladian architecture today is an evolution of his original concepts. Palladio's work was strongly based on the symmetry, perspective, and values of the formal classical temple architecture of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. From the 17th century Palladio's interpretation of this classical architecture was adapted as the style known as "Palladianism". It continued to develop until the end of the 18th century.
Fonthill Abbey—also known as Beckford's Folly—was a large Gothic revival country house built between 1796 and 1813 at Fonthill Gifford in Wiltshire, England, at the direction of William Thomas Beckford and architect James Wyatt. It was built near the site of the Palladian house, later known as Fonthill Splendens, which had been constructed by his father William Beckford. This, in turn, had replaced the Elizabethan house that Beckford the elder had purchased in 1744 and which had been destroyed by fire in 1755. The abbey's main tower collapsed several times, lastly in 1825 damaging the western wing. The entire abbey was later almost completely demolished.
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.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
Alexander "Greek" Thomson was an eminent Scottish architect and architectural theorist who was a pioneer in sustainable building. Although his work was published in the architectural press of his day, it was little appreciated outside Glasgow during his lifetime. It has only been since the 1950s and 1960s that his critical reputation has revived—not least of all in connection with his probable influence on Frank Lloyd Wright.
Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, and the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Historically part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the local authority is Glasgow City Council. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. It is the fifth most visited city in the UK.
While Scottish architects pioneered this style it soon spread right across the United Kingdom and remained popular for another 40 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.
The Jacobethan or Jacobean Revival architectural style is the mixed national Renaissance revival style that was made popular in England from the late 1820s, which derived most of its inspiration and its repertory from the English Renaissance (1550–1625), with elements of Elizabethan and Jacobean.
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.
Néo-Grec was a Neoclassical revival style of the mid-to-late 19th century that was popularized in architecture, the decorative arts, and in painting during France's Second Empire, or the reign of Napoleon III (1852–1870). The Néo-Grec vogue took as its starting point the earlier expressions of the Neoclassical style inspired by 18th-century excavations at Pompeii, which resumed in earnest in 1848, and similar excavations at Herculaneum. The style mixed elements of the Graeco-Roman, Pompeian, Adam and Egyptian Revivals into "a richly eclectic polychrome mélange." "The style enjoyed a vogue in the USA, and had a short-lived impact on interior design in England and elsewhere."
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.
The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its occupants, the Palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London, England.
Sir Charles BarryFRS RA was an English architect, best known for his role in the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster in London during the mid-19th century, but also responsible for numerous other buildings and gardens. He is known for his major contribution to the use of Italianate architecture in Britain, especially the use of the Palazzo as basis for the design of country houses, city mansions and public buildings. He also developed the Italian Renaissance garden style for the many gardens he designed around country houses.
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin was an English architect, designer, artist and critic who is principally remembered for his pioneering role in the Gothic Revival style of architecture. His work culminated in designing the interior of the Palace of Westminster in Westminster, London, England, and its iconic clock tower, later renamed the Elizabeth Tower, which houses the bell known as Big Ben. Pugin designed many churches in England and some in Ireland and Australia. He was the son of Auguste Pugin, and the father of Edward Welby and Peter Paul Pugin, who continued his architectural firm as Pugin & Pugin. He also created Alton Castle in Alton, Staffordshire.
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 state of Victoria. 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:
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, Midtown in Sacramento, Angelino Heights and Westlake in Los Angeles. 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.
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.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, also known by its former name Victoria Terminus, is a historic terminal train station and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
The Queen Anne style in British architecture refers to either the English Baroque architectural style approximately of the reign of Queen Anne, or a revived form that was popular in 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.
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.
Over-the-Rhine is a neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. Historically, Over-the-Rhine has been a working-class neighborhood. It is also believed to be one of the largest, most intact urban historic districts in the United States.
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.
Australian residential architectural styles have evolved significantly over time, from the early days of structures made from relatively cheap and imported corrugated iron to more sophisticated styles borrowed from other countries, such as the Victorian style from the United Kingdom, the Georgian style from North America and Europe and the Californian bungalow from the United States. A common feature of the Australian home is the use of fencing in front gardens, also common in both the UK and the US.
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.
Federation architecture is the architectural style in Australia that was prevalent from around 1890 to 1915. The name refers to the Federation of Australia on 1 January 1901, when the Australian colonies collectively became the Commonwealth of Australia.
Historicism or also 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.
In the United States, Queen Anne-style architecture was popular from roughly 1880 to 1910. "Queen Anne" was one of a number of popular architectural styles to emerge during the Victorian era. Within the Victorian era timeline, Queen Anne style followed the Stick 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.
Thomas Lainson (1825–1898) was a British architect. He is best known for his work in the East Sussex coastal towns of Brighton and Hove, where several of his eclectic range of residential, commercial and religious buildings have been awarded listed status by English Heritage. Working alone or in partnership with two sons as Lainson & Sons, he designed buildings in a wide range of styles, from Neo-Byzantine to High Victorian Gothic; his work is described as having a "solid style, typical of the time".
In the United States, the National Register of Historic Places classifies its listings by various types of architecture. Listed properties often are given one or more of 40 standard architectural style classifications that appear in the National Register Information System (NRIS) database. Other properties are given a custom architectural description with "vernacular" or other qualifiers, and others have no style classification. Many National Register-listed properties do not fit into the several categories listed here, or they fit into more specialized subcategories.
The Decatur Historic District is a residential historic district in the Millikin Heights neighborhood of Decatur, Illinois. The district encompasses the city's historic Near West and Southwest neighborhoods and was formed beginning in the 1850s and continuing through the 1920s. Nearly all of the popular architectural styles from this period are represented in the district. A number of professional architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, designed homes in the district, giving it exceptionally high-quality architecture. The earlier houses mainly have Italianate designs; several Gothic Revival buildings from this period are also included. The Queen Anne and Classical Revival styles were popular in houses built in the late 19th century, though Romanesque and Tudor Revival houses were also designed in this period. The early 20th century brought the district the Colonial Revival style and several independent styles associated with the more prominent architects such as Wright.
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.
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.