Historic Structures

Building Description Owen Plantation House, Bessemer Alabama

Like many early plantation hates, the Owen House was constructed in two stages and consists of an earlier one story, two room, frame cabin which now serves as a dining and kitchen wing for the two story, frame structure.

The main house is five bays wide and has a gabled roof with a box cornice and returns. End-exterior chimneys are located on either end of the- main section. A single story, end-exterior chimney, located on a rear shed room has been rebuilt, as has the central chimney of the rear wing. A one story, half-hipped roof porch crosses the facade and is supported by eight tapered box columns with recessed panels. The area beneath the portico is distinguished by the use of shiplapped siding and paneled wainscotting painted to simulated marble. Similar wainscotting is found in the two front rooms of the ground floor and continues into the central hallway which remained unenclosed until the early 20th Century.

Interior walls are flush boards approximately 12" wide, doors have four panels and windows have simple architrave trim. Mantels are similar to those of the Saddler House, and have fluted pilasters and a paneled frieze. All of the three upstairs rooms have chair railing.

The central hallway opens onto a rear porch flanked by a shed roof on one side and a shed room and the rear wing on the other. A stair on the back porch leads into the central room of the third floor, while a second stair, located in the ground floor bedroom, leads to the room above. Access to this room is gained only through the interior stair.

Alterations have been moderately minor and consist of the enclosing of the breezeway, the replacement of wooden shingles with a metal roof, and the addition of bathroom facilities on the rear porch. During restoration, the roof will be replaced with wooden shingles, the bathroom removed and the breezeway opened.