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This home was built by Dr. Samuel Welch and his wife Ethel in 1907. Dr. Welch served as the State Medical Officer for much of his career. He was a Mason and an Odd Fellow. After his death the house passed to Miss Willie Wallace Welch who lived there until her passing in 1997. The home was designed by Frank Lockwood of Montgomery and built by contractor Robert S. West of Talladega.
It exhibits elements of both Queen Anne and Eastlake styles. Its asymmetrical layout features lancet windows and decorative bargeboards. The porch roof and widow’s walk are Queen Anne-style features. It also has a shingled and clapboard facade.
The house is located in the Silk Stocking Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The district encompasses 113 acres and contains 120 contributing properties. Its architecture includes Queen Anne, Classical Revival, Colonial Revival, and American Craftsman-style buildings. It is also home to a variety of antebellum and Victorian houses.
Talladega’s Classical Revival houses are typically one or two stories tall, symmetrical in form and often resembling classical temples. A pedimented front portico dominates the façade and may be capped by a flat entablature, broken pediment or rounded fan light. Windows are grouped in groups of three or four and a central entry door with side lights is located above a recessed front porch.
Several homes in the district are attributed to Montgomery architect Frank Lockwood, whose design style ranged from Queen Anne to Neoclassical Revival. Others in the district were designed by local builders and architects.
The Seven Gables House was built in 1905 by Hugh McElderry, a banker and community leader. It was named for the numerous gables it features. The home is currently owned by the Landmarks Foundation. It was originally the residence of George Paris Plowman, a prominent merchant in Talladega. In 1920, the property was acquired by Ida Wallis Elliott, editor of “Our Mountain Home” and author of the book, Southern Character Sketches.
A cultural movement, as well as an architectural style, Colonial Revival was fueled by a romantic veneration of the early American past. Enthusiasts brought early American values and aesthetics into contemporary life through preserving old buildings, staging reenactments of historic events, manufacturing new goods in past styles, and creating works of art and literature that depicted early American scenes.
The Colonial Revival architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries borrowed from colonial and Georgian houses but was characterized by a greater emphasis on classical motifs than symmetry and proportion. It also included a transitional neo-Colonial form and, later, became more academically correct.
For a house to be considered Colonial Revival, the door and window shapes should have a decorative pediment or columns that accent the entrance. The treatment of original windows and doors is critical, as these are the primary character defining features of the building and should be carefully maintained. Additions should be carefully designed as secondary elements that respect the overall massing and scale of the original building.
The American Craftsman style, also known as the Arts and Crafts movement, is an architecture, interior design, furniture, and decorative arts style and philosophy that began in the last decade of the 19th century. A reaction to both Victorian architectural opulence and the increasing popularity of mass-produced housing, its hallmarks were visible handcrafted construction, clean lines, and use of natural materials. Notable practitioners include Harvey Ellis and the Greene and Greene firm, whose ultimate bungalows still stand in Pasadena, California.
The Silk Stocking District is a historic district in Talladega, Alabama, United States, comprising a concentration of late Victorian and revival homes built mainly between 1885 and 1917. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Search for local architects and building designers on Houzz. Our premium membership gives you access to personalized recommendations, lead management software, and other business-boosting tools.