Victorian Era

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  6. Victorian Era

c. 19th century – early 20th century
Europe and North America

Influence of Gothic architecture, English Tudor, and Industrial Revolution resulted in Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, Industrial, Beaux-Arts, Arts and Crafts

Industry and commerce greatly influenced this Victorian period with the advancement of construction techniques using brick, machined wood, wrought iron, and glass.


Victorian Gothic Revival, England

Construction during the reign of Queen Victorian sought to revive the medieval gothic style.

British Queen Anne Revival, England

The original Queen Anne style refers to the British late Baroque period of the early 18th-century. Queen Anne Revival, on the other hand, was the popular return to vernacular architecture in England during the late 19th- to early 20th-century Victorian era using red brick and white woodwork.

Queen Anne Victorian, United States

Although this style gave roots to North American Queen Anne Victorian, this North American style is very different. Defined by corner turrets (small tower elements), turned wood finials, and enriched wood moldings and dentils (tooth-like projections at soffits and cornices), the Queen Anne Victorian style used decorative machined wood referred to as “gingerbread” ornamentation, painted to stand out around pastel-colored homes.

Queen Anne Victorian homes – San Francisco, California

Folk Victorian, United States

Simpler than Queen Anne Victorian homes, the more standard “folk” Victorian style in North America eliminated ornamental gingerbread detailing such as those found in the Alphabet district of Nob Hill in Portland, Oregon.

Folk Victorian homes in Portland, Oregon


The innovation of the Crystal Palace, which was built in 1851 for the first World Exhibition—the brain-child event of British Prince Albert—inspired the industrial movement, but was accidentally burned down in 1936. In the 19th century, cast and wrought iron, mechanization, and mass production lead to new innovations in building production,

Industrial, France

The Eiffel Tower, built for Paris’ 1889 World Exhibition, used wrought iron in its construction and, once completed, was the tallest building in the world at 300 meters (over 1000 feet) tall.

Tour Eiffel, Paris

Industrial, Spain

The Valencian Art Nouveau style seen in Valencia’s marketplaces applies a form of Industrial cast-iron and glass architecture.

Mercado Colón, Valencia
Mercat Central, Valencia


École des Beaux-Arts in Paris taught classical principles of order, symmetry, and formality combined with more flamboyant Renaissance grandiosity, ornamentation, and ideals using modern materials such as iron and glass. Many of the best-known European and American architects studied here at during the 19th and early 20th century.

Beaux-Arts, France

Several examples are found throughout Paris, the birthplace of the Beaux-Arts architectural style.

Palais Garnier, Paris
Balanced symmetry and classic order of Beaux-Arts at the Opéra Garnier, est. 1862 in Paris
Grand Palais, Paris
Beaux-Arts architecture at the Grand Palais, est. 1900 in Paris
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Interior of Musée d’Orsay, the converted Beaux-Arts train station completed in 1900

Beaux-Arts, United States

American architects like Julia Morgan, the first female architect licensed in California and best known for designing the Hearst Castle, studied in Paris at l’École des Beaux-Arts. The school’s style became especially popular in the US after the Chicago Exposition until the Great Depression.

Grand Central Station, New York City – Est. 1913