Queen Anne Style - Table of Contents........... Styles of Architecture

Queen Anne (1880-1910)
By Francis R. Kowsky

Excerpt from Intensive Level Historic Resources Survey: City of Buffalo: Broadway-Fillmore Neighborhood.

Named for the early eighteenth-century British monarch, the Queen Anne movement began in England in the 1860s. The term is associated there with the revival and reinterpretation of several stylistic currents that prevailed in Britain from the late fifteenth through the early eighteenth centuries. Sources ranged from strictly medieval ones, such as the half-timbered structures of the Tudor era, to the mixed styles of the later periods: either the Elizabethan and Jacobean modes, in which Renaissance classicism was beginning to influence traditional Gothic design, or provincial Late Stuart and Early Georgian architecture, which incorporated holdovers from the Gothic period in buildings conceived in the Renaissance manner.

These varied sources all come together in Queen Anne building. The influence of medieval England and France is reflected in asymmetrical massing; use of overhangs and jetties; tall chimneys with pilasters, corbelled tops, or other patterned brickwork; and richly patterned and textured wall surfaces.

Where financial resources permitted, exterior surfaces were covered with several materials; stone, brick, slate, terra cotta, stucco, half-timber, clapboard, and shingle. Stucco might be molded or studded with stones or broken glass to emulate the pargeting found on old English dwellings. Patterned shingles, very common even on inexpensive houses, imitated in wood the sheathing of slates or tiles found on some medieval structures.

High hip roofs and cylindrical or polygonal towers or turrets with conical roofs emulate forms derived from the chateaus, manors, and farmhouses of northwestern and central France.

Classical applied ornament is usually derived from American Colonial and Federal sources: broken-scroll pediments; Palladian, elliptical, and circular (bull's-eye) windows; and garland-and-swag decoration. The inclusion of projecting and recessed porches and balconies, often decked with spindles and turned posts, is one of the less derivative, more inventive features of the American Queen Anne Style.

A large number of houses in Buffalo's West Side incorporate such elements.

The pure Queen Anne is relatively rare, while the Modern Colonial, Colonial Revival, and hybrid Queen Anne/Modern Colonial and Queen Anne/Colonial Revival styles are plentiful. Further, the influence of the Queen Anne persisted in vernacular building practice, as contractors continued to build projecting bays and towers on residences until the First World War and to use patterned shingle work on dwellings into the 1920s. The City of Buffalo offers a wide range of Queen Anne residences from modest to high style.

Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood

The naissance of the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood corresponds to the Queen Anne style’s popularity in the United States. However, the neighborhood contains mainly hybrid examples of the style with elements of the Colonial Revival or Craftsman. Typically, the best represented sub-type of the Queen Anne in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood is the 2.5-story, front or closed-gabled residence with modest stylistic features that were adapted by local builders. These details include turned porch supports and spindlework ornamentation, gable and porch pediment detailing with patterned wood shingles or elaborate motifs. Representative examples of hybrid Queen Anne residences in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood are located at 996 and 1030 Fillmore Avenue, 264 Fox Street, 104 Loepere Street, 387 and 394 Sherman Street, 470 Sweet Street, and 799 Sycamore Street.

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