Influencing the world from the 1830s to 1900s, the reign of Queen Victoria dominated the world of architecture in the most prevailing regions of the west. Spanning over 60 years, Victorian architecture acknowledged history while driving the present days of the 19th century.

Originated in England, the style was an elaborate merger of the classical, neo-classical and industrial elements of architecture featuring beauty, details, and drama. The most prominent revival that took place in the Victorian Era was Gothic Architecture which led to the Colonial and Romanesque Revivals towards the end of the 19th Century.

The following article highlights some of the key structures from around the world which displays the grandeur of the Victorian era in the 21st century.

1. The Gingerbread House, Savannah

The Gingerbread House is one of the most elaborate and historic structures in Savannah, America. Home to the Asendorf family in the 1800s, the house is a 3 – story mansion dipped in Victorian elements. The oak tree wooden interiors, staircase, and three fireplaces with exceptional finishing in the exteriors alongside a pop of color is a fine-tune to the gothic style of architecture. 

Today, it is one of the most prominent tourist and wedding venue attractions in Savannah, well known for preserving the historic intricacies in the heart of America.

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Gingerbread House (Source: ©https://www.shumacher.com)
The Gingerbread House, Savannah - Sheet2
Main Hall (Source: ©http://gingerbreadhouseevents.com)
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Entrance (Source: ©http://gingerbreadhouseevents.com)

2. Painted Ladies, San Francisco

Sitting in the heart of the Alamo Square Historic District of San Francisco, Painted ladies are the oldest row of housing in the residential area. Built-in the late Victorian age, the painted ladies were one of the most elegant, royal, and affordable homes of their time regarded by the Queen Anne Victorians. As a take on the colonial times, Architect Matthew Kavanaugh introduced the key features of the Victorian era. 

The steep roofs ornamented front-facing gables, surfaces glazed with tiles and patterns and projecting bay windows balanced with bright colors. The utter grace dripping off the built form is a treat to witness architecture and history on the same palette. 

Painted Ladies, San Francisco
The Facade (Source: ©http://gingerbreadhouseevents.com)

3. Rosson House Museum, Phoenix, USA

Set in the late 1800s, Rosson House is a periodic design based on Queen Anne style with Eastlake detailing. Architect Alexander P. Petit designed a context-sensitive house for the Rosson Family. The skin of the house is one-foot thick red clay brick braced with timber to provide sufficient insulation. Typical Victorian elements consisted of the wraparound verandah with posts topped with four gables punched with bargeboards and screens. 

The turret windows have signatures of victorian molds, arches, detail, and decorative features, the roof ridges with a cresting profile framing the house as a fine victorian structure. Furthermore, the interiors are set in oak wood, an elaborated ceiling, and the trademark staircase.

This rare example still prevails in the history of the Victorian age in the USA for 116 years and yet stands tall as a museum, engaging the audience to witness the grandeur of its time.

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Rosson House (Source: ©https://heritagesquarephx.org)
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Rosson House (Source: ©https://heritagesquarephx.org)
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Rosson House (Source: ©https://heritagesquarephx.org)

4. Palace of Westminster, UK

House to the Parliament of UK the palace of Westminster was designed by Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin with Gothic and Neoclassical influence in the 19th century.  The palace served as a residence to the royal family of Queen Victoria in the early years but through several changes to serve political, possession, and cultural requirements of the time. 

As a part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the palace represents the new British ideology. It depicts moving forward embracing new styles of Gothic architecture and great cathedrals. The skin of the form is made of sandy limestone. The stone could be easily carved and was resistant to coal pollution from the industrial revolution. 

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Palace OF Westminster (Source:©https://www.archdaily.com)
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Palace OF Westminster (Source:©https://www.archdaily.com)
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Palace OF Westminster (Source:©https://www.archdaily.com)

5. Cliveden House

Built on a hilltop site, the Cliveden House is an escape destination for the royal members from the court life. The 375-acre site is a lush landscape of gardens, memorials, amphitheater, and river walk. Architect and Gardner Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe designed a large Parterre with running flower sets on the hedges giving an exceptional vista view from the main house. 

The architect’s style showcases leisure, style, and culture, at first sight, showcasing the rich Victorian heritage of England.

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Cliveden House (Source: ©https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk)
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The South Terrace (Source: ©https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk)
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Gilded Gates (Source: ©https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk)

6. Palm House, Kew Gardens

This UNESCO world heritage site displays an exotic range of flora of the early British Empire. In a constructed rainforest climate to support the threatened species on Earth. Pioneer of glass architecture Architect Richard Turner designed the Palm House at Kew in England in 1844. 

Inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace, the structure welcomes tourists and exhibits tropical plant life in a Victorian setting is a clear symbol of preserving history and culture. The building depicts the complexities of early colonial styles amalgamating with industrial materials. That is wrought iron and glass making it one of the earliest surviving Victorian structures on the globe.

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Palm House, Kew Gardens (Source: ©https://www.kew.org)
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The greenhouse (Source: ©https://in.pinterest.com)
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Iron and Glass roof (Source: ©https://www.agefotostock.com)

7. Sydney Town Hall, Australia

One of the surviving structures of Australia is the Sydney Town Hall. It is a 19th Century marvel flaunting the classic Victorian influence in the continent. Sharing the essence of Neoclassical and French elements of architecture, architect John Henry Willson designed the elaborate structure consisting of mansard roofs and wrought iron cresting. The central vestibule of the hall is the heart of the building. It is mounted with an elegant elliptical dome and suspended crystal chandeliers. 

The influence of Baux Art is significant in the interiors of the Centennial Hall of the edifice. Sufficient to host over 800 people at once, the Tasmanian blackwood, stained window glass, ornate ceiling with marble pillars, the Sydney Townhall flashes the magnificence of  Australian heritage.

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Sydney Town Hall (Source: ©https://www.sydneytownhall.com.au)
Sydney Town Hall, Australia - Shee2
Centennial Hall (Source: ©https://www.sydneytownhall.com.au)
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Ornate Vestibule (Source: ©https://www.sydneytownhall.com.au)

8. Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Featured in the Netflix show The Crown, Balmoral Castle is a significant destination that hosts the royal family members of England. Built-in the reign of Queen Victoria, architect John, and William Smith designed the Scottish residence themed on Gothic Revival in 1856. 

The principal material is granite pushed with flora grounds across the 50,000-acre property. Depicting the living days of Queen Victoria, the rooms of Balmoral represent the early lives of the royal family with illustrations. The walls of the castle are painted in patterns of tartans and chintzes. Fire Screens, etched wooden cabinets, floral fabrics, and sufficient candelabra primarily adds to the Victorian theme of the castle.

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The Balmoral Castle (Source:©https://www.architecturaldigest.com)
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Queen Elizabeth with her Family (Source:©https://www.architecturaldigest.com)
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Prince Albert’s Sitting Home (Source:©https://www.architecturaldigest.com)

9. Royal Alber Hall, London

What Colosseum is to the Romans, Royal Albert Hall is to the British. Designed by Francis Fowke, Royal Albert Hall is themed over the Renaissance style during the prime years of Queen Victoria.  The elliptical hall is fabricated in red brick with a wrought iron truss supporting a glass ceiling further supported by a ring. The Royal Albert Hall is designed to house concerts and meetings for over 8000 people at once. 

Due to a magnificent host capacity, special attention focussed on the services of the hall. There are eight exits along with staircases encircling the building for fast emergency exits. With the intricate planning and material selection merged with history and culture, Royal Albert hall stands tall while Victorian architecture flourishes in the world.

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The Royal Albert Hall (Source: ©https://www.e-architect.com)
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The Concert Area (Source: ©https://www.e-architect.com)
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Crown Mouldings (Source: ©https://www.e-architect.com)

10. St Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide, South Australia

Keeping the essence of the Victorian-era beaming, St. Peter’s Cathedral revives the Gothic architecture in Australia. Architect Bishop Short laid the foundation of the cathedral in 1869 that took 40 years to complete. The main skin of the structure is of ashlar sandstone and limestone.  

Flaunting the Neo – Goth style, the form rests on arches with stained glass windows inviting dramatic light in the interiors. The spires and the towers featured in the cathedral signify the influence of Queen Victoria in Australia.

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St. Peter’s Cathedral (Source: ©https://www.adelaidereview.com.au)
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The cathedral Vestibule (Source: ©https://www.adelaidereview.com.au)
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The Construction Site of St. Peter’s (Source: ©https://www.adelaidereview.com.au)

11. Osborne House, London

Osborn House constructed in the year 1851 hosted Prince Albert and Queen Victoria to provide them a family home and a getaway retreat. Prince Albert adored Italian and Renaissance architecture. Hence the architects merged and integrated the chief elements of the same in the Osborne House. The house set in Bulgravian fashion is constructed with brick stucco with warm-colored cement making the walls appear like stone. 

