Early Victorian structures were relatively simple in style, while those built after the Civil War became more complicated. They combined styles as they saw fit. The end result was often a stunning visual effect. The building styles of post-Civil War America were elaborate and flamboyant, very much fueled by new industrial society. Now, collectively called “Victorian” the architecture was made up of several main styles.
Contemporary critics accuse the Victorians of needless complexity and clutter. Victorian architecture up to 1870 was thought by some, especially Europeans, to be a failure. This near revulsion by critics was expressed at first only by a few, but as the decade went on, criticism increased.
The latter part of the nineteenth century brought a new attitude toward color. Before then, the houses of the tract builders tended to be painted all one color, usually white, beige or gray. By 1887, many people were painting their houses in lighter, brighter colors. The vibrant colors are one of the more easily identifiable features of Victorian architecture today. http://www.victorianstation.com/vicarch.html
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