Edwardian Style (1901-1910)

Edwardian Style, also known as Edwardian Baroque, is a continuation of the Victorian Style. Additionally, it became popular during the reign of Edward VII, first in the UK and then elsewhere in the English Empire.

A large white dome structure - the port of Liverpool building.
Port of Liverpool Building

Image source: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barocco_edoardiano#/media/File:Port_of_Liverpool_Building_Dome.jpg

Who was Edward VII?

Albert Edward (1841-1910) has been King of the United Kingdom and Emperor of India under the name of Edward The VII from 1901 to 1910.

Initially, desiring a military career, he reluctantly became king at 59 with main interests in military, naval, and foreign matters. He was known as the “Uncle of Europe” as he was related to almost every monarch. Further, his main contributions were societal reforms, army reforms, and the general modernization of the nation.

Later, he died in 1910 and was buried in St George’s Chapel in Windsor. Then, his son, George, ascended to the throne.

Photo of Edward VII: A large white man with a full beard, yet thinning hair upon his hair. He is dressed in a dark suit.
Photograph of Edward VII

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_VII

The Edwardian Era

The Edwardian Era spanned from 1901 to 1911 and marked the return of a somewhat liberal influence in the United Kingdom. Working class citizens, laborers, and women started playing a significant role in the politics of the nation. Gender roles shifted, living standards improved, and death rates decreased in urban areas.

However, this period is also known for the decline in the British fleet and commercial dominance. Notably, the Royal Navy became outnumbered around the world due to foreign economies, such as French, Russian, Italian, Japanese, and American, catching up to the British economic powerhouse. Nevertheless, the Edwardian Era was a period of relative peace and prosperity for the English, with a decent growth rate and no notable depressions.

As for design style, it is safe to say that it is not too different from the Victorian style. However, there are fewer ornaments and less complex decorative patterns.

1911 Rolls-Royce 40-50 HP Silver Ghost Roi des Belges Tourer: Black and red with gold accents.
1911 Rolls-Royce

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/908716f2-6166-41b0-94c1-a74cdd770e11 by Motor74

Edwardian Architecture Style

The characterizing features of the Edwardian style draw their inspiration from the French style sof the 18th century: the English Baroque and the Victorian Style.

The main features of the style are the rustication of the ground level, domed corner rooftop pavilions, exaggerated keystones, ionic order columns (oftentimes paired), domed towers, and generally less decorative clutter. Often, the buildings are painted with lighter hues, such as light brown or shades of white, but the brickwork present is normally red. Further, Edwardian homes have wooden frames on the porch, wide hallways, and parquet floors.

Even though there are more than a few important buildings raised and made “Edwardian,” the majority of the structures built using this style were expensive houses for wealthy people.

The Antrim House, an Edwardian example in Wellington (New Zealand): A grand estate with balconies along the front and three stories.
The Antrim House in New Zealand

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/6f3e261b-1d41-441a-b4db-d7667eb695e2 by 4nitsirk

The Edwardian Style Today

Surprisingly, San Francisco has many Edwardian style houses even though it is geographically distant from the UK. Due to a 1906 an earthquake and fire destroyed the city, people rebuilt their homes in this contemporary style. Further, these homes can be found in heavily rebuilt areas like SOMA, Mission, and downtown San Francisco.

A strip of Edwardian houses in San Francisco; the downtown in the background. All the homes vary in color, although pastels seem to be most common.
Edwardian houses in San Francisco

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Houses_in_San_Francisco.jpg

Info sources: https://www.royal.uk/edward-vii




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