Queen Victoria, Queen Anne and American Architecture in the 19th Century


April 2, 2017, 2:30 pm


Library of the Chathams

This illustrated lecture by Janet W. Foster will focus on domestic architecture in the era of Queen Victoria. 

It will also explain why calling a building “Victorian” doesn’t help describe what it looks like, or even when it was built. The many architectural expressions of the period from about 1840 to 1900 will be touched upon, including the style called Queen Anne. Local examples will be used occasionally, but be prepared for an exciting, fast-paced survey of buildings from across the United States.

There will be an opportunity for disscussion and questions following the approximately 45 minute program.

Janet W. Foster is an architectural historian and historic preservation consultant with over 30 years of experience with New Jersey’s buildings. She studied at the Columbia University Historic Preservation Program, and then founded Acroterion, a preservation consulting firm, in 1983. At Acroterion, she had the opportunity to study hundreds of buildings in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania through preparation of National Register nominations, Historic Structures Reports, historic buildings surveys, and other projects. 

Ms. Foster is a noted teacher and lecturer on historic architecture. She helped to develop the curriculum at the Drew University Continuing Education Program in Historic Preservation. From 2002 through 2012,  Janet W. Foster worked for Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation as Associate Director for the Urban Planning & Historic Preservation Programs.  She continues an association with the university as an adjunct professor in the Historic Preservation Program.

She has published numerous articles and books focused on New Jersey architecture, among them, Legacy Through the Lens: Mendham’s Architecture (1986), Building By the Book: Pattern-book Architecture in New Jersey (1992, Rutgers University Press), and The Queen Anne House: America’s Victorian Vernacular (2006, Abrams Publishing).

Ms. Foster lives in Madison, New Jersey, with her husband, in a Queen Anne style house they restored. She currently serves on the New Jersey State Review Board for Historic Sites, and she has a gubernatorial appointment to the board of the  New Jersey Historic Trust, where she is currently serving as the Chair.



News & Events

Post date: April 5, 2017

The society hosted a well-attended spring program on April 2nd at the Library of the Chathams. Janet W. Foster, an architectural historian and historic preservation consultant, led a group of over 60 people through a wonderful presentation on the history late 19th Century American Architecture.

Next Events:

June 10, 2017
In France during the Great War, five Chatham Borough men lost their lives. In 1919, their sacrifice was honored by the planting of five red oak trees on the grounds of Public School #1, now Chatham Borough Hall. Sadly none remain.