What Does Queen Anne Have To Do with Aspen's Queen Anne Architecture? Much Like the Monarch, It’s All a Bit ... Squishy

Left:    Sardy House ($23M)    Center:    Olivia Coleman as Queen Anne in "‘The Favourite’    Right: a         Queen Anne Cottage for sale.

Left: Sardy House ($23M) Center: Olivia Coleman as Queen Anne in "‘The Favourite’ Right: a Queen Anne Cottage for sale.

1702: Anne, Queen of Great Britain ascends to the throne during a period when the whole, “heir and a spare,” tradition was not going well. Her uncle had the thrown (no heir) so then her father ascended (but was overthrown). Then her older sister, Mary, co-ruled with her husband (that would be William and Mary, like the school) — but they never had kids; so it passed to Anne … who had no children.

Left:    Poulton House built during Queen Anne’s reign –    characterized by strongly bilateral symmetry with an Italianate or Palladian-derived pediment on the front formal elevation. Right: Portrait of Anne, Queen of Great Britain.

Left: Poulton House built during Queen Anne’s reign – characterized by strongly bilateral symmetry with an Italianate or Palladian-derived pediment on the front formal elevation. Right: Portrait of Anne, Queen of Great Britain.

Queen Anne Revival: UK Edition. Notice the corner tower and asymmetry.

Queen Anne Revival: UK Edition. Notice the corner tower and asymmetry.

1870-ish: The “Queen Anne Revival: UK Edition,” is invented by some popular architects around 1870 and its provenance and definition is murky. A potpourri of styles all mashed together, they called it, “Queen Anne Revival,” not so much because it had to do with anything revived from her short reign, but because that first decade of the 18th-century stirred an image of an idyllic English yesteryear. It would be like if today you created a style of house that mixed American Colonial with ‘70s ranch house and called it, “Eisenhower Revival.”

1876: Right around that time, America held its first World’s Fair, and American builders became obsessed with the fancy new style over from England. The Queen Anne Style went off in America like a house on fire, especially in the West.

Queen Anne architecture in Aspen

Queen Anne architecture in Aspen

U.S. architects took the English style and ran with it, creating some truly wild adaptations. America was new-money central and nothing spelled “bling” better than ornamented woodworking. It would make sense that Aspen, flush with silver at the time, would be a Queen Anne town

1900: In particular, the “Queen Anne Cottage” (a sub-genre of the Queen Anne Rival American House) worked well in Aspen, as one can dress up a relatively simple wood-framed house without the intense bother of stone work. Today, the remaining Queen Anne cottages are a far cry from the symmetrical manor houses of 17th / 18th-century England, but we like to think Her Majesty would enjoy their colorful charms nonetheless.  

Read more about the one currently listed for sale.