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VICTORIAN WARMTH

THE ABUNDANT ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS OF A VICTORIAN BUILDING MAKE FOR A HOME FULL OF PERSONALITY

By Claudia Gryvatz Copquin

With towers, turrets, gables, and trim, a Victorian house makes a distinct statement. It says quaintness. Craftsmanship. Grace. By definition, it also says history.

A Victorian house “speaks of the time that it was built and how people lived there,” says Celia Dunn of Celia DunnSotheby’s International Realty. In Savannah, Ga., where her firm is based, Dunn says the historic district offers an excellent sampling of desirable, Victorian- style houses. In the U.S., Old Louisville in Kentucky and the seaside Cape May district in New Jersey have a large assortment of Victorians. Of course, London is also replete with these gems.

Popularized during and after Queen Victoria’s reign (1837–1901) and the Industrial Revolution, Victorian architecture is a term that includes Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, and Italianate styles. What these have in common is charm: from ornate porches and balconies to arched or Gothic windows, ornamental wrought iron, asymmetrical facades, hardwood floors, and carved fireplace mantels.

And according to Spence Kass, principal of architectural firm Kass & Associates, based in Philadelphia, Pa., these properties are easily adaptable to modern living. “We are preserving the main rooms of the house, and combining a lot of very small spaces to make grander rooms,” Kass says.

The key is maintaining the integrity of these houses. “There’s a real warmth about living in a Victorian home,” adds Dunn.

Claudia Gryvatz Copquin is a New York-based journalist.

Taroona - Tasmania

Hillgrove is one of Hobart’s most recognized historic homes, located directly across from the Shot Tower and Glen Albyn Estate in beautiful Taroona. Built in the 1860s, this mid-Victorian house is perfectly positioned on 11 acres to capture stunning views of the Derwent estuary and Storm Bay. The property is substantial, with three levels of space, five bedrooms, and three bathrooms, combined with more than 26 meters of verandah to fully appreciate the location.

$1,400,000

Property ID: 23CSMZ | sothebysrealty.com

Tasmania Sotheby’s International Realty

Leigh Patrick +61 (0) 447 159 618

Spring Lake - New Jersey

This famous and spectacular Gothic Revival Victorian home was built for the 1876 World’s Fair and sits just four blocks from the beautiful beaches of Spring Lake on the Atlantic Ocean. Tasteful renovations seamlessly blend historic craftsmanship and modern amenities while preserving its original character. The mahogany front porch welcomes you to three levels of extraordinary spaces, with attention to detail uniting living, entertaining, and dining areas. Beautiful gardens, mature trees, and a heated in-ground saltwater pool create a secluded backyard setting for peaceful relaxation or entertaining.

$1,975,000

Property ID: L2Z89H | sothebysrealty.com

Ward Wight Sotheby’s International Realty

Denise Dreyer +1 201 819 2604

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San Francisco - California

This classic Victorian home near San Francisco’s Mission Dolores Park has been reimagined for 21st-century living, adding contemporary and high-tech conveniences behind a timeless facade. Highlights include designer living and dining areas, an open-concept chef’s kitchen, a skylit family room, three bedroom suites, and walls of glass overlooking a bright atrium. The serene south-facing garden includes an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, and a spa. The home also encompasses a four-car garage accessible via elevator and a 1,300-square-foot guest level with a private entrance.

$9,400,000

Property ID: 0089486 | sothebysrealty.com

Sotheby’s International Realty - San Francisco Brokerage

Neill Bassi +1 415 296 2233

Daniel DerVartanian +1 415 901 1727

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Savannah - Georgia

Overlooking Forsyth Park, this circa 1895 graceful Queen Anne-style Victorian is one of Savannah’s finest restorations, earning a coveted Historic Savannah Foundation Preservation Award. Eclecticism, asymmetry, and contrast are among the architectural characteristics of this singular residence. From the sweeping verandas to the millwork and spandrel detail, this celebrated manor is exceptional. Enter through the grand foyer and be enveloped into the home’s refined features, such as the meticulously restored woodwork, oriel windows, and large parlors with pocket doors.

$2,500,000

Property ID: 9ZE9P9 | sothebysrealty.com

Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty

Staci Donegan +1 912 247 2052

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Knightsbridge - London

A midcrescent Victorian townhouse that has been meticulously refurbished throughout, this home has five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a formal drawing room, dining room, grand entrance hall, and a contemporary kitchen. Wilton Place is within walking distance of Belgravia, Knightsbridge, and the green expanses of Hyde Park.

£12,000,000

Property ID: 55DS9Q | sothebysrealty.com

United Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty

Guy Bradshaw +44 7849 398 941

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