THE CRAWFORD-GILL HOUSE
804 Jackson Street, SE
The original residents of this house were Paul and Kate Crawford. Paul was manager at B. Crawford Lumber, located at 1st Avenue South. In 1915, Harry T. and Mary J. Gill purchased the house. Mr. Gill was a traveling salesman for hardware companies. He later worked for the North Alabama division of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). WPA was a federal government program started in the 1930s and employed men for public work projects, including roads and public buildings. Delano Park, Fort Decatur, and Old State Bank all used WPA labor for construction and restoration projects. After the passing of Ms. Gill in 1958, the house was bequeathed to her great nephew, Paul “Bud” Brown and his wife, Martha.
This house is an excellent example of the Craftsman style. This style is known for its low-pitched rooflines, open eaves with exposed rafter tails, roof brackets, and porches supported by tapered piers. The style became popular nationally by the early 20th century and was known for its numerous built-ins, which were seen as both cost and labor saving at the time. Built-in bookcases often flank fireplaces, partial walls with tapered piers (sometimes with low cabinets below) and built-in China cabinets and buffet servers are common with this style. The diamond paned windows are a stunning and uncommon feature for this style.
The current owners, Michael and Donna Rogers, purchased the house in 2018 after meeting the Brown family through a mutual friend. The house had only been sold one time in over a hundred years before the Rogers purchased it. The home had been vacant for five years and needed extensive rehabilitation. Mr. Rogers completed most of the work himself. The diamond paned windows and the porch are some of the couple’s favorite features. The homeowner won a 2021 Historic Preservation Award from the city’s Historic Preservation Commission for the excellent work on this house.