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The Architecture of the Brown Mansion
 

The Queen Anne Style of domestic Victorian architecture, popular in the United States in the 1880’s and 1890’s, was a rejection of the traditional architectural concepts of unity and symmetry and was instead an exuberant celebration of contrast and variety.

 

 Bricks

The characteristics of contrast and variety are readily apparent on the exterior of the Brown Mansion with its contrasting colors and textures. The smooth white limestone horizontal band that encircles the house stands out clearly against the rough cherry colored bricks, which were supplied by the local Porter brick yards.

Initial Tablet

In a similar manner, the straight exterior walls stand in contrast to the two-story bay windows that protrude on the east side and front of the building. On the front bay George Brown proudly added a limestone tablet with his initials and the date of construction. The overall asymmetrical shape of the house is also very characteristic of the Queen Anne style.

Balcony

Cicero Hine, the architect of the Brown Mansion, also used a variety of building materials for the exterior of the Brown Mansion: plain and decorative molded bricks, limestone trim for the windows and patterned wooden clapboards inside the third floor balcony.

The Brown Mansion is a proud example of the Queen Anne style in other respects as well. It originally had a wide, deep veranda stretching across the front of the house and around the east side. Although that is now gone, the house retains a third floor balcony, a steeply pitched and irregular roofline, dormers, decorative gables, daisy motif brackets under the overhang of the roof and a wealth of additional wooden trim, sometimes referred to today as "gingerbread."

The interior of the Brown Mansion also reflects the Queen Anne style with its asymmetrical floor plan, large entry hall, stained and etched glass windows, plaster corbels and arches, flower motif oak fireplace, faux marble painted soapstone fireplace and beautiful engraved window and door hardware.

Stained Glass

Fireplace

Door Knob

PDB
11/09

 

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