The Victorian period in American architecture witnessed a vast increase in the number and variety of popular housing forms. Generally irregular in shape and highly ornamental, these new houses came in various types and styles and were popularized by such house pattern books as Robert Shoppell’s Artistic Modern Houses of Low Cost (1881) and Radford’s American Homes (1903). Victorian houses became common everywhere in Utah after 1890, although they were particularly popular in urban Salt Lake City, Provo, and Ogden.
Within this enormous number of different types, two forms emerge as particularly important. The first--and by far the most common--is the central block with projecting bays. This house, found in one, one and a half, or two stories and a bewildering variety of external treatments, represents a basic modification of the older side-passage form. In the Victorian version, projecting bays were added to the principal rooms, thereby achieving a desired external irregularity of design while at the same time making the rooms larger and brighter. The Victorian central block with projecting bays is thus characterized by a roughly large square central section punctuated by bays to one or several sides.
The main roof is typically hipped or pyramidal, but may be gabled, while the bays usually are gabled. Sometimes referred to as “Queen Anne cottages,’ these houses are in fact found in various sizes and in a wide range of Victorian-era styles, ranging from the Romanesque to the Neoclassical. In the largest houses, the side passage was often expanded into a formal entrance hall, sometimes containing a fireplace. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the entrances of smaller, less expensive houses usually led directly into the living room or parlor.