A seismic change happened to home building right after the Civil War. To understand why Victorian houses look the way they do, you need to understand all the changes taking place in America. The railroad, steam-powered mills, and design all changes. There is a 40-50 year period of time where home building moved from Hand-made to Machine-made. The changes were so dramatic it would facilitate the later-rise of the Arts and Craft movement. To see how industry changed home building and craft, watch this video.