Victorian & Edwardian Homes of Island of Alameda
Queen Victorian ruled the British Empire for a long time, from 1837 until she died in 1901. Her son Edward VII then reigned until his death in 1910. In the United States, the structures built during their reigns are called Victorian and Edwardian in their honor. However during that time a handful of styles were popular here. This is a guide to house styles in Alameda during the decades from 1970 until 1910. Please note that the decades assigned to each style are approximate and some home combine elements of different styles.
1870’s: Italianate Houses
Italianate Style-Flat front houses
Style cues: False front, brackets, uncomplicated window decoration, no bay windows, simple hand-turned millwork. Originally painted to mimic stone, such as limestone, marble or granite. A rare few survive on the island. To see one, visit 2252 Encinal Avenue between Oak & Walnut.
Italianate Style-Slant bay houses
Style cues: Projecting bay windows, false front, brackets, “classical” redwood millwork. To see one, Visit 1630 Central Ave between Paru & Grand streets, built in 1876 for John A Anthony.
1880’s: Stick Style Houses
Style cues Rectangular bay windows, sometimes topped by a “fake” gable or Friend cap, exuberant inventive machine-made redwood decorations. Originally painted three to four colors close in hue. To see a good example of the one-store version, visit 1900 Alameda Ave at Lafayette, built in 1885 by A.C. Gilbert & Company. To eyeball the two-store variety, seek out 1402, 1406 & 1410 Santa Clara Ave between Morton & Benton Streets, built in 1885 by E.W. Lewis.
1890’s Queen Anne Houses
Queen Anne Tower House
Style Cues: Round & Octagonal tower, gable with attic or living space, shingles, spindles, art glass inventive plaster embellishment. Originally painted so the each story was a different earth tone, with darkest color on bottom. A most tasty tower house can be found at 2070 San Jose Ave on the corner of Willow Street, built in 1893 and designed by architect Charles S. Shaner.
Queen Anne Cottage
Style Cues: Gable roof with lavish decoration, brand of shingles and whimsical plaster embellishment, often the form of leaves, flowers & faces. A juicy pair to visit: 1215 and 1219 Pacific Ave between Bay & Sherman streets, built in 1895 by Marcuse & Remmel
1900’s-1910’s: Revival Style Houses
Colonial Revival houses
Style Cues: Classically derived details: columns, pilasters, dentils, egg and dart molding, and Palladian windows. A grand example of the style can be enjoyed at 1303 Caroline street, build in 1899 by D. Straub & Sons for Captain James C Eschen. The Myers House Museum, 2021 Alameda Ave is also of the Colonial Revival persuasion
At 1200 St Charles Street is a delicious one designed for Fred W Voolgt by architect B.E. Remmel and featured in the April, 1898 issue of The California Architect and Building News.
The Myers House Museum, 2021 Alameda Ave is also of the Colonial Revival persuasion.
Dutch Colonial Revival Houses
Style Cues: A ski-jump roof, a cold weather anomaly in the clement weather of Alameda. Architect A.W. Smith helped popularize this style. A sweet example of be found at 915 San Antonio Ave, built in 1880 for machinist A.M. Morrison.
This article was reprinted with permission from Judith Lynch of Alameda, California.