Samuel Farkas House, Albany Georgia
The Samuel Farkas House is the last remaining mansion of a "merchant prince" of the nineteenth century in Albany. Completed in the late 1880's, it represents the fulfillment of the American dream for one man and his family.
Samuel Farkas was an Hungarian immigrant who came to this county when he was 18 years old. It is said that he could not speak a word of English and had only fifty cents in his pocket. He came to Albany because his uncle had set up a successful merchandising store in the city after the Civil War. It was at this general store that Farkas worked before he began his mule business. In 1872 he established a stable, trading chiefly with mules. His dealings figured largely in the agricultural economy of the area, and although he had intermittent setbacks, within two decades he had amassed a fortune. He married Celia Zucker, also an immigrant, and they had six sons and two daughters.
This two and a half story, all stretcher bond buff colored brick house is defined by asymmetrical massing of two and one half story recessed and projecting bays, prominently broad, bracketed eaves, pedimented dormers in the "fish scale" slate mansard roof and white stone keystones in the projecting window arches that continue into a modified dripstone moulding. The present one story heavily pillared and plastered entrance porch is echoed in the one story east sun parlor. In 1920 this one story porch replaced the original porch and balcony and the east porch was converted into the sun parlor.
Although the interior reflects the asymmetrical massing of the 17 rooms and five baths, a central stair hall does divide the house. The double entrance doors open into this wainscotted hall. Presently the stairs are being removed from one wall to another.
Throughout the rooms six inch floor boards are of heart pine, the fireplaces have tiled hearths and most mantels, with the exception of an occasional later Neo-classical one, are examples with carved friezes. Small paned stained glass windows appear on the front facade.
In 1940 a two story brick addition was made to the rear.
Gardens that include azaleas, camellias, tea olives and other indigenous plants surround the house. A wrought iron fence defines the boundary of the front yard.
Presently the house is situated on a side, busy street near the downtown commercial section of Albany.