Queen Anne

Architectural Styles in Rensselaer County: 1880s and 1890s

The Queen Anne Style takes its name from the reign of an 18th century English queen and was initially inspired by medieval English country cottages.

This style emphasized functional layouts, so these homes generally have a rambling plan and irregular roof lines. Gables, massive chimneys, dormers and bay windows are all common features of the Queen Anne Style.

These buildings are highly decorative. This effect was often produced by combining colors and textures. For instance, different wall surfaces, such as shingles, clapboards and panels of wood ornament may occur on one building. Extensive use of sawn ornament to accent dormer windows or detail porches also helped to create a decorative effect.

The wealth of Queen Anne details and preference for asymmetrical massing encouraged highly individualistic free-flowing designs.

Queen Anne - One50.jpg

Queen Anne buildings are often irregular in shape with a variety of colors, textured materials and ornamentation used.

Several types of siding materials can be use on one house: brick, masonry, wooden shingles and clapboard.

Windows may be a mixture of sizes and shapes including one-over-one double hung sash, stained glass, round-arched, or the Queen Anne window (see below).

The complex shape can be achieved with the use of dormers, towers, turret roofs, and porches.

Decorated chimney caps and iron cresting can set off the roof.

Queen Anne - One50.jpg

A large pane of glass surrounded by smaller panes, often of colored glass, is a component of the style and referred to as a Queen Anne window.

Walls and siding flare out between floors.

A variety of shingle patterns included the "fish scale" patterns at right.

Turned and carved wooden details were part of the "Eastlake" version of the Queen Anne style.

Decorative Gable

Decorative Gable

A number of Queen Anne style details can be seen in this photo:

  • Triangular pediments and other classical features
  • Decorative shingle patterns
  • Variety of window types including the Queen Anne window
  • "Eastlake" details such as turned wooden spindles