If you don't know much about architecture, don't worry. This book does not read like an architecture textbook. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by how readable this book is. Although it is 240 pages long, I breezed through it in one day.
The beautiful photographs are just the icing on the cake. The author composed a wonderful comparison of various Victorian homes throughout the United States. She divided the houses into various categories according to their location: Summer Houses, Suburban Houses, Urban Houses, Rural Houses, and Houses in town. She also provided a background on the families who built these historic homes and the architects that designed them.
This book illustrates the unique aspects of the American Queen Anne style versus the English Queen Anne home. The Queen Anne style had one rule, there were no rules. Queen Anne homes displayed various textures, shapes, and colors in the exterior, which critics viewed as disorganized. The style however, was uniquely American. Although it was influenced by the English Queen Anne Revival and English architects, such as Richard Norman Shaw, the different building materials available in the United States, the climate, and the growing desire for sanitation and comfort distinguish the American Victorian home from its English counterpart.
Here is a list of the homes discussed:
Watts Sherman House
Edward Brooke House
Charles Baldwin House
Montrose Park: 351 Hartford Road & 426 Center Street
William E. Conover House
Ovide Broussard House
John Fahnstock House
Elisa Michael's House
Shelton-Mc Murphey-Johnson House
Milton J. Carson House