Historic Structures

Bridge House - Tifts Hall, Albany Georgia

The Classical-Italianate style Bridge House, built circa 1857 is significant as the only known extant bridge house in Georgia. Once a center of Albany, economically and socially, with its theater - ballroom above the busy agricultural bridge traffic below, the Bridge House now houses the Keenan Auto Parts Company. The Bridge House was built as a result of a dispute between Colonel Nelson Tift and the Baker County Commissioners over the building of Albany's first bridge over the Flint River. Before this bridge was built, travel across the Flint River from Albany was hampered by the use of a hand operated ferry. Colonel Tift, the owner of the ferry, had wanted the County Commissioners to build a bridge on this spot for the town. When they refused to dc so, Tift hired Horace King, a well known black bridge builder of Georgia, to build a bridge that he could run as a business. The Bridge House was built at the same time as a bridge with a tunnel through its ground floor as a collection point for tolls on wagons and horses using the bridge. The charging of a toll was one of Tift's methods of recouping the large sum of money that he had spent in building the bridge and the Bridge House. The citizens of Albany were pleased to finally have a bridge and gladly paid the toll at first; however, the toll soon became a burden. This resentment against Tift and the bridge may have led directly to the burning of the first bridge several years after it was built. A second bridge was soon built on the foundations of the first one and sold to the county for $20,000. However, Tift still owned the land at either end of the bridge and the Bridge House.

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Kent Plantation, Alexandria Louisiana

The structure was the second house built by Pierre Baillio II between 1796 and 1800. Records indicate that his father, Pierre I, was a native of France and a soldier in the King f s Army at Natchitoches, where he married in 1743. Pierre II was his eldest son. Young Pierre moved to Point Coupee Parish and at the age of 18 married Magdelain Emelie LaCour in 1791. The wedding is recorded in St. Ann's Catholic Church at Morganza. The couple moved to Rapides Parish about 1793 or 1794. In 1794 he was given a land grant of 501 acres north of the present Alexandria and later received five additional land grants for himself and his children totaling approximately 1741 acres. The land grant which apparently covers the site of Kent House is dated 1795, was signed by Baron de Carondelet and is on display at Louisiana State University at Alexandria. Pierre II built one house, then prior to 1800, started another which is the present Kent House. Family tradition relates that Pierre started his slaves on construction of the foundation and left for New Orleans to purchase furnishings. His was delayed, and upon his tardy return, he found the work still continuing. This resulted in the house being unusually high off the ground, but with the local flooding characteristics, it was just as well. This occurred some 12 years before Alexander Fulton was to lay out the town of Alexandria, then known as El Rapide. The house was built from the land itself—clay for the rose colored brick, huge handhewn cypress trunks for the beams, pillars and floors, and deer hair and mud for the bouzillage walls. Construction was by slaves belonging to Pierre. The deep, wide windows were designed with the possibility of fighting hostile Indians in mind. Pierre II died in 1824 and his wife in 1838. They are buried, side by side, in the old and historic Rapides Cemetery across the Red River on the high ground of Pineville.

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Arcadia Railroad Depot, Arcadia Louisiana

The Vicksburg, Shreveport and Pacific Railroad Depot (1910) is a single story board and batten building located on the railroad corridor of downtown Arcadia. Although there were a few railroad lines constructed in Louisiana prior to the Civil War, railroading did not begin in earnest until about 1880. For example, by 1860 only 335 miles of track had been laid, and by 1880 that figure had not even doubled. But between 1880 and 1910 over 4,000 miles of track were laid. These were the boom years of Louisiana railroading, a period during which railroads competed with, and generally defeated, older forms of transportation such as steamboats. In many ways the railroad remade the state. In choosing major outlines of their routes, railroad officials were governed not by existing settlement patterns, but by their overall plan for continental development. Many new towns were created as a result of railroad expansion. Examples include Crowley, DeRidder, Eunice, and Many, to name just a few. In addition, there were cases like Arcadia where existing towns relocated to be near the railroad. Moreover, it is certain that the rice boom and the lumber boom, which were so important to the economy of Louisiana, would not have been possible without a well developed railroad network. In the late nineteenth century railroads were as much desired as interstate highways were in the mid-twentieth century. Every small town Chamber of Commerce waited for the great day when the railroad would come. Those towns which were bypassed by the railroad ceased to thrive and ultimately became economic backwaters with small populations.

