Victorian houses date from the early nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Each is as beautiful and interesting as the others when restored well. If you are considering a project or just love the look, we found restored Victorian houses you won’t want to miss.
Each has its own style and features. The earliest Victorian style was the Classical Revival. The name comes from the Greek and Roman flavors fused into the design. Neoclassicism actually began much earlier but remained popular throughout the Victorian period. To see some examples, see our post with stunning photos of Neoclassical houses.
Italianate style followed in the 1820s. Italianate designs looked to 16th century Italian Renaissance architecture for inspiration. Second Empire style stretched from the mid 19th century to the first part of the twentieth. It involved a mixture of different European styles. The Gothic Revival style dates from the 1880s. Its roots go back more than a hundred years before that, though. Folk Victorian is a less complex style that was also popular at that time. Toward the end of the period, the Queen Anne and Arts and Crafts styles arose.
Victorian houses are very popular with home buyers. Their elegance and beauty set them apart from their modern neighbors. Their grand appearance make them extra attractive to DIY fans. Many people have found cheap deals picking up a Victorian fixer. Could restoring a Victorian be for you?
We found twenty-one of America’s most beautifully restored Victorian houses. Take a spin through our gallery and find your favorite style.
Italianate design became popular in the 1820s. Most notable, the practical square shape and flexible floor plan made it a great choice for middle-class families. The Italian inspired design was romantic enough for the adventurous and practical enough for more timid buyers. The Italianate style became the most popular style in the United States for much of the nineteenth century.
Some of the features of Italianate houses include:
- A boxy footprint, sometimes asymmetrical
- Wood siding for middle-class homes
- Brick or stone walls for upper class homes
- A flat roof with corniced eaves
- Two over two double hung windows
- Curved or molded window caps
- A square tower or cupola
- Corinthian columns
1. Philip Chapin House, New Hartford, CT (1867)
William Bushnell built this house in 1867 as a wedding present for his daughter, Amelia, to Philip Chapin. Hermon Chapin, Philip’s father, gave the couple the land. After Amelia died in 1878, Philip left Connecticut. The house changed hands many times between 1887 and the present. You can see the square cupola that is a hallmark of the Italianate style. There are also Corinthian columns, and two over two double hung windows.
2. Row House, Washington, DC.
This bright beauty features a flat roof with corniced eaves. Its boxy shape and wood siding mark it as a middle-class home. The facade is asymmetrical with the door on one side instead of the center. There are double hung windows.
3. McDowell House, East Illinois (1874)
Notice the square cupola, corniced eaves, and rounded, double hung windows. These are all hallmarks of the Italianate style. The brick suggests it was originally an upper-middle-class home. The house fell into disrepair. Restoration began in 1987. In 2007, New Prairie Construction won a Landmark Heritage Award for its remodel of the property.
Second Empire houses mix features from different European styles. Some of these features include:
- Mansard roofs (a symmetrical, four sided sloping roof)
- Low domes with square bases
- Rich, elaborate decoration
- Octagonal towers
- Solid, flat facades
- Construction with brick, stone or wood siding
4. Gilbert Croff House, Hudson, NY (1870s)
Architect Gilbert Croff designed this house in the 1870s. Notice the mansard roof and the hexagonal tower. Elaborate decoration surrounds the double hung windows. Decorative cornices abound.
5. Fred B. Sharon House, Davenport, IA (1910)
Fred B. Sharon was the founder of the Davenport newspaper The Catholic Messenger. Sharon built this house in 1910. You can see the hallmark mansard roof. The square based dome is also characteristic of this style. The decorative iron rails on the towers are typical for Second Empire houses. Notice also the Corinthian columns and ornate window decorations. The construction is brick with a shingled roof.
6. Heck-Wynne House, Oakwood, Raleigh, NC (1872-1875)
Colonel Jonathan M. Heck built this house between 1872 and 1875. It is one of three houses that he built during this time. This house has an L-shaped footprint. It is wood construction on a brick foundation. Notice the mansard roof, decorative columns, and Eastlake style wrap-around porch. The Eastlake porch actually marks the beginning of the Queen Anne style movement. But the Register of Historic Places still lists Heck-Wynne house as Second Empire.
7. Heck-Andrew House, Raleigh, NC (1870)
Colonel Jonathan M. Heck finished this house in 1870. It was one of the first new houses anyone had built in Raleigh after the Civil War. The house remained in the Heck family until 1916. Then the house changed hands a few times before the North Carolina government bought it in 1987. In 2016, the North Carolina of Realtors bought the property. They plan to use it for offices. Notice the slate mansard roof and central tower. There is also a wraparound porch and decorative columns.
