When I was in second grade, my oldest sister took me on a summer trip to Cape May, NJ. As we took in the spectacularly detailed historical architecture of the beach town, she taught me the term “Victorian.” This in turn led to my obsession with Samantha, the American Girl doll representing the Victorian era. I read all the books, visualizing the fancy parlors, sweeping porches and ornate details of the houses. This was my first foray into architecture, and it planted the seeds that would one day lead to my decision to study architecture.
Naturally, when it came time to claim the letter Q in our ongoing series of Design from A to Z, I, Quelcy, jumped at the chance. Q is that letter that is often neglected, left out of alphabet decor or dreaded in games of Scrabble, but today, I’m celebrating the letter Q in the form of the Queen Anne Style of Victorian architecture.
The term “Queen Anne Style” is a bit of a misnomer. Named for the 18th-century monarch, the style was popular from 1860-1890 in England and later in the United States. The key identifiers are the steeply pitched roofs, prominent, forward-facing gables, partial or full-width porches, towers or turrets, long and narrow windows, and highly decorative and colorful brickwork. But mostly, they are the features of my second-grade dreams. —Quelcy