This style has nothing to do with Queen Ann or the formal Renaissance architecture that was dominant during her reign. It is associated with English architects led by Richard Norman Shaw. As it was interpreted in America, it satisfied the need of the newly rich of the 19th century industrial era for symbols of wealth and success. It became the style for the "Gilded Age". Queen Anne is usually the predominant style in towns that experienced an increase in wealth in the early 1900's. The first true American Queen Anne architecture was H.H. Richardson's William Watts Sherman house in Newport R.I. This early design has a half timbered second story.
Queen Anne style is identified by steeply pitched slate roofs, irregular shape, front facing gables, patterned shingles (often called fish scales), cut-away bay windows with large panes one over one with the upper panel having smaller set in panes, partial or full width porch, some with spindlework ornamentation, patterned masonry, towers, and surging chimneys. Houses were often painted in bright clear colors with contrasting trim.
Queen Anne interior style could be adapted to houses large enough for the biggest family or scaled to cottages. Some think it the style of extreme excess but it is truly one of the most interesting American styles.
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