Southeast Historic District, Gainesville

1. McCreary House (1890)
815 East University Avenue
This large Victorian house, saved from demolition in 1975 when it was moved to this site, was the family residence for Henry Hamilton McCreary. In 1879 McCreary came to Gainesville as a young journalist and became editor and publisher of the Bee. After consolidation with other newspapers, it became the Gainesville Sun which McCreary edited and pub-lished until 1917. The McCreary descendents lived here until 1974. A mixture of vernacular and Queen Anne architectural styles, the house features an unusual curving second-story bay, a Palladian window and a large front-facing gable.

2. Fowler House (c.1906)
805 East University Avenue
This imposing Queen Anne Victorian house was built by James R. Fowler, a real estate broker and garage owner. He served two terms on the city council and was elected mayor in 1925. His family resided here for over sixty years. The residence's distinctive features include asymmetrical massing, irregular and steeply pitched roofs, a round tower that rises to a third-story level and a mixture of exterior wood frame and shingles.

3. Dorsey House (c.1900)
755 East University Avenue
This turn-of-the-century house, a good example of adaptive restoration, was converted to law offices in the 1970s. William Dorsey ran a downtown grocery store and later a bakery, and his family resided here from 1913 to 1973. The interior of the main house is painted in hues reminiscent of the original decor. It features an enclosed courtyard and a small building to the rear.

4. McKenzie House (1895)
617 East University Avenue
The largest and most elaborate of Gainesville's Victorian homes, this Queen Anne mansion has had owners all interrelated by marriage, including such prominent old Gainesville families as McKenzie, Colson, Baker, Phifer and Pound. Built by JR Lambreth, it was purchased by Reed McKenzie, a motor company owner, in the late 1920s and remained in his family for the next fifty years. Adapted to office use in 1979, its intricate Eastlake details and fanciful massing have been skillfully restored and rehabilitated. Of special note are the three-story octagonal turret on the west face and the wrap-around veranda which culminates in an octagonal gazebo.

5. Colson House (1904)
607 East University Avenue
Built along old Alachua Avenue, this neoclassical adaptation of the Queen Anne style remained in the Colson family for over seventy years. Barney R. Colson established the Florida Land and Title Company, the major abstract firm in Gainesville for over half a century. In 1977 the home was converted into law offices. The attic features an unusual colored glass window with diamond shaped panes.

6. American Legion Building (1932)
513 East University Avenue
Designed by Sanford Goin, this brick veneer building exemplifies the Georgian Revival style which was popular in Gainesville after World War I. For fifty-seven years it served as American Legion Headquarters, and its large central hall which could seat 800 people was the site for state conventions, banquets and antique shows, as well as boxing matches and rock concerts. Its main hall has four exposed beams that span its width and a great fireplace over thirteen feet high, while the building's pilasters, keystones, recessed arches and fanlighted windows display Georgian Revival details.

7. Matheson House (1867)
528 Southeast 1st Avenue
The third oldest surviving home in Gainesville, it has been occupied continuously by the Matheson family for 120 years. James D. Matheson served in the Confederate Army under General Robert E. Lee and was a prominent Gainesville merchant. His son, Christopher, was Gainesville mayor from 1910 to 1918. Originally surrounded by orange groves, it represents a transitional style between late Colonial and early Georgian architecture. The gambrel roof and shingle-style details were characteristic of early nineteenth-century homes.

8. Medlin House (1913)
15 Southeast 7th Street
Built for James L. Medlin, the president of Gainesville Planing and Coffin Company, this high style Craftsman home remained in the family until 1983. The exterior features dark brown brick with purple mortar and white keystone windows, while the interior has white oak flooring and wainscotting throughout. The bathrooms still display claw foot tubs and pedestal sinks. In 1983 the residence was converted into law offices.

9. Pound House (1880)
108 Southeast 7th Street
Built by well known house and mural painter, Aaron Keeler, this house was purchased in 1884 by E.C. Pound, a livery stable owner. One of their three sons, Addison Pound, was at one time the owner of Baird Hardware. Originally a single-family dwelling, it was converted into a two-family dwelling and then to apartments which were leased to officer's wives from nearby Camp Blanding during World War II. In 1984 Mary Barrow renovated the structure and redivided the living space into five rental units. Of special note are the country kitchen in one downstairs unit and the Art Deco decor in the upstairs apartment.

