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 (see Historicism). 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 did not reign over the United States, 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 practised 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.
Some styles, while not uniquely Victorian, are strongly associated with the 19th century owing to the large number of examples that were erected during that period:
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:
Georgian architecture is more prominent in Ireland than Victorian architecture. The cities of Dublin, Limerick, and Cork are famously dominated by Georgian squares and terraces. Though Victorian architecture flourished in certain quarters. Particularly around Dublin's Wicklow Street and Upper Baggot Street and in the suburbs of Rathmines, Ranelagh, Rathgar, Rathfarnham, and Terenure. The colourful Italianate buildings of Cobh are excellent examples of the regional Victorian style in Ireland. Further examples of Victorian architecture in the country include Dublin's George's Street Arcade, the Royal City of Dublin Hospital on Baggot Street and the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital on Adelaide Road.
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.
Notable Victorian-inspired cities 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, San Francisco 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 particularly well-known for its extensive Victorian architecture, especially in the Haight-Ashbury, Lower Haight, Alamo Square, Western Addition, Mission, Duboce Triangle, 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.
Canada's chief dominion architects designed numerous federal buildings over the course of the Victorian era. Thomas Fuller's completion of the Canadian Parliament Buildings in 1866, in particular, established a High Victorian Gothic influence over Canadian architectural design for several consecutive decades, producing many public buildings, churches, residences, industrial buildings, and hotels.
Because India was a colony of Britain, Victorian Architecture is prevalent in India, Especially in cities like Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, In Mumbai (Formerly called Bombay) buildings like Municipal Corporation Building, Bombay University, Bombay High Court, Asiatic Society of Mumbai Building (Former Town Hall) and the David Sasoon Library are some example of Victorian Architecture in Mumbai. In Kolkata (Formerly called Calcutta) buildings like the Victoria Memorial, Calcutta High Court, St Paul's Cathedral, The Asiatic Society of Bengal are some examples of Victorian Architecture in Kolkata. In Chennai (Formerly called Madras) some examples include Madras High court, State Bank of Madras and St. Mary’s Church.
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.
Gothic Revival is an architectural movement that began in the late 1740s in England. The movement gained momentum and expanded in the first half of the 19th century, as increasingly serious and learned admirers of the neo-Gothic styles sought to revive medieval Gothic architecture, intending to complement or even supersede the neoclassical styles prevalent at the time. Gothic Revival draws upon features of medieval examples, including decorative patterns, finials, lancet windows, and hood moulds. By the middle of the 19th century, Gothic had become the preeminent architectural style in the Western world, only to fall out of fashion in the 1880s and early 1890s.
The Queen Anne style of British architecture refers to either the English Baroque architecture of the time of Queen Anne or the British Queen Anne Revival 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, New World Queen Anne Revival architecture embodies entirely different styles.
William Wilkinson Wardell (1823–1899) was a civil engineer and architect, notable not only for his work in Australia, the country to which he emigrated in 1858, but for a successful career as a surveyor and ecclesiastical architect in England and Scotland before his departure.
Joseph Reed, a Cornishman by birth, was a 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 was a distinct 19th-century phase in the history of Classical architecture. Like Palladianism and Neoclassicism, the Italianate style drew its inspiration from the models and architectural vocabulary of 16th-century Italian Renaissance architecture, synthesising these 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."
Romanesque Revival is a style of building employed beginning in the mid-19th century inspired by the 11th- and 12th-century Romanesque architecture. Unlike the historic Romanesque style, Romanesque Revival buildings tended to feature more simplified arches and windows than their historic counterparts.
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.
London's architectural heritage involves many architectural styles from different historical periods. London's architectural eclecticism stems from its long history, continual redevelopment, destruction by the Great Fire of London and The Blitz, and state recognition of private property rights which have limited large scale state planning. This sets London apart from other European capitals such as Paris and Rome which are more architecturally homogeneous. London's architecture ranges from the Romanesque central keep of The Tower of London, the great Gothic church of Westminster Abbey, the Palladian royal residence Queen's House, Christopher Wren's Baroque masterpiece St Paul's Cathedral, the High Victorian Gothic of The Palace of Westminster, the industrial Art Deco of Battersea Power Station, the post-war Modernism of The Barbican Estate and the Postmodern skyscraper 30 St Mary Axe 'The Gherkin'.
Architecture of Australia 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.
Australian non-residential architectural styles are a set of Australian architectural styles that apply to buildings used for purposes other than residence and have been around only since the first colonial government buildings of early European settlement of Australia in 1788.
Summit Avenue is a street in St. Paul, Minnesota, United States, known for being the longest avenue of Victorian homes in the country, having a number of historic houses, churches, synagogues, and schools. The street starts just west of downtown St. Paul and continues four and a half miles west to the Mississippi River where Saint Paul meets Minneapolis. Other cities have similar streets, such as Prairie Avenue in Chicago, Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, and Fifth Avenue in New York City. Summit Avenue is notable for having preserved its historic character and mix of buildings, as compared to these other examples. Historian Ernest R. Sandeen described Summit Avenue as "the best preserved example of the Victorian monumental residential boulevard."
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 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 architecture of St. Louis exhibits a variety of commercial, residential, and monumental architecture. St. Louis, Missouri is known for the Gateway Arch, the tallest monument constructed in the United States. Architectural influences reflected in the area include French Colonial, German, early American, European influenced, French Second Empire, Victorian, and modern architectural styles.
The Great Architecture of Mumbai blends Gothic, Victorian, Art Deco, Indo-Saracenic & Contemporary architectural styles. Many buildings, structures and historical monuments remain from the colonial era. Mumbai, after Miami, has the second largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world.
The architecture of the United Kingdom, or British architecture, consists of a combination of architectural styles, dating as far back to Roman 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 Second Empire and Stick styles and preceded the Richardsonian Romanesque and Shingle styles. Sub-movements of Queen Anne include the Eastlake movement.
College Square Historic District is a nationally recognized historic district located on a bluff north of downtown Davenport, Iowa, United States. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The district derives it name from two different colleges that were located here in the 19th century.
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.