America has had a love/hate affair with the Queen Anne house. For many people, the classic wood framed Queen Anne is an oversized white elephant, a house that is too big, needs too much work, has too much frou-frou all over it, and costs a fortune to paint, to heat, and and a full time job to maintain. They are filled with old fashioned wood-trimmed everything, are hopelessly outdated, and have nothing modern about them at all. They are money pits, and some people wouldn’t live in one of those old haunted wrecks if they got one free.
For others, they are gracious examples of the finest of the 19th century’s industrial past. They are roomy, not cramped homes, with spacious wrap around porches, large lawns, and great curb appeal. They can have turrets with wonderful mushroom and witch’s hat roofs, cut outs, and second story porches, and are a wealth of different building materials. Inside, they are a testament to craftsmanship, with fine woodwork, stained glass, fireplaces, chandeliers and roomy kitchens. Yes, they need constant work, and can cost money and time to keep up, but to own one is a labor of love, and a chance to be a caretaker of history. I guess it’s obvious which group I fall into. For what it’s worth, my brother is one of the first types. Same family, same upbringing-go figure. (more…)