Topbar 1.gif Topbar 2.gif
Topbar 3.gif



The classic Victorian styles refer to the three ornate types of architectural style popular during the reign of Queen Victoria. After 1900, it is technically correct to call the style 'Edwardian' to reflect the reign of Prince Edward, and it is simpler. Edwardian is often distinguished by bilateral columns of bay windows in a duplex with a central portico and is more common in San Francisco, less so in Berkeley. For simplicity, the same triangular icon is used in both cases, and also for the commercial district style (bay windows above and storefronts below) which also continued after 1900.
Italianate is often distinguished by tall, thin windows (perhaps the most consistent feature) that are sometimes rounded at the corners, cornice quoining (faux stones running up exterior building corners), and a distinctive style of simple double-turned bracketing on the eves. Generally in Berkeley, the oldest existing buildings are Italianate Victorians and tend towards less elaborate manifestations of the raised basement variety. In contrast, Italianates in San Francisco appear in the tall variety for high density living (bracketed italianate) and are often the most elaborately decorated of all the forms, even moreso than Queen Anne.

Queen Anne is Berkeley's most elaborate victorian form, often distinguished by rounded or octagonal corner towers, a tendency towards circular shapes and arches, abundant use of turned posts (lathe cut), angled or rounded bays, and a sunburst design at gable apex. A common Queen Anne form is angled bay windows recessed under a triangular gable 'cap.' Berkeley Queen Annes range from the simplest bungalows to palatial corner mansions. Amazing examples of the Queen Anne mansion are found throughout Alameda.

Stick-Eastlake (San Francisco Stick style and Eastlake style are generally lumped together) is identified by strong rectilinear ornamentation (geometric banded friezes), straight vertical lines containing horizontal panelling, square bay windows, square towers with pyramidal tops, ornamental stencil cutouts, and often a pendant and crossbar motif at gable apex.

Victorian aspects do overlap, but these are some of the basic features. The default for type of siding (no siding notation) is drop siding (recognize this as painted horizontal wood panelling with a small channel between boards).