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5 Victorian homes to get you in the mood for fall

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In their stately, ornamented way—and, perhaps, for their pop culture associations—something about Victorian and Victorian-inspired homes brings to mind the crunch of leaves and the falling temperatures of autumn (even if the house in question is located in southern California).

We’re welcoming fall to the dance floor this Monday, October 1, with five of our favorite examples of the style, hand-picked from our weekly House Calls series.

Marcus Austin-Paglialonga, Los Angeles, California

Designed by architect Leland A. Bryant in the 1920s Los Angeles fashion designer Marcus Austin-Paglialonga’s apartment building has a distinctive chateau style that’s still associated with the city.

And inside, many of his 1,300-square-foot apartment’s charming period features are still intact, including high ceilings decorated with carved beams; classic bathrooms with colorful 1920s-era tiles; a stair-rail crafted from curving wrought iron; and doorways with a graceful Gothic archways.


Photo by Heidis Bridge

Ashley and Collin Gleason, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ashley and Collin Gleason’s handsome 4,500-square-foot house sits on a lot spanning the width of a city block in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood, and was built in the 1860s by a Quaker family. The interiors play foil to the exterior in their effortlessness, cool, and complete family friendliness. Elements like mod leather chairs, Native American pottery, midcentury portraiture, touchable textile wallhangings, and kids art all live comfortably in this 19th-century home.

Carmen Troesser, St. Charles, Missouri

Photographer Carmen Troesser and her family live in a regal 1880 Victorian built in St. Charles, Missouri, just a two-hour drive from her hometown of Frankenstein. The home’s architecture is similar to that of homes that dot small cities and towns from Ohio to Kansas, and it will look familiar to legions of Midwesterners. But to this family, it’s special and as much about spirit as shelter. “We never had a big remodel plan, we just went slowly and dealt with things as we could,” she says. “It took a lot of time and patience.”


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Photo by Chris Mottalini

Carl Martinez, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hardware designer and sculptor Carl Martinez applied his minimalist style to a maximalist setting in his Victorian home in Easton, Pennsylvania. “I wanted to live in a simple manner with few modern amenities in the old bones of this house,” he says.

Before its years as a storage facility, the building had existed as a rooming house, and most of the high-Victorian details that remained were well worn. Martinez occupies the house with his parents, who moved in shortly after he finished the renovation. The homeowner acknowledges that, when compared to the long life of the house, his presence there will be brief. “We are just a part of the history of the house,” Martinez says.

Chris Greenawalt, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

When architect Chris Greenawalt, his wife, and their two children (ages 4 and 9) returned to Philadelphia, where Greenawalt and his wife lived after college, they ended up in a 3,000-square-foot townhouse in the city’s Northern Liberties neighborhood. It features Victorian details, exposed brick, and a staggered stair that creates higher ceilings in the more formal front rooms and lower ones in back.

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