This is the time of year that homes are decked out in their holiday finest. Now is the perfect occasion to visit a town filled with actual gingerbread architecture. As the snow falls upon a Victorian village it places one inside of their own picture postcard from days gone by.
The scent of gingerbread is in the air as you stroll down the main street. Live wreaths with simple white lights are hung from the lamp posts keeping with the Victorian styled village. Folks gather around the town green in anticipation of the tree lighting and candy canes.
Stroll through a Victorian town to view a real-life “outdoor museum” filled with beautiful gingerbread architecture. Get some décor inspiration for the abode from these beautiful homes.
Gingerbread, translated from richly decorated cake houses adorned with an abundance of candies and sugar icicles ready for a holiday treat, is commonly used to describe Victorian homes. There are many styles of Victorian architecture often combining several bits from the different styles in a single structure creating a unique elegance of its own.
The Victorian style was most popular from 1860 until around 1910.
Different Victorian styles of architecture include:
Stick-Eastlake (1860–ca. 1890) came about from the Stick style of the late-19th-century American architectural style. The Eastlake Movement added the geometric, machine-cut decorative trim on Stick-style buildings creating the Stick-Eastlake style.
Queen Anne (1880–1910) is generally known for its brick structure with center steps leading to a carved stone doorframe and a center triangular pediment set into a hipped roof with dormers. Painted sash windows are lined in rows flush with the brickwork. The corners of the buildings are embellished with stone quoins.
Richardsonian Romanesque (1880–1900) is known for its massive structural appearance traditional in masonry of different types (brick with stone, brownstone ashlar with granite lintels and carved brownstone ornament) and often with a rough finish. Openings and windows are arched. There is normally a tower with a conical roof. Ornamentation is bold with grand carvings, corbels, and figurines.
This architecture has a bit of Queen Anne details such as a bay or oriel, divided windows, or decorative panels.
Shingle (1880–1900) is commonly described as “Richardsonian Romanesque done in shingles instead of stone,” “the first wave of the Colonial Revival,” and “a subset of the Queen Anne Revival”. Wood shingles wrap the house, rolling over corners, and eyebrow windows. Primarily asymmetrical, they will have cross gables and roof sections of different pitch, with wings, turrets, bays and oriels.
Gothic Revival is also thought to be a distinctive Victorian style named High Victorian Gothic.
The history of gingerbread houses carries back to when explorers brought ginger spice to Europe from the Middle East during the 11th century. It became very popular in Germany. The Brothers Grimm wrote the story of Hansel and Gretel, making the gingerbread house treat popular. As these wonderful cake houses became even more popular in America, Americans took to building them into elaborate houses of their dreams.
Never stop dreaming and never be afraid to dance!
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