Picture the exact opposite of minimalism, and you’ve got Queen Anne architecture. Endlessly ornate, this intricate style is not for the faint of heart and, frankly, we can’t get enough of it. There’s something fantastical about these homes that makes us want to curl up by the fire and disappear in a book.
Frequently with gingerbread-like spindles and towers topped with “witches’ hats”, Queen Anne
style homes began breaking the mold in American architecture back in 1880, introduced by British architect Richard Norman Shaw. The movement’s heyday lasted about 30 years, but the wraparound porch, a hallmark feature, continued to be popular in subsequent trends, such as Shingle Style homes in New England.
If you’re the nostalgic type who enjoys bold period details and elaborate architectural embellishments, these spirited homes will be right up your alley. Among the most celebrated examples in the United States are San Francisco’s Painted Ladies and the Carson Mansion in Eureka, California, though there are plenty of Queen Anne homes to be found here in Boston, such as at 130 and 137 Mount Vernon Street in Beacon Hill.
To learn more about Queen Anne architecture and where it can be seen throughout the city, visit our guide, Architectural Styles of Greater Boston! So if you become a master of the Queen Anne style make sure to take a look at the Federal Style.