Queen Anne Victorian House (1880-1910)

Reference: A Field Guide to American Houses, Virginia & Lee McAlester, 1984.

The Queen Anne style is named and popularized by a group of 19th-century English architects led by Richard Norman Shaw and is from the Medieval tradition of architecture. The roofs are steeply pitched of irregular shape, usually with a dominant front-facing gable. Patterned shingles, cutaway bay windows, and other devices are used to avoid a smooth-walled appearance. The facade is asymmetrical with partial or full-width porch, which usually extend along one or both sidewalls.

The Old-House Journal, July 1982

The Queen Anne House is usually a two-storey house distinguished by asymmetrical massing and a variety of shapes and textures—all of which combine to produce a highly picturesque effect. Vertical surfaces are divided into a series of horizontal bands through the use of varying siding materials, such as stone, brick, clapboard, and shingles with differing end cuts. Steep gables, towers, dormers, balconies and verandahs further enrich the surfaces. There often is a gable in the verandah roof over the entrance. Windows often have art glass, providing a surface richness that echoes the richness of the siding materials. Porches frequently display elaborately turned spindle work, and there is sawn wood ornament decorating the verge boards and the prominent gables. Multiple roofs make a complex skyline, which is further accentuated by tall chimneys with decorative brickwork that is sometimes inset with terra cotta panels. The house often has classical details, such as swags, garlands, classical porch columns, etc.

In 1982 The Old-House Journal developed the “Princess Anne” definition for a style orphan house built extensively from 1900 to 1920. The Princess Anne retains much of the asymmetrical massing of its parent, but the surface treatment is much simpler. Gone are the multiple bands of shingles, each with different cuts on the butt ends. In their place are simple clapboards or straight-cut shingles or combinations of the two. The horizontal division of the vertical surfaces is less pronounced than on the Queen Anne. Like the Queen Anne, the Princess Anne house has multiple roofs and gables—but minus the highly decorated verge boards and gable ornaments. Sometimes there will be a vertical tower with a “candle snuffer” top. Surfaces are further elaborated with bays, oriels and verandahs—and the verandah roof frequently retains the Queen Anne gable over the entrance. The porch, like the rest of the exterior, has much less applied ornamentation than on a Queen Anne. The Princess Anne will have an occasional classical detail (e.g., a Palladian window), which sometimes misleads people into calling it a Colonial Revival.

Harrison Street in the North Hyde Park Historic District has many fine Queen Anne houses. Two of the houses are also listed in the Kansas City Register. They are:

3328 Harrison Street
3328 Harrison St.
Built in 1896
Edward H. Morgan

3334 Harrison Street
3334 Harrison St.
Built in 1890
Edward F. Swinney

600 E. 36th Street
600 E. 36th Street