The Roland Jones House in Historic Nacogdoches
The Roland Jones House, located in the Downtown Historic District at 141 North Church Street, was
designed by the architect Diedrich Wilheim Rulfs (1848-1926) who created more than 50 prominent structures
in the area. Built in the 1890's, this house is an example of the Queen Anne style of Victorian architecture
which was popular between 1880 and 1910 and replaced Gothic Revival and Second Empire Victorian styles.
The Queen Anne style variously referred to as "Victorian," "Eastlake," "Bric-a-Brac," and "gingerbread,"
is associated with a group of 19th century English architects led by Richard N. Shaw who were influenced by
Elizabethan and Jacobean models. Interest developed in America after the British government displayed two
Queen Anne homes at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. American architect H. H. Richardson built
the Watts-Sherman House in Newport, Rhode Island in 1875, recognized as the first Queen Anne in this country.
The characteristic features of the Queen Anne style expressed in the Roland Jones House are:
an overall asymmetrical shape with dominant front facing, decorated, and bracketed gables; a polygonal
three-part corner tower rising from ground level to a decorative cresting on its shingled dome; a full-width
shaped porch on the first level with dentils and stick-and-ball woodwork repeated as a minor chord in a second
story porch; rectangular, arched, and round variable window shapes; a steeply pitched hipped roof; three-part
bay windows; and the elaborate spindlework on the facade concentrated in the large pulpit style entrance
appropriate to the Victorian Age when there was an emphasis on the social graces. Originally, Queen Anne
houses were painted in multiple colors, especially earth tones like sienna red, hunter green, burnt yellow, and
muddy brown to emphasize the intricate detail. Losing favor after 1910, they were more often painted Victorian
white, but in recent years there has been a return to the multiple, elaborate coloration of the original models.
(Next Picture: Thomas J. Rusk)