Edwardian Architecture

A History of Edwardian Architecture In San Francisco

Edwardian Architecture is an architectural style in the late 19th century that briefly lasted from 1901 to 1918. It was coined after Queen Victoria’s son, King Edward VII’s reign. Edwardian Architecture has features resembling a mixture of 18th century France architecture and of the 17th century Sir Christopher Wren’s English Baroque architecture. It has distinct characteristics such as rough or patterned surface, elaborated arched opening, domed cornered pavilions, and a long sequence of columns in the Ionic order. Other unique features of Edwardian Architecture includes lighter colors, simple decorative patterns, and grouped ornaments.

In 1906, a disastrous earthquake and fire in San Francisco destroyed numerous Victorian houses. San Franciscans started to rebuild their city that happened simultaneously during the Edwardian period. The myriad of houses constructed displayed the trend and cultural taste of the early 20th century. Even wealthy San Franciscans veered away from flamboyant and flashy homes and opted for simple and solid ones. Edwardian Architecture styled homes are mostly in the south of Market, Downtown, and Mission neighborhoods. Thus, San Francisco became an architecturally Edwardian City.

Interior and Exterior Features

Several styles comprise Edwardian Architecture. Popular Edwardian styles are Queen Anne, Arts and Crafts, Shingle Edwardian, Tudor Edwardian, Mission Revival Edwardian, and Craftsman Edwardian.

The Queen Anne style is distinctive because of its bay windows, stained glass, pointed roofs, and irregular-shaped fronts. The Arts and Crafts Style emulated a mix of Tudor and Gothic styles. This style features square chimneys, stone bricks, a projecting ledge, and a glass window. Shingle Edwardian style is simple and studded with shingles. Tudor Edwardian can also be confused with Arts and Crafts style. It is a mixture of stone, stucco, and timber with steep roofs and colored glass. The Spanish influenced Mission Revival Edwardian style has unique balustrades, plaster, and wood trims. And the Craftsman Edwardian features significant art glass windows. Edwardian Architecture mostly has central columns, a rustic facade, domed pavilions, and arch-shaped openings. Large, open spaces were familiar with Edwardian homes. It has hardly any interior walls and features great, large rooms.

Edwardian Architecture, In a Class By Itself

If you are not into architecture, you might never come across the word Edwardian or Edwardian Architecture. It is a fact that knowing the architectural styles is not everyone’s priority. While visiting, exploring, or wanting to live in San Francisco seems appealing to almost anyone, the truth is, being acquainted with the architectural types can make you appreciate the place more. Every period has its specific look, and one can see how the once broken-down frontier settlement San Francisco turned into a vibrant cosmopolitan city. The enthralling history of San Francisco, its struggles and losses coupled with the advancements and its Industrializations have played a great role in the aesthetic change of its architectural style. The Edwardian homes have a deeply rooted history, and just like the entire city itself, the history of Edwardian Architecture is significant. One will not only be captivated by its beauty but also by its history.

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