The palazzo style, picturesque silhouette, towers, and terraces meet the ideas fancied by the Prince and the Queen. The income of light through plate glass windows on the ground floor enhances the aesthetics on the level while the subtle ornamentation done on the upper floors in the private rooms makes the structure a simple house to reside in.

Overlooking the gardens and waterworks on the property, binds the design together –  making the house a royal comfort to host the Queen’s family getaways. 

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The Osborne House (Source: ©https://www.english-heritage.org.uk)
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The Nursery Room (Source: ©https://www.english-heritage.org.uk)
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The Peacock Ornamentation (Source: ©https://www.english-heritage.org.uk)

12. Victoria Law Courts, Birmingham, UK

Victoria Law Courts designed by Aston Webb and Ingress Bell in 1891 is one of the most important political structures from the reign of Queen Victoria. Founded by the Queen herself, the structure serves a chief role in political, cultural, and architectural attractions in Birmingham city. 

The structure is made in red brick with Ruabon terracotta with a screen stone tiled roof. The elaborate moldings in the towers, the wrought iron inverted portcullis, and the use of turrets, sloping roofs, dark wood interiors signify inspiration from gothic and renaissance times. The extensive use of flemish and Tudorbethan style elements in the minute details of the courthouse reminds the pinnacle of Queen Victoria’s sovereignty. 

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Victoria Law Court (Source: ©http://www.victorianweb.org)
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Segmental arch at the entrance (Source: ©http://www.victorianweb.org)
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The red brick terracotta tile in the facade (Source: ©http://www.victorianweb.org)

13. Carson Mansion, California, USA

Carson Mansion was designed by Joseph Cather and Samuel Newson in 1886. The mansion is granted as one of the grandest Victorian structures in the USA. Under the influence of Queen Anne’s monarch, the building emerged as a symbol of gothic and Italianate revival. 

With the endless combination of elements in the Victorian style of architecture, the old townhome is photographed for its 100-foot high tower facing the Eureka waterfront. A signature design element in the reign of Queen Anne is the influence of Beaux art style in furniture and detailing along with a wrap-around porch in the front marking the Carson Mansion as a majestic Victorian symbol of the 19th Century. 

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Carson’s Mansion (Source: ©http://www.victoriana.com)
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The west elevation (Source: ©http://www.victoriana.com)
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Bay Window (Source: ©http://www.victoriana.com)

14. Brooklyn Bridge, New York, USA

The Brooklyn Bridge is a 486-meter long suspension bridge over the East River, designed by John Augustus Roebling. As the Victorian era influence was prevailing in the USA in the 19th Century, even their suspended structures mastered the Ne0 Gothic style of construction. The pointed arch towers are built in limestone, granite, and cement. 

The suspended cables supporting the bridge are tied in a specific way invented by John Roebling which are strong enough to cater to both automobile and pedestrian traffic. As predicted by the architect, the value of the broad promenade trademark of the bridge will be endless between the two most commercial cities in the world, that is Brooklyn and New York.

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The Brooklyn Bridge (Source: ©https://www.archdaily.com)
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Pointed Arch Towers (Source: ©https://www.archdaily.com)
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The construction Site (Source: ©https://www.archdaily.com)

15. Great Exhibition Hall, Melbourne, Australia

Set in the late 19th Century the Great Exhibition Hall is one of the most enduring monuments of its time which was built to showcase the achievements of the industrial age. It was a platform to exchange technology, culture, and ideas for the world to enhance the international economy in Australia. 

Cruciform in the plan, the great hall takes inspiration from the Beaux Art style while delivering German and Renaissance-themed interior spaces. The fanlight windows, spire towers, and the soaring dome showcase a Florence cathedral theme of architecture, triggering the merger of industry and culture in Australia during the Victorian era.

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Great Exhibition Hall(Source: ©https://whc.unesco.org)
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The main Entrance(Source: ©https://whc.unesco.org)
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The main Entrance(Source: ©https://whc.unesco.org)

Flourishing in historic towns of  America, Australia, and New Zealand, the Victorian structures with their discreet style of construction signify the history, culture, and impact of Victorians during the 1800s, which came to end due to their lack of practicality in space planning and design.

Author

Tina is an Architect and a Curator. She believes in balance and an admirer of the Prarie Style. She likes to brainstorms while ideating and curating. The ability to look beyond a defined use of material and molding and upcycling them is her USP.

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