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Washington School - New Fifth Ward School, Appleton Wisconsin

As a product of 1890's large-scale school construction, the Washington School is bolder and more elegant, rare expressive of Richardsonian Romanesque period influences than other comparable schools in Appleton. The Lincoln School, Columbus School, and St. Joseph School, all designed in the same decade, are less lively in form and less coloristically rich. Broken into larger parts, the Washington School is more strongly reminiscent of libraries and academic buildings designed by master H. H. Richardson. Its irregular silhouette speaks more forcefully of the late Victorian era. Contrast with later schools, like the Collegiate Gothic Roosevelt Jr. High School, strengthens the significance of the Washington School as the preeminent interpretation of Richardsonian form in Appleton. Frank Shaver Alien lived in Joliet, Illinois, when commissioned to design the school building. His work has been identified throughout the Midwest and southern California, yet the most representative examples of his work are in the Joliet area. Alien's work shows his familiarity with Richardsonian principles. His more representative commissions include the Barber Building, Central High School, and his former residence, all in Joliet. Alien was selected by the school board to design Washington School to replace the original Washington School, which was located adjacent to the site. The original school was considered too small for Appleton's expanding school population. It should be noted that classes were held in the original school up to a week prior to opening of the new school. At that time a fire, believed to be arson, consumed the original school.

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Bothwell House, Ashville Alabama

The house was constructed in 1835 for James J. Bothwell who came to Ashville in 1834. Until that time, Ashville had only one doctor, Dr. Charles C. P. Farrar. In addition to his other services, Bothwell was a charter member of Cataula Masonic Lodge. In 1852, shortly before his death, he hired Richard Crow, a local builder to add a kitchen and dining wing to his house. On his death in 1854, his widow, Ellen Bothwell obtained a license to operate a tavern in her home. In 1857, she sold all her holdings in Ashville and moved to Tishamingo County, Mississippi. Her cousin, Peyton Roway, purchased the home and several years later sold it to W. T. Hodges. In 1880, Judge Leroy F. Box purchased the home which he presented to his daughter Lula on the occassion of her marriage to James A Embry, a local attorney. The Embrys had twelve childern, which necessitated additions to the house. In 1978, a grandson of the Embrys sold the house to Dr. Lamar M and Rebecca Campbell. The Bothwell-Embry House is a two-story, wood frame, three-bay wide Federal house with exterior chimneys at the gable ends, and a central two-story columned portico. The portico has four two-story fluted Doric wood columns and a second story balustered balcony, topped by a pedimented gable. Two pilasters frame the first and second floor doorways to the portico, and two more form the front corners of the house. The two-panel doors both have sidelights and transoms. Two rear wings were added to the original section of the house; one for a dining room, kitchen, and upstairs bedroom, and a second for two bedrooms. The area between the wings was enclosed for a ball and sun room. A rear porch was also added. The roof has been modified from a gable to a hip to accommodate the additions. The house is sheathed in hand-sawn clapboards, and is constructed of large pegged timbers. The floor joists are notched and fitted, and are of hand-hewn heart pine. There is a basement with 5'6 headroom.

