Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 6, 2013
409 E. Bank St.
One of the most eclectic dwellings in the district, this two-story, weather-boarded and frame Italianate-Victorian house was built by prosperous grocer W. H. Huff in 1892. Huff was the son of W. H. and Edith Huff. In 1887 he married Hattie V. Heilig, the daughter of A. H. and Mary J. Heilig. Huff occupied the house until his death in 1921 and his widow operated a boarding house here into the 1930s. In 1932 the house was purchased by Pearl and David Eller, who was a boilermaker at the Southern Railyard. The house passed to Eller’s daughter, Thelma E. Wells in 1943 and she owned it until 1981 when she sold it to Von C. Poston. In 1981 it was moved slightly to the east on its lot due to the widening of South Long Street. The current owner, Anne Rasmussen Lyles purchased the house in 1991. Anne and her family’s leadership and dedication over the last 25 years helped to revitalize the Brooklyn-South Square Neighborhood.
This house features a symmetrical composition, developed around a two-story projecting entrance bay and its steep gable roof. The molding pendant brackets along the eaves enrich the cornice.
The excitement of late Victorian architecture is clearly evidenced by the profusion of exterior ornamentation. Its front gable is adorned with rich sawn ornament and its handsome porch features a turned balustrade and posts, an airy spindle gallery with unusual solid brackets, and other elegantly carved pendant brackets. Its eclectic character is further enhanced by a wide, pedimented door and window surrounds with bosses.
Although much of its original exterior wall siding was removed during its relocation, the interior retains many of its original features. One downstairs Italianate mantel features heavy carved posts, a wide shelf supported by rounded brackets, and a frieze adorned with a circular motif. Another Colonial Revival mantel is characterized by tall, slender columns, a heavy shelf, mirrored overmantel, and a colored tile surround. These original mantles combine with a paneled wainscoting and handsome open-string stair with massive turned newel and balustrade to produce a rich interior. The house also features a half-barrel ceiling and carved wooden spandrel in the hallway and stained glass.