Unlike many architectural styles where a list of common characteristics defines the style, a Queen Anne cannot be described with a list of common elements. But at the same time a Queen Anne is easy to spot. They are very ornate and incorporate a lot of exterior ornamentation. They are sometimes called gingerbread houses.

Also unlike other architectural styles in the United State that bear the names of English or British monarchs and reflect the architectural style of those periods, Queen Anne style houses are not reflective of architecture built during her reign. Rather the name came from the Scottish architect Richard Norman Shaw and his followers who used the term “Queen Anne” to describe their work. This style was popular during the reign of Queen Victoria and so it is also correct to call this style a Victorian Queen Anne. (In Britain “Queen Anne” does refer to architectural styles that were being built there during her reign from 1702 through 1714).

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