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Rogers House - Hearth Stone, Appleton Wisconsin

Hearthstone is interesting architecturally as an example of a fine Queen Anne house still in excellent condition. The hand-crafted interior woodwork as well as the fine stained-glass, Minton tiles, and antique furniture make it important for Victorian decorative arts as well. A further significance of Hearth Stone is historical. It was built by Henry J. Rogers an industrialist who had come to Appleton from the East. Rogers wife missed the social life of her native Baltimore, and Rogers is said to have built Hearth Stone to provide her with elegant surroundings which would reconcile her to life in the West. Rogers was a friend of H.E. Jacobs who, in 1882 had taken a job with Thomas Edison, Jacobs convinced Rogers that electricity was the wave of the future, and Rogers devised a scheme to light Hearth Stone, the Vulcan Paper Mill, and the Appleton Paper and Pulp Mill electrically. A generator was purchased from Thomas Edison, and Rogers and three other men founded the Appleton Edison Light Company, Ltd., using the Fox River as their source of power. On September 30, 1882, Hearth Stone was illuminated electrically for the first time. This first operation of the Appleton plant followed the opening of Thomas Edison's steam operated Pearl Street Station by only twenty-six days; and Edison's plant was not originally used to light any buildings used solely for residential purposes, though it did light some houses associated with industrial purposes. Thus, Hearth Stone was the first residence in America to be lighted from a centrally-located power plant.

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Union Depot and Freight House, Anniston Alabama

The first railroad station, for the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad, was constructed across 10th Street during the early years of the town. When the town council ordered 10th Street opened, the structure was moved and later dismantled. In 1884 Samuel Noble began construction of a new railroad, the Anniston and Atlantic, and the following year this depot was built to serve all incoming rail lines into the town. As with most of the larger buildings erected in Anniston during the 1880s, the depot utilized native sandstone in its construction and displays the characteristic workmanship of the master stonemason, Simon Jewell. Later the Louisville and Nashville Railroad acquired the A & A, and the depot was known as the L & N Depot until the last passenger train of that line passed through Anniston in 1951. Since that time, a hardware-and-lumber business has occupied the building under various names. Situated immediately east of the old L & N railroad track (now the Seaboard) at 13th Street, the main building is an irregular-shaped one-story structure of vermiculated native sandstone of the variety found in most of the Anniston churches constructed during the late 19th century. The steeply pitched hip roof was remodeled after a fire in the late 1950s. The original lines of the roof were restored. However, a decorative balustrade, wide dormer, and 2nd-story office that were destroyed by the fire were not replaced. The roof covers a porch that extends across the front of the building, the porch roof being supported by an unusual arrangement of Tuscan columns.

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Cedar Grove Plantation, Faunsdale Alabama

In 1854, Charles Walker of Pulaski County, Georgia purchased the plantation of a Mr. McAlpine. Located on the plantation was a two story hall and parlor plan I-house. In 1857, Walker engaged local builder, Theophilus Fowler to erect an addition to the east wing of the existing structure, resulting in a large rambling plantation house. Fowler utilized a cross hall plan and embellished the formal rooms with elaborate plasterwork, cornices, and chandelier medallions. Charles Walker was a wealthy planter, in 1860 his real estate was valued at $85,000 while his personal property was worth $172,952. Walker owned 154 slaves and his plantation comprised 1700 acres. The plantation passed to Charles Walkers's son, Mims Walker, who renovated the house around the turn of the century, modifying the porch, replacing some mantles, and refurbishing the dining room. Cedar Grove remained in the Walker family until the late 1980s when it was sold. In 1990, it was purchased by Thomas Alison who undertook an extensive renovation of the dwelling. The Cedar Grove Plantation rests at the junction of the old Upper and Lower Demopolis Roads, approximately 7 miles west of Uniontown on Marengo County Road 54, east of State Highway 25. The plantation main house rests approximately one quarter of a mile from the intersection of the two roads. Originally, the approach to the dwelling was from the east, down a long entrance drive. Today, one approaches the house from the north. The remnants of a large grove of cedar trees, from which the plantation drew its name, are still visible. The house is a mixture of Greek Revival and Neo-classical detailing.

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