What makes this house a Queen Anne style Victorian?
One of the former owners of this house was a Japanese craftsman who went to art school in Long Beach. I asked him about this, and this was his answer…
Most of the elements that distinguish this home as a Queen Anne Victorian can be found in the front facade of the house. On the front in the triangle pediment under the forward facing gable over the patio, there is fish scale shingle decoration and small windows. This is a unique element of Queen Anne style which cannot be found in Stick style houses.
The small pane glass windows that can be seen on the cut-away bay window and the front porch window is also a unique element of Queen Anne style. This is largely decorative as in fact there are very low in the attic and do not let in a whole lot of light. I’m sure this and many other hundred year old houses in San Pedro still keep the original windows.
At the bottom of the triangle pediment, you can find the frieze which sits on top of the spindle column. A frieze is a horizontal band which is famous in ancient architectures like the Parthenon, which in Greece had Greek letters and sculpture engravings. In this house, you can see that the frieze goes around the whole house. This structural element allows for the house to have a very high ceiling (over 10 feet high).
An additional note on the structure of the house is it was built using long 2 x 4 lumber – it’s likely that the house is built with “balloon framing“ which has the 2 x 4 lumber as long “studs” extending uninterrupted from the sill on top of the foundation all the way up to the roof. This style of construction was popular for homes from 1890 until the late 1930s, and seems to be quite hardy as our home (and many like it in San Pedro) is still doing well after over a hundred years.
I think this house has a Queen Anne style facade which can be fairly commonly found in the US. If you walked around San Pedro, you will still find similar homes from the period, though in my biased opinion our Queen Anne has one of the more charming and well preserved facades I’ve seen.