Behold this Queen Anne painted lady in all her glory! This home was constructed in 1898 as a late Victorian addition to Newton’s built landscape. The home’s earliest known owner was a T. C. Sullivan, who left the property to his family upon his death. The house is painted some pretty bold colors, which does an effective job at highlighting the many architectural details and intricacies in the design, but the home would have never been painted like this historically. A little history lesson: the “painted lady” trend took off in San Francisco when after WWII, disinvestment in the urban core led many Victorian homes there to be demolished, altered and covered with siding, and many were painted gray with war-surplus Navy paint (battleship gray). In 1963, San Francisco artist Butch Kardum began combining intense blues and greens on the exterior of his Italianate-style Victorian house. His house was criticized by some, but other neighbors began to copy the bright colors on their own houses. Kardum became a color designer, and he and other artists / colorists began to transform dozens of gray houses into Painted Ladies. By the 1970s, the colorist movement, as it was called, had changed entire streets and neighborhoods. This process continues to this day. The trend took off all over the United States as urban centers saw re-investment and gentrification. While not historically appropriate, the Painted Ladies can really make people happy and show pride in ownership.
Dr. Almon Jones House and Office // 1888
These two Queen Anne structures of similar design actually sit on the same lot on Hollis Street in Braintree and served very different uses! Both were built for Dr. Almon H. Jones, a dentist who resided in the home and held his dental office next door in the smaller building. The house is richly decorated in characteristically Queen Anne features that include asymmetrical massing, textured sheathing, half timbering, and elaborate bracketing. The office, now a separate residence, is a small two bay wide structure and two rooms deep. Although small in size, the building is richly decorated with an array of elaborate Queen Anne features, many duplicating those found on the house. Similar paint schemes tie the buildings together, much as they would have been in the past!
William Pollard House // 1899
Arguably the best example of Queen Anne architecture in Chester, Vermont is the Pollard House at 137 Main Street. William Pollard was a co-owner of a thriving shirt-waist factory who ran the company with his brother (who lived in the house nextdoor). The Queen Anne home features a prominent octagonal tower, intricate stickwork, and asymmetrical massing with porches. The home has been painted colors to accentuate the many details of the home which appears as a Vermont version of a “Painted Lady”.