These now-uncommon houses have asymmetrical multi-storey profiles with a turret – that is, a projecting bay, often hexagonal or octagonal, extending from the house walls and topped with a pointed roof that might be hipped or conical. The house’s main roof may be gabled or hipped. Many are clad in a variety of textures, including fishscale shingles and narrow board siding. Porches may have a pediment in line with the front door and posts with elaborate fretwork brackets (“gingerbread”). Remaining Queen Anne style houses are local landmarks, especially in Grandview.
The Queen Anne Revival style has little to do with the actual English Queen Anne or architecture from her reign (1702 – 14). One of the most popular styles of the late Victorian era, the Queen Anne Revival style developed in Britain thanks to a renewed interest in architecture of the late medieval period. Following its introduction to North America, it quickly adapted for the new environment. Rather than symmetrical masonry buildings in the English style, the Vancouver Queen Anne Revival is a confection of textures and gingerbread ornamentation. The term is used specifically to describe turreted pre-World War One houses.
Pattern books and the first architectural magazine, The American Architect and Building News, made the Queen Anne Revival popular. In Vancouver, an abundance of locally manufactured pre-cut detailing . Middle- and Upper-class homes in Vancouver, as in much of North America, made use of gingerbread detailing. The elaborate detailing, textures, and turrets of the Queen Anne style are among the most iconic of the Victorian-era styles.
- Steep, irregular roof
- Corner tower or turret, sometimes with conical roof
- Asymmetrical shape
- Partial or full width porch – often wrap around
- Bay windows
- Gingerbread (elaborate fretwork braces)
- A variety of surface textures (ie. fishscale shingles)
A variety of cladding types on Queen Anne Revival houses provide contrasting textures. This can include narrow siding, drop siding, patterned shingles, and drop-siding within a frame. The façade is often decorated with moldings highlighting floors, while ornamentation such as gingerbread, ornamental spindles, and brackets enliven porches and gables. Windows are usually double-hung, and may have leaded or stained glass in upper sections.