10. Niblack House (c.1899)
115 Southeast 7th Street
Built for Charles H. Barnes, chief agent for the ACL Railway, this gingerbread Victorian cottage was occupied by Julian Niblack, a mercantile salesman and mail clerk, and remained in his family for over forty years. Moved from its East University Avenue site in 1982, it was completely renovated into two apartments by Katy Morgan. Of special note are the decorated balustrade, ornamental brackets and a sunrise design in both gable peaks.

11. Fagan House (c.1910)
725 Southeast 2nd Avenue
Abandoned for five years and condemned by the city, this Craftsman bungalow was fully renovated in 1982 by Robert Buel. It features the characteristic shed roof dormer and three bay windows extending onto the porch. Inside new tiles in bird and flower patterns decorate oak fireplaces, while the kitchen retains the original double porcelain sink. A bathroom features an old iron tub and an ornate toilet. Among its many owners were the Fagan family who ran a downtown shoe store.

12. Hodges House (1887)
715 Southeast 2nd Avenue
This impressive Queen Anne structure was originally located downtown beside Holy Trinity Church. Built as a one-and-a-half-story house, it was purchased in 1908 by Dr. James R Hodges, a Gainesville doctor and physician for the University, and remained in his family until 1940. Extensive remodeling added a wrap-around porch with nine columns, a side turret with two ornamental bands of fishscale shingles and an adjacent two-story bay. In 1979 Mary and Mark Barrow saved the house from demolition by moving it and completely renovating it into four apartments. Painted a dazzling blue-grey with white trim, it has attracted local and national attention.

13. Swearingen-Austin House (1903)
205 Southeast 7th Street
Thomas J. Swearingen, a lumber and turpentine businessman who also owned one of Gainesville's first auto dealerships, built this large Victorian house and it remained in his family until 1957. Dr. Oliver Austin, a noted ornithologist, then purchased it and in 1980 the Barrows restored and converted it into apartments. The double veranda is particularly notable.

14. Shands-Enwall House (1903)
200-202 Southeast 7th Street
Built by Thomas W. Shands, a banker and lumber dealer, this asymmetrically massed Queen Anne house is rich in Victorian charm. The elaborate neoclassical wooden details reflect Mr. Shands' involvement in the lumber business. Purchased in 1921 by Hasse O. Enwall, a professor of Psychology, and converted to an apartment in 1928, it is still owned and rented out by Hayford Enwall, an attorney and law professor at the University. The columned porte-cochere leading to a three-bay carriage house/garage is reflective of the early automobile era in Gainesville.

15. Burke House (c.1941)
608 Southeast 2nd Place
This fieldstone house typifies a picturesque Gainesville adaption of the Craftsman bungalow. Variations of this style with brick and stucco can be found throughout the city. Edwin K. Burke, an auto mechanic, owned the house until the 1950s.

16. Baird House (1885)
307 Southeast 7th Street
An impressive three-story structure with a striking mansard roof and long Italianate windows, this house exemplifies French Second Empire architecture style. The tall frontal tower, ornate moldings and pilasters add significantly to its period charm. Emmett Baird, president of Standard Crate Company and owner of the Baird Opera House, purchased the house in 1900, and it remained in his family until the 1950s. Emmett and his brother Eberle established Baird Hardware, one of the largest wholesale hardware stores in Florida, as well as several saw mills.

17. Gray House (1927)
408 Southeast 7th Street
This was the residence of Lucian M. Gray, the contractor and builder of the Eastview subdivision during the 1920s. Mr.Gray also paved several Gainesville subdivisions, besides owning a rock quarry and a trucking firm. This one-and-a--half-story brick bungalow disguises its spacious 2,500 foot area, and its lot contains an adjacent building which formerly served as Gray's office and a two-car garage.

18. Diettrich House (c.1930)
415 Southeast 6th Terrace
One of the Eastview subdivision houses built by L.M. Gray on land platted by M.M. Parrish, this particular two-story house features a stucco exterior, French tile roof with an exposed roof line and porch with battered columns piers. Sigismond Diettrich, a professor of Geography at the university, lived here for nearly thirty years.

19. Bungalow (c.1930)
421 Southeast 6th Terrace
Another characteristic Eastview bungalow which had a series of owners, this combination brick, stucco and fieldstone building has the typical French tile roof decorated with hip finials. Note the detached garage in the rear in the same style. The original steam heating plant was located here.

This information has been taken from the booklet titled: "Historic Gainesville: A Tour Guide to the Past," and edited by Ben Pickard. Published by Historic Gainesville, Inc. with funding from the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, 1990.