Annapolis Maryland Blog Photograph • Commodore Waddell’s Eastlake Movement Influenced Late 19th Century Porch • Saturday May 28th 2016

Victorian and American Architectural Styles

Commodore Waddell's Eastlake School influenced Late 19th Century Porch in Annapolis Maryland May 28th 2016

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Over the course of many years walking past the above pictured Historic District porch I on occasion would find myself engaged in an internal debate, the topic being determining its applicable architectural style. Perhaps for those familiar with 18th, 19th and early 20th century Annapolis residential architecture the classification of Victorian seems appropriate however I have always felt that a more specific nomenclature was in order.

Of course the use of the Victorian label can denote either a specific period – in this case the mid to late 19th and very early 20th centuries, or a variety of related architectural styles of that same period. Within the last year or so a few City and local residents have expressed via social media an apparent fondness for this particular Queen Anne style house, more specifically its British Queen Anne architectural character and associated cottage like influences. Certainly from a broad perspective the latter label could be applicable, at least in the case of this house’s windows and adjoining concrete/stone millwork like trim, however other design influences are apparent as well one of which being that of the Eastlake School or Movement, which is of an American origin.

So as to a specific architectural classification to reference this particular porch I believe the afore mentioned Eastlake Movement style is most applicable. As an aside the Eastlake Movement also refers to domestically crafted period furniture with attributes such as ornate spindles, embedded or recessed carved shapes and the use of period colors. Actually if one examines this porch’s free standing 2/3’s height columns, along with the two visible against the brick facade bordering the front door frame, they both feature Eastlake Movement style elements. Specifically the spindle shapes of each column as well as the red square and circle shapes embedded at the top of each one.

As to the house itself it was built in the 1880’s for Commodore James Iredell Waddell an 1841 US Naval Academy graduate. Commodore Waddell served not only in the US Navy but also went on to command one of the preeminent Confederate Navy commerce raiders, the CSS Shenandoah, on which he circled the world visiting numerous foreign ports of call and finally docking his ship in Liverpool England at the conclusion of the Civil War. It could be said that Commodore Waddell’s architectural influences were based in part on his world travels. An example of this, though not visible in the photograph above, is the Japanese style south wing of the house built for use by the Waddell’s Asian domestic servant.

Certainly this porch’s pitched gable roof and covered floor space serves as a comfortable location for family and friends to gather while shaded from the intensity of the Summer sunshine.

Have a good holiday weekend and please be safe,


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