Located in three historic districts, Twickenham*, Old Town*, and the Five Points**,
these areas cover more than 50 residential blocks and showcase
the popular architectural styles of their time -
from antebellum to Victorian to early 20th century bungalow.
*Twickenham and Old Town Historic Districts are listed on the National Register of
Historic Places as places worthy of preservation for their significance in
American history, architecture and culture.
**The Five Points Historic District includes more than 300 buildings dating from
1890 to the 1930's. Of particular significance are its bungalows - one of the
most popular architectural styles of the early 20th century.
Some previous homes on tour:
1916 SHAVER HOUSE
Home of Tommy and Susie Harper
422 Locust Avenue Twickenham District
Helen Rublee Shaver returned to Huntsville in 1916 as a young widow, after the death of her husband, Charles Edwin Shaver. She purchased a plot of land and built a Craftsman style bungalow that has been home for three generations of Shavers. She lived here with her son Charles and when he married Sarah Binford Moorman they moved into the house with Helen.
In the 1950’s the house was remodeled including turning the screened porch into a den, adding an HVAC system, installing aluminum siding and adding a carport.
Today it is owned by her granddaughter Susie Shaver Harper and her husband Tommy, who purchased the property in 2005. They began a major renovation and addition taking every care to recycle materials from the original house and to reinstate some of the original structure. A natural brick wall was discovered in the kitchen and the ceiling was restored back to its original height. A large den was added at the rear and wood siding from the “coal basement” was installed behind the bookcase shelves. A staircase replicated from the original front stairway leads to a guest bedroom and office.
1892 BETTS HOUSE
Home of Kathleen Felker
607 Franklin Street Twickenham District
This handsome example of Colonial Revival architecture featuring a Palladian window and hipped roof was constructed on land purchased by Leroy Pope in 1809. Pope was among the early Huntsville settlers. Charles and Lizzie Halsey began construction of the house in 1892 and the property was subsequently sold to Tancred Betts whose son, General Ed Betts then inherited the property. General Betts was a legal advisor to General Dwight Eisenhower during World War II.
In the late 1940’s the living space was converted to five apartments and asbestos siding was installed on the exterior. In 1971 Jerry and Josie Tucker became the owners and began the process of restoring the property to a single-family dwelling. The siding was removed, wiring replaced, apartment walls removed and the kitchen moved to its original site. The swimming pool and charming Gazebo were constructed in1983.
The current owner, Kathleen Felker, bought the property in 2007 and began renovating the home, retaining all of the original architecture. The pocket doors from the dining room to the foyer are new, but were constructed to match the original pocket doors between the two parlors. The kitchen was updated and a breakfast room and laundry added at the back. Ceilings were raised to the original 14-foot height on the lower level and to 12 feet on the second and the heart pine floors were sanded and refinished.
The 19th century stone mounting block at curbside will welcome visitors.
1923 MATTHEWS SPARKMAN HOUSE
Home of Fred and Ann Coffey
1216 East Clinton Avenue Five Points District
1924 tax assessment records verify the construction of a four-room Craftsman style bungalow, built by John and Mary Ethel Matthews in the East Huntsville addition to the City of Huntsville. After the property passed through several families, the home was acquired by Fred and Ann Coffey in 2008. Previous owners had remodeled the original structure, but needing more living space, the Coffey’s added the family room and enlarged the kitchen. An interesting architectural detail is the use of ceiling coffers laid on the diagonal in the family room and the addition of 100 year-old heart pine flooring from a demolished building in Mississippi. The Coffeys also added extra bedroom areas on the upper floor and in keeping with the original house glass doorknobs were installed. A color consultant from Ann Arbor, Michigan advised them on the selection of the exterior colors.
Visitors will enjoy seeing the family’s art collection the Coffey’s have three grown daughters and a large painting in the family room depicts the girls. Many of the works are by local artists and an interesting collage done by one of the Coffey daughters’ college classmates incorporates family memorabilia.
