Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Long Live the Queen!

On a drive in the country the other day I came upon this incredible vernacular frame Queen Anne style home in a riverside location. The lady is definitely showing signs of age - an aging dowager in genteel poverty. Although there is a conservation area to one side protecting the natural setting, a widened intersection has encroached on the property, detracting from the presence that the property must once have had. I had to take a number of photographs just to "take in" all the detail! The obligatory Queen Anne verandah...check. Actually, I counted five. Tower...check. Or two, if you count the very unusual 'bump' in the center to the left of the gable end.
Eclectic....check. There's a Mansard roof on the tower, and a truncated one with a dormer effect in the square wing at the left in this photo. There's a lancet arch window under the central porch. There are the expected large paned mostly rectangular windows, with some stained glass transoms. And the woodwork is eccentric to say the least. I have never seen anything like the surround on the large plate glass window. And the awning style hoods above the windows in the tower are unusual too. And the front door...and the gable vergeboarding....and the stick balustrades on the verandahs....and the paint....and then there I was sitting in the spring sunshine with my fancy-work, listening for the sounds of an eagerly awaited horse and buggy, on one of the two decorated verandahs looking over the sparkling river. Shiny new traffic lights, curbs, filter lanes, crosswalk signs and bossy traffic - all gone. Thanks your majesty, for a lovely bit of time travel.


  1. And now I will look at it with different eyes. Thanks for pointing out all the stuff I missed while I was concentrating on driving by.

  2. Yeah, I'm realizing that I just have to risk being taken for a burglar casing houses (or a wandering old lady) 'cos I just have to stand and stare... Then of course I start taking photos which really gets the neighbours' blinds and curtains twitching!