Return to Content

Yankee Classic: Guide to House Styles in New England

Second Empire houses are queenly. The diagnostic feature is the mansard roof carried like a crown on decorative brackets. With their projecting central pavilions, very tall windows, and iron roof cresting, these are the most stately of the Victorians. Queen Anne houses often look pointy and sometimes higgledy-piggledy, for it is in this type that the roofs are steepest and building most asymmetrical; corner bays and towers accentuate this effect. Spindlework porches, patterned shingling, and stained glass make this the archetypical gingerbread house.

Shingle houses are covered with shingles from top to toe and have less fancy trim work. With their smooth walls, multi-eaved roofline, and intersecting gables, they give the impression of a ship under full sail.


An excellent keep-in-the-car reference is A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia and Lee McAlester (Alfred A. Knopf; 1990, $21.95 , softcover). To learn more about houses open to the public, contact the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (SPNEA), 141 Cambridge St., Boston, MA 02114; 617-227 -3956.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

We reserve the right to remove or edit comments that are offensive or disrespectful to our readers and/or writers, cannot be verified, lack clarity, or contain profanity. Your comments may be republished by Yankee Magazine across multiple platforms.

Register Sign In

©2015, Yankee Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Yankee Publishing Inc., | P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444 | (603) 563-8111

< Prev

Restore Wood Furniture with Wax | DIY Instructions

Antique DeskAre you fed up with dull finishes and scratches on your wooden furniture? The old-fashioned—and ...

Related Articles

Next >

Budget Bedroom Makeovers

BedroomIs your bedroom starting to look old and tired? Revive it in a weekend with ...

Related Articles