What Are the Key Differences Between the Edwardian and Victorian Styles of Housing in San Francisco?


Quick Answer

A Queen Anne Victorian house is very grand and ornate. Turrets, curved windows and elaborate and intricate woodwork are signature markers of such a house. Edwardian houses tend to have tall ceilings, bay windows and less elaborate woodwork than the Queen Annes, though the two types frequently share details such as stained glass and double parlors. Both are popular styles in the San Francisco area.

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The Italianate is another popular Victorian style. The hallmark characteristics of this type of house are quions along the edges; tall, narrow windows with rounded tops; a porch with a portico; classical columns and pilasters; and the look of stone. A third style of house, Victorian Stick, is known for long, thin pieces of wood, called “sticks,” decoratively applied to the surface, especially at corners. Stick homes from the 1870s are particularly elaborate. San Francisco has the greatest concentration of stick style homes in the world.

A subset of the Edwardian period is the craftsman house, which tends to emphasize the horizontal. There are often bands of windows on the facade. Other characteristics include the use of native, natural construction materials; projecting eaves and exposed rafter ends; and casement windows with art glass. Mission revival homes also became popular during the Edwardian period. Their hallmark trait is a Mission-shaped parapet or window dormer, from which the style gets its name.

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