Artwork By Ursula Roma
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Victorian Vernacular 1870 - 1895

Vernacular is used to describe houses that lack strong stylistic tendencies. Victorian refers to the period of the reign of Queen Victoria of England, and is commonly used to describe houses of styles that were popular during that period (Gothic Revival, Italian Villa, Italianate, French Second Empire, and Queen Anne are Victorian styles). What is meant by "Victorian Vernacular" is a particular type of Cincinnati house that was built between 1870 and 1895. It is typically one-and-a-half or two-and-a-half stories high, has clapboard or brick siding, a front porch, two-bay facade, and a front gable roof, with a window in the gable. Some of these houses have no ornamentation at all. Others have detailing, usually limited to porch and gable decoration, and decorative siding treatments borrowed from the Stick, Eastlake, Queen Anne, and Late Gothic styles. Stick style detailing includes patterns of vertical, horizontal, and diagonal boards, called "stickwork," applied to wood siding, and porches composed of plain square posts with diagonal bracing. Eastlake is a style of ornamentation applied to houses of late 19th-century styles such as Queen Anne. Eastlake porches include elaborate turned posts (posts with a circular shape achieved by cutting on a lathe), curved brackets, and railings with turned spindles. Machine-carved and cut-out wood panels in gables, and decorative bargeboards (gable trim) are other elements of the Eastlake Style. Decorative brickwork, stone banding, tall, narrow windows (sometimes with pointed arches), and gable trim are typical of the Late Gothic Style. Classical porches and shingles in the gable are among Queen Anne features that may be seen on Victorian Vernacular houses.

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