Victorian architecture was popular in America from around 1860 to about 1900. This was during the last period of Britian's Queen Victoria, hense the name Victorian. At this time in history, railroads and a rapidly growing industrial nation brought about changes in the way home designs were constructed. The common heavy-timber building practice was being replaced with balloon framed walls. Mass production of windows, doors, roofing, siding, detailing ornaments, and other building materials allowed for a more elaborate look. This is clearly illustrated in the victorian house style in general.
Victorian architectural styles are easy to identify. Walls are often mixed with different texture and/ or multi-colored for contrast. Facades of victorian houseplans are generally asymmetrical and boast steeply pitched roofs. Details are plenty and vary wildly which leads to frequent overlapping and merging the various sub-victorian styles.
Victorian architecture, like the colonial style, is a broad term used in describing the more defined styles within this period of architecture. The victorian era includes sub-styles known as the Second Empire, Queen Anne, Shingle style, Stick style, Richardsonian Romanesque style, and Folk Victorian.