Queen Anne architecture became the predominant style of domestic architecture in the United States following the showcasing of English architectural designs at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It had little to do with the architecture of early eighteenth-century England during the reign of Queen Anne. The Queen Anne style was a flamboyant, exuberant, vernacular American architecture. Architects reveled in the freedom to combine classical, Gothic, Moorish, and whatever other influences might strike their fancy. The style arrived in Minneapolis in the early 1880s and reached its peak in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Architectural tastes changed after the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 with its neo-classical White City and iconic East Coast colonial houses. The short-lived era of the Queen Anne came to an end.
The Queen Anne houses of T. P. Healy employ many of the following characteristics:
• Cross-gabled with a front facing gable
• Multiple exterior building materials—stone, wood lap siding, wood shingles
• Three front gable attic windows unified by a symbolic cap or panels below creating a triptych
• Elaborate cornices with crown moldings and fascia boards
• Patterned friezes
• A trellised and balustraded second floor front balcony under a cantilevered soffit
• Full front porches and wrap-around porches with fretwork, turned columns, and balustrades
• Porch skirts featuring elaborate scroll work patterns
• Off-center entrances, most with double doors with carved panels
• Bays, oriel bays, round towers, octagonal corner bays, and bowed exterior walls all used to break up flat exterior walls and to extend the interior beyond the foundation
• Window embellishments—hooded windows, pedimented and bracketed windows
• A curved front corner containing a curved glass window topped by a smaller, curved, leaded glass window
• His signature triple window made of paired, arch-top, Moorish Revival stained glass windows over a single, large stationary window
T. P. Healy’s interpretation of the Queen Anne style is distinctive. He incorporated many curved and rounded elements into his design. Having been a shipbuilder in Nova Scotia may have inspired this choice. Healy also used elements of the Moorish Revival style that was popular in the late 1880s and early 1890s in Minneapolis. This gave his houses an exotic look. Healy’s great skill as a designer was combining all these disparate elements into a pleasing whole. The entire block is unified by the common and repeated Queen Anne elements, yet each individual house has a distinctive and unique design.