Don’t Call Them ‘Victorians’

›› Dennis Evanosky

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All 3 tours: $40

East End 4/9: $15

Gold Coast 4/23: $15

West End 4/30: $15

Alameda boasts a grand collection of architectural styles, and not one of them is Victorian. I fondly remember David Nicolai, the former curator of the Pardee Home Museum, introducing my tours there. David always began his introduction with a question.

Alameda Post - Victorian-era homes of differing styles
What style are these homes? Hint: they are not Victorians. Learn about these styles and more during the Alameda Post’s April walking tours.

“How many of you know what architectural style this house is?” He smiled as the hands of the eager tour participants shot into the air.

“And don’t say ‘Victorian,’” he continued as we both attempted to hide our smirks. Raised hands suddenly and sheepishly disappeared.

“In fact,” he would say to the puzzled faces before him, “there is no such thing as a Victorian style, there are only Victorian-era styles.”

David finally informed the surprised group that in 1868 Enoch Pardee hired the architectural firm of Hoagland & Newsom to design and build the home in the Italianate style. Italianate is one of seven distinct domestic architectural styles that appeared during the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901.

The Victorian-era styles, in chronological order, are:

  • Greek Revival
  • Gothic Revival
  • Italianate
  • Eastlake (at first called Modern, then later Stick)
  • Queen Anne
  • Colonial Revival
  • Craftsman

Alameda mirrored the rest of the country in imitating styles popular during Queen Victoria’s reign. By the time European settlers arrived here in the 1850s, the Greek Revival style had almost faded. However, a Greek Revival home has been standing on Park Street since at least 1855.

The Gothic Revival is evident in both the Webster family home on Versailles Avenue and the Rich family home on Fourth Street. Italianates, Eastlakes, Queen Annes, Colonial Revivals and Craftsmen dot Alameda. Have a look at all these styles first-hand during three two-and-one-half hour history walks with award-winning historian and Alameda Post’s editor Dennis Evanosky.

Join us for the following tours:

  • Saturday, April 9, at the High Street-Encinal Avenue fountain to explore these styles on the East End.
  • Explore the Gold Coast on Saturday, April 16 April 23 (postponed due to rain). Meet at Franklin Park at Paru Street and San Antonio Avenue.
  • We’ll explore the West End on Saturday, April 30. Meet in Washington Park at Central Avenue and Eighth Street.

Tours start at 9 a.m. and end at 11:30 a.m. Advance tickets are $15 per person or $40 for all three tours.

Space will be limited, so we recommend signing up early to guarantee your spot if you are interested in attending. Day-of-event tickets may be available for $20 per person, based on available space.

Well-behaved dogs, strollers, and mobility devices welcome. Total walking distance will be between 1-2 miles.

We encourage attendees to wear masks for this event, particularly when in close contact with others, especially if you have not been vaccinated and/or boosted. We also encourage attendees to social distance to minimize any potential risks.

Clicking the links below will take you to checkout via Square, where you can pay securely with your credit card.

Sign up now!

All 3 tours: $40

East End 4/9: $15

Gold Coast 4/23: $15

West End 4/30: $15

Alameda Post Inc. is presenting these tours as part of our commitment to raise awareness of Alameda’s culture and history. We will use the money raised to cover some of the initial expenses incurred to create a nonprofit news source and newspaper to serve Alameda. Please consider investing in our venture and have some fun learning about Alameda’s history!