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Victorian Homes of Olympia, Washington
- Elements of Victorian Décor
If you live in a Victorian home or love Victorian style - here are suggestions how to integrate the old with the new.
So what exactly is a Victorian home? The term “Victorian Style” is loosely based on a particular style of architecture that became popular during the reign of Queen Victoria between 1837 and 1901. As the style moved from England to the United States there were several sub-types that arose, namely Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire and Stick-Eastlake.
By the end of the 19th Century the Queen Anne style became popular and there was quite a bit of overlap between the two styles.
The Greek Revival style were mostly symmetrical and had understated moldings and heavy cornices. These were quite popular between 1825-1850.
The Gothic Revival was inspired by medieval castles and featured tall pinnacles and parapets. This style was popular between 1840-1880.
The Italianate style was popular between 1840-1890 and featured asymmetric floor plans, flat roofs and sought to appear like a country villa.
Second Empire homes were taller, slimmer, and highly-ornate in character and style. Most were built between 1855 and 1885 and this style was very popular in San Francisco as that city grew. They also featured mansard roofs, or roofs that had two slopes and were flat on top.
Stick-Eastlake homes were more muted and had uncluttered lines and came into prominence between 1860 and 1890.
QUEEN ANNE HOMES
The main difference in Queen Anne homes was in the detail. Posts would have attractive patterns carved into them. Intricate artwork on the upper half of a wall was common and carved wooden decorations were often found on the outside, as well as steep gables and conical roofs. You would also often see large balconies gracing the upper floors.
PUT THEM ALL TOGETHER AND YOU HAVE?????
Well, you have somewhat of a mish-mash, especially in the United States. To say a home in the U.S. is a Victorian is a little like saying a person is white. There is a whole lot of wiggle room in that description and it can encompass quite a bit.
THE VICTORIANS OF OLYMPIA
Michael Simmons and George Bush (no, not that George Bush) and a group of pioneers established the town of New Market in the Washington Territory in 1846. New Market eventually became the city of Tumwater, sitting on the banks of the Deschutes River.
Also in 1846, Edmund Sylvester and Levi Smith laid claim to property three miles north of New Market, a spot that is now downtown Olympia, on the banks of Puget Sound.
As settlers continued to arrive, homes were built in the Victorian style. Only a few still remain in Olympia today. Many of the original homes built during that time were torn down in favor of commercialization. Luckily, six still remain, and they are a joy to see on a Sunday drive.
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
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