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Late Nineteenth Century Victorian Styles (2.1.1.1.4)

Queen Anne Style (2.1.1.1.4.2)

Queen Anne style houses were erected in Elizabeth City during the 1890s and into the first decade of the twentieth century in a variety of sizes to meet the needs of both small businessmen and wealthy industrialists. The major characteristic of the style is an emphasis on the asymmetrical juxtaposition of gables, projecting wings and bays, porches, towers, and dormers; the tallest central portion of the Queen Anne style house often has a high hip roof. The epitome of Queen Anne asymmetry in Elizabeth City is the White-Love House (204 West Ehringhaus Street, 1903), which combines a pedimented cross-gable main block with a central tower and an extensive wrap-around porch with end pavilions. More modest examples usually lack a tower but rely on gables and porches for asymmetrical character. The design, whether large or small, is embellished with an imaginative use of different wall textures and sawn and turned millwork, with many of the eclectic elements borrowed from the Shingle, Stick, and Eastlake vocabularies. While examples from the 1890s are ornamented with a variety of Victorian decorations, Queen Anne style houses erected at the turn of the century and during the early twentieth century were finished with reserved classical elements borrowed from the increasingly popular Colonial Revival style.

Because of their size and expense, the finest Queen Anne style residences in the city are prominently sited along the major thoroughfares of traditionally white neighborhoods, particularly West Main, West Church, and North Road streets. One of the oldest is the Mack N. Sawyer House (701 North Road Street, 1895), the design of which focuses on a pair of three-stage corner towers that frame a central double-tier pedimented porch. An identical form combines Colonial Revival detail in the Dr. Samuel W. Gregory House (701 West Church Street, 1902). The asymmetrical design of the Preyer-Cropsey-Outlaw House (1109 Riverside Avenue, 1891) combines a square tower--unique in town--with ornate Eastlake gables and a replacement Colonial Revival style porch.

Queen Anne style dwellings without towers are numerous in the city. Many have porch pavilions with conical roofs to mimic towers, such as the Sophia K. Chapman House (801 South Road Street, ca. 1904). Here a polygonal pavilion at the porch corner balances a two-story bay window covered by a partial octagonal roof. While the finish of the John A. Kramer House (313 West Main Street, 1909) is wholly Colonial Revival, Queen Anne form is created by a porch pavilion, a small recessed second story porch, anct a diminutive gable at the steps. Similar dwellings, but without the pavilion and of smaller scale, were erected by Kramer several years earlier as rental houses at 407 and 409 West Main Street (ca. 1903). Houses that rely on a projecting gable to provide asymmetry include the Percy S. Vaughan House (111 West Burgess Street, ca. 1899), with modest Eastlake porch, and the Annie E. Jones House (200 Speed Street, ca. 1903).

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