Queen Anne Exuberance in Los Angeles

The Hale House, designed by architect Joseph Cather Newsom, was built in 1887 by real estate developer, George W. Morgan at an original cost of less than $4,000. It is a wonderful example of the sophisticated play of form, texture, and varied materials often found in Queen Anne houses. A polychrome color scheme typical of the time highlights these character-defining features and combines with light and shadow to to show them off.

Popularized by magazines and house plan books, houses in this style were built from coast to coast. Technological advancements including the development of balloon framing and steam mills to produce turned and sawn wood ornament allowed the construction of houses with complex forms and elaborate detail at reasonable prices. The widespread availability of pre-mixed paints in cans around the same time contributed to the fashion for polychrome paint schemes.

More than 50 photos are used to illustrate the style in Chapter 2 of “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.” Understanding the style of a house is the essential first step in developing a restoration plan that prioritizes the preservation and restoration of character-defining features while making changes necessary for modern life in an old house.

The book is now available in bookstores nationwide and through online retailers.

Signed copies can be ordered directly from the author on this site.

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