Popular Victorian architectural styles began to appear in New Mexico after the Santa Fe Railroad arrived in the Territory in 1879.

The long reign of England’s Queen Victoria (1837-1901) defines the Victorian period, style and architecture. In New Mexico, there are several styles of Victorian Architecture including the Queen Anne style, Romanesque Revival, and Victorian Italianate. Trends in designing MainStreets in the larger US, the development of department stores, and civic buildings, as well as the influence of the coming of the Railroad all influenced Victorian architecture and city planning in New Mexico.


(1880- 1910) In contrast to the Italianate style, which was common in “main street” commercial buildings and storefronts, the Queen Anne style (named for another English monarch) was a popular residential style in America and frontier towns in the 1890s and early 20th Century. Known for its complex decorative effects of wooden siding and shingles, stained glass, eccentric rooms and roof shapes, the Queen Anne style was a favorite of prosperous merchants and civic leaders. Later the Queen Anne style was fused with classical forms for a more refined and stately design.


(1885- 1900) - Featuring heavy stone masonry and the rounded doorway and window arches of medieval Romanesque architecture, the Romanesque style was revived largely due to the influence of architect H.H. Richardson. The stout and grand Romanesque Revival became popular for larger department stores, opera houses, and civic buildings in New Mexico.


(1879-1900) – The Victorian period is expressed through many styles and fusions, but perhaps the most popular and significant for New Mexico was the Italianate style, identified by its generous window proportions, brick and stone masonry, cast iron and pressed metal ornaments and elements. The Italianate was introduced in New Mexico by the railroad after 1879, and flourished until 1900, thus is common in railroad boomtowns such as Raton, Las Vegas and Silver City.