1877 LATTA HOUSE
Home of Tom and Kerry Doran
129 Walker Avenue Old Town District
According to old Huntsville records the original house was built probably only two rooms on the lot in the late 1800’s, but burned shortly afterward. Numerous owners have re-built, remodeled and enlarged the structure.
The Dorans purchased the property in 2006 and began extensive renovations that included enlarging the entrance to the front sitting room, re-designing the kitchen, adding a Master suite and bath, extending an existing den, building a fireplace and constructing a new screen porch at the rear. A courtyard was created including a small gazebo with extensive custom designed landscaping and exterior lighting added.
The Historic Commission approved the changes and the result is a warm family home in keeping with the tree-shaded old neighborhood.
1892 WHITTEN-EVERET HOUSE
BILL STENDER HOME
403 Franklin St. Twickenham District
Mr. Walter Everet, a prominent businessman of Huntsville, employed architect, H. D. Breeding to design his home in the “Late American Victorian” style. It displays an eclectic mix of Queen Anne, Gothic and Italianate styles and was built to be the family home for his future wife and daughter. The exterior is a combination of brick and painted wood shingles. Several windows visible from the street are handcrafted stained glass. In 1904, the owner added the brick portico and enlarged and enclosed the kitchen. The home was converted into a multiple dwelling in the 1940’s and a carport added in the 1950’s. However, the roof pitch does not conform to the original dwelling.
In 1992 former Congessman Bud Cramer, remodeled the structure to serve as his office. Many of the original light fixtures were converted from gas to electricity, the heart-of-pine floors refinished and the plaster walls were repaired
The property was acquired by CAS in 2000 and renovated as the company’s headquarters. With its sale it is now the home of Bill Stender who has returned it to its unique elegance. The original craftsmanship of the interior can now be enjoyed.
1899 TEMPLE B’NAI SHOLOM
103 Lincoln Street Twickenham District
In the 1870’s Huntsville’s Jewish citizens took steps to form a congregation and in 1876 thirty-two men formed Congregation B’nai Sholom. Members performed the religious functions at first then in 1892 the services of a Rabbi were secured.
As the congregation grew, land was purchased at the corner of Lincoln and Clinton Streets and a Chattanooga architect, R. H. Hunt was chosen to design the Temple in the Romanesque-Revival style. He also designed the Central Presbyterian Church on Randolph Avenue note the similarity in the architecture.
After World War II membership continued to grow and in 1975 the building was renovated in time for the centennial celebration in 1976. Another restoration followed in 1993-94, resulting in the Sanctuary as seen today.
Temple B’nai Sholom purchased its first Sefer Torah in 1878 and in 1997 a member donated a Torah from Czechoslovakia that had been rescued from destruction during the Holocaust. The Temple is truly a house of living Judaism a house of worship, study and assembly.
1819 WEEDEN HOUSE MUSEUM
300 Gates Avenue Twickenham District
The Weeden House Museum was the family home of Maria Howard Weeden, artist and poet during the late 19th century. She was nationally known for her watercolor portraits of former slaves whom she knew and loved.
Henry C. Bradford built the house in 1819, the same year Alabama became a state. It is a fine example of Federal period domestic architecture. Architectural details such as the roof cornice medallions, the frieze below the front eaves and the leaded glass fanlight over the front door are all typical of the period. Dr. William Weeden purchased the property in 1845 and except for the time during the Civil War when Union Forces requisitioned it for use, it remained in the family until it was sold in 1956.
Now owned by the City of Huntsville, it is leased by the Twickenham Historic Preservation District Association and maintained as a 19th century house museum. The furnishings are based on Dr. Weeden’s inventories and there are a number of original Weeden pieces on display. The detached kitchen was reconstructed from the 1935 HABS architectural drawings.
The house is open for tours, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 AM 3 PM and is available for weddings, receptions, teas and parties.
The Huntsville Pilgrimage Association extends many thanks to our sponsors: