Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Buildings / Downtown

509 S. Superior, 1875

Style +
Second Empire

Builder +
Claire Torrey, 1966-1968 restoration, 1988 redecoration

Related Documents

1991, Leaflet, “The Gardner House Museum in Albion

Past Occupants
Augustus Porter Gardner
Albion Historical Society

Historic Designation +
State Register Listed, January 22, 1971
National Register Listed, May 6, 1971
Calhoun County Historic Preservation Plan, 1975
Report of the Historic District Study Committee, 1976
Albion Area Historical Architectural Survey, 1985

A National Register property, restored in 1966-67 by the Albion Historical Society. Rectangular, two-and-one-half story brick Second Empire house, with rear kitchen ell. The house is set on an ashlar foundation and has a symmetrical fenestration pattern. Access to the front door is by way of a one-story wood porch with a hipped, flat-topped roof. A wooden bay unit projects from the house at the west end of the south elevation. Brackets are used at the eaves and on the porch and bay roofs. The concave mansard roof is finished with multi-color slate lozenges. The roof is broken by projecting gables (finished with verge boards, pendants and finials) over wall dormers. The top windows are round arch windows, while the other windows are flat arched with hood moldings. A looped wire fence with square wood posts encloses the front yard.

Source: National Register of Historic Places; Superior Street Commercial Historic District Registration Form. Prepared by Lloyd Baldwin. October 1996.

Image Source: James B. Field, Souvenir of the City of Albion, 1894.

National Register of Historic Places

Gardner, A.P., Mansion, ID Number P22687
Photo Information: A. P. Gardner mansion, photo submitted c. 1960
Significant Dates: 1875
State Register Listed: 01/22/1971
National Register Listed: 05/06/1971
Marker Erected: 10/07/1981

Narrative Description
The A. P. Gardner Mansion is a square, two-and-one-half-story,yellow brick-walled Second Empire house topped by a concaveMansard roof and stands on a raised sandstone ashlarfoundation. The entrance facade has a slightly projected centralbay, fronted by a porch with elaborate sawn detailing, and otherfacades feature bracketed bay windows. Gothic stickwork andpendants decorate the cross-gable dormers. The interior of thehouse retains many original elements.

Statement of Significance
Significant for its well preserved architecture, the GardnerMansion was built in 1875 by A. P. Gardner, Albion’s leadinghardware merchