Driving around San Jose, you’ll likely spot a range of architectural influences as diverse as our community is.
In this new series, we’re highlighting the history and characteristics of unique architectural styles found in San Jose — starting with Victorian homes.
🔍 This Olde House
While many use the descriptor “Victorian” to refer to any old house, the term specifically refers to a complex + irregular style of home roughly built between 1860-1900.
This style didn’t become popular in San Jose until the late 1880s and early 1890s. You’ll see many examples of three distinct Victorian styles — the Queen Anne, the Stick, and the Shingle — in the Hensley Historic District, the Rose Garden neighborhood, and other areas around Downtown.
✅ Spot that style
Queen Anne style
Inspired by pre-industrial homes built circa 1702-1714, this style is all about ornamentation + mix-matched designs. For example, Sarah Winchester’s infamous mansion was built in this style.
Key giveaways: Asymmetry, stained glass windows, tons of ornamental woodwork + protruding features
This style combines decorative elements of the Queen Anne with the older Gothic Revival style.
Key giveaways: Wall ornamentation, “stickwork” trusses, fancy scroll wood work around gables + porches
Key giveaways: Shingles everywhere, curved shapes, a prominent front gable
🏠 Love it? Live it
If you’re looking for your next home, here are some Victorians on the market today.