An inspiration for Victorian era structures was based on Medieval architecture, specifically, the steep irregular roofs of the cathedrals of the Gothic age. In addition to the precipitous roofs, these buildings are also distinguished by their turrets and rounded porches.
The American version was somewhat different as the Late Victorian Period was a time of growth and change in America. But the American style has nothing to do with British royalty. This was the time period in American architecture known for highly decorative designes. All of these styles are described as “Victorian” but many buildings of these buildings borrowed stylistic elements from several earlier architectural styles, so they were not pure examples English Victorian design. Some builders added arches, pointed windows and other elements borrowed from the middle age Gothic style, as well as from the Renaissance period.
The rooms are large, with high ceilings, and fire places usually found in the grand room. Often the interiors have dimly lit hall ways, due to the inefficient amount of light that comes from the windows. Quite different from today’s style of house with floor to ceiling plate glass windows and skylights.
Many 19th century houses were built in this form, which had an aesthetic beauty in itself. Ironically, American Victorian houses were favorites for 20th century movie directors who often used them to portray the backdrop for horror films. These houses are often seen in small towns, but also in the suburbs of big cities. In New York City’s outer boroughs, many Victorian-American homes are located in many of the neighborhoods and in Manhattan, many Victorian buildings can be found along Broadway, but on many other streets and avenues as well.