Don’t Call Them ‘Victorians’
Alameda boasts a grand collection of architectural styles, and not one of them is Victorian. I fondly remember David Nicolai, the former curator of the Pardee Home Museum, introducing my tours there. David always began his introduction with a question.
“How many of you know what architectural style this house is?” He smiled as the hands of the eager tour participants shot into the air.
“And don’t say ‘Victorian,’” he continued as we both attempted to hide our smirks. Raised hands suddenly and sheepishly disappeared.
“In fact,” he would say to the puzzled faces before him, “there is no such thing as a Victorian style, there are only Victorian-era styles.”
David finally informed the surprised group that in 1868 Enoch Pardee hired the architectural firm of Hoagland & Newsom to design and build the home in the Italianate style.
Italianate is one of seven distinct domestic architectural styles that appeared during the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901.
The Victorian-era styles, in chronological order, are:
Stick (also called Stick- Eastlake),
Alameda mirrored the rest of the country in imitating styles popular during Queen Victoria’s reign. By the time European settlers arrived here in the 1850, the Greek Revival style had almost faded.
There are no examples of this style found in any of the homes built in Alameda.
The Gothic Revival is evident in both the Webster home on Versailles Avenue and the Rich family home on Fourth Street.
Join me at 9 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 11 at Franklin Park at Paru Street and San Antonio Avenue. We’ll explore this neighborhood and see just how many of these styles we can discover.