Mention Victorian architecture and one inevitably imagines the ornate “painted ladies” of San Francisco, or the countless stately homes and inns of Cape May, NJ–visions of multi-colored fantastical homes with grand porches and soaring turrets come to mind. But the term really includes at least a half dozen different architectural styles from the late 19th century: Queen Anne, Romanesque Revival, Italianate, Gothic Revival, Beaux Arts, etc. After the Great Fire of 1871, Chicago went on a building boom and thousands of houses, apartments and commercial buildings were constructed. In spite of several bouts of urban renewal, a large percentage of these structures remain today and give Chicago a strong connection with its architectural past. One can encounter blocks and blocks of Victorian-era homes in several areas–Lincoln Park, Old Town, Wicker Park, Hyde Park–but they are really scattered throughout the city. These photos represent just a fraction of what an avid Victorian sleuth may find on their search for architectural treasures.
Chicago’s Victorian Heritage
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