Victorian Era Beauty

A Victorian era beauty on a spring day in Portland, Maine.

Open Gable Mansard? Some houses are difficult to place in a particular style or type. If the lower roof pitch on this house wrapped around the gable end, it would be a full-on Mansard roof, the form that defines a Second Empire style house.

Built c. 1870, the house is too early to be Queen Anne, the surface treatment is too plain to be Stick Style, and the roof is insufficiently Mansard-ed to be full Second Empire. I consider it a variant of Second Empire, but others could argue for other styles. “Eclectic Victorian-era” might be the safest description. I’m going with Second Empire with open gable Mansard roof.

Second Empire is one of 25 styles and types described and illustrated with hundreds of color photos in “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.” Understanding the style of a house and identifying its character-defining features is the first step in planning a restoration that preserves the most important historic features of the house while making it livable for the 21st century.

The 720-page award-winning and best-selling hardcover book now available in bookstores nationwide and from online retailers.

Signed and personalized copies are available directly from the author in the shop on this page, https://yourhistorichouse.com/shop/.

Bookstores can order copies from W.W. Norton.

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