As you plan your Eureka getaway, set aside some time to learn about the city’s unique architectural history and scope out your must-see buildings. While most are easily accessible on foot in the historic Old Town and Downtown district, locals recommend venturing off the beaten path into neighborhoods studded with picturesque examples of Victorian style.
Eureka is a masterpiece of varying and diverse architectural styles. In the 1940s and 50s, local contractor Earnst Pierson designed and constructed around 2,000 affordable, modern post-war homes – the Eichlers of Humboldt County. And then, of course, there are the famous Victorians, especially the Queen Annes and Eastlakes.
The Eastlake Movement was a nineteenth-century architectural and household design reform movement started by British architect Charles Eastlakes. Considered part of the late Victorian period, Eastlake posited that furniture and décor in people’s homes should be crafted by hand or by machine workers who took personal pride in their work. As you discover these homes around town, you’ll notice characteristics such as porch posts and railing with intricate designs, scrolls placed at exterior corners, and the contrast of lighter colored details against the darker colors of the house body.
Following the Eastlake style, Queen Anne architecture was popular in the United Sates from 1880 to 1910. Queen Anne architecture is known for its eclectic, sometimes whimsical mix of design elements. Just a few of the characteristics of the Queen Anne style you may notice include asymmetry, spindle work, and second-story porches or balconies.
Arguably the most photographed Victorian in California is the William Carson Mansion. An eclectic mix of Victoria styles, the house was built in 1886. This beautiful icon of Eureka’s storied and historic past has been lovingly preserved by a local club and features stained glass windows and exotic wood from around the world. The intricately composed interior and exterior took 100 men over two years to construct. And, right across the street, you’ll find the Pink Lady. Most notable for its pink and white color, this building was built in 1889 by William Carson for his son. Be sure to take a stroll to see these two stunning Eureka landmarks found at the foot of 2nd and M Street.
With over 1,500 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Eureka will not disappoint architectural aficionados and amateurs alike. As you build out your architectural tour of Eureka, be sure to visit EurekaHistory.com, an interactive website that allows you to explore in-depth information about Eureka’s local history and architecture. Before you travel, you can learn about and map out the architectural stunners you’d like to see. The site is curated and updated by locals and you’ll feel their hometown pride as you navigate through the site. We can’t wait for you to experience this gem of a city through Eureka’s historic structures and deep history.
Want to view more stunning Eureka architecture? Browse the gallery below, and click here to learn more.