DESIGN || ARCHITECTURE > VICTORIAN

c. 19th century
Europe and North America — Influence of Gothic architecture, French and Italian Renaissance, English Tudor, and Industrial Revolution creates Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, Industrial, Beaux-Arts, Arts and Crafts

Before explorers landed on the shores of the Americas, natives had developed communities and empires for centuries. Building methods were based on the climate, resources, and ways of living.

Numerous inhabitants included many native tribes across the US, the Aztec Empire of the central basin surrounding Lake Texcoco, the Mayans of the Yucatan Peninsula, and the Incan Empire of South America. While ultimate fear and disease exposure resulted in many of these cultures being extinguished or diminished or absorbed by the early Europeans, relics and methods continue to be preserved.

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, North America

Although this style gave roots to North American Queen Anne Victorian, this 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

Industrial, France

The innovation of the Crystal Palace that was built in 1851 for the first World Exhibition—the brain-child event of British Prince Albert—inspired the industrial movement. In the 19th century, cast and wrought iron, mechanization, and mass production lead to new innovations in building production, such as at the Eiffel Tower, built for Paris’ 1889 World Exhibition.


Beaux-Arts, France

Inspired by Renaissance revival ideals (which disputed Victorian Gothic revival ideals), architecture using order, formal symmetry, and elaborate, grandiosity ornamentation characterized the principles of French neoclassicism taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, such as with the Opèra de Palais Garnier in Paris, France (1861–1875).

Balanced symmetry and classic order at the Opéra de Palais Garnier – Paris, France