The Gothic Revival style started in the mid 18th century, but reached peak popularity in the 1880s. Gothic Revival is a reaction against the clean, simple lines of the Neoclassical style. Gothic Revival looks to the ornate Gothic cathedrals of the middle ages for inspiration. Some features that mark a house as Gothic Revival include:
- Lancet windows
- Doors and windows with pointed arches
- Lacy “gingerbread” stone or wood decoration
8. Rose Hill Mansion, Bluffton, SC (1850s)
Physician Dr. John Kirk and his wife Caroline began building Rose Hill Mansion in the late 1850s. The Civil War interrupted the construction. The interior was not finished until 1946. In 1987, a fire destroyed much of the house. It sat in ruin until the Middleton White Foundation bought and restored it. Today it is a private residence. The owners also make it available for tours and events. Notice the pointed windows and arches, and the lacy “gingerbread” trim that mark this house as Gothic Revival.
9. Frank Pulaski Gothic Revival, Cuthbert, GA (1880)
Frank Pulaski built this sprawling mansion in 1880. This Gothic Revival house has eighteen rooms, ten fireplaces, and eleven original closets. Gothic Revival details include grained walnut wood, patterned glass, and the hallmark decorative lacy touches. Pointed window arches on the second floor also mark this as a Gothic Revival.
10. Roseland Cottage, Woostock, CT (1846)
English architect Joseph Wells designed this house and built it for John Chandler Bowen. Notice the lacy “gingerbread” trim. The wood siding is vertical board and batten. There are pointed arches, dormers, and pinnacles. Roseland Cottage now belongs to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities.
The Folk Victorian style was popular around the same time as Gothic Revival. But, like the Italianate style, Folk Victorian used simple lines and regular floor plans. It did not rely on elaborate decoration. Some features of Folk Victorian houses include:
- Simple square and L-shaped buildings
- No-nonsense decoration
- Produced from widely distributed plans
- Generally built with the working class in mind
11. Farm House, Callicoon, NY (1902)
This 1902 farmhouse was in terrible shape. The current owners spent two years restoring it. You can see before and after pictures and read the story in Country Living magazine. It is now a family home. It boasts wooden siding and L-shaped footprint. Notice the clean lines and no-nonsense decoration. This is an excellent example of the Folk Victorian style.
12. Family Home, Canandaigua, NY (1901)
The firm HDDC design remodeled this 1901 Folk Victorian house. Its clean lines give it a bright, cheerful feel. Subtle decoration adds interest. This house has a large porch and a square footprint. The house is in Canandaigua, NY. It is now a family home.
The Queen Anne style became popular in the late 19th and early 20th century. Queen Anne houses typically have a simple design, but with more decoration. Often those designing Queen Anne houses lived in the area. The style is somewhat different in the United States and Britain. Queen Anne houses painted in three or more bright colors are called Painted Ladies. Some features that mark an American Queen Anne house include:
- A wraparound porch
- An asymmetrical facade
- A prominent, front-facing gable
- Overhanging eaves
- A round, square, or multi-sided tower
- Second story porches
13. Allyn Mansion, Delavan, WI (1885)
The Allyn Mansion, built for the Allyn family in 1885. It remained in the family until after the second world war. The family sold the house to the city. The city later turned it into a nursing home. After the nursing home closed, the mansion became a furniture store. The furniture store closed in 1983, and the house sat on the market for over a year. After years of work, Allyn Mansion is now an award-winning bed and breakfast. Its restoration won three awards. Including awards from the National Trust, the Wisconsin State Historical Society and the Wisconsin Trust for Historic Preservation. You can read more at the Allyn Mansion website.
14. Family Home, New Orleans, LA (1895)
This house is a classic example of Queen Anne style. Pay attention to the wraparound porch with turned wood spindles. There is a gable sunburst, and gingerbread trim on the roof. There are stained glass windows in the stairwell. The house also has an asymmetrical footprint, with a tower and balconies. It is now a private home. You can read more about its restoration at Nola.com.
15. A. Taylor Ray House, Gallatin, MO (1896)
The A. Taylor Ray House is also called the Tuggle House. It was built in 1896. This wood frame house sits on a limestone foundation. It has a mixture of styles. Notice the mansard roof, pyramid, and gable. It also has an asymmetrical facade.
The term “Victorian” covers a lot of ground. Luckily, homes from this era abound. Maybe you’ll be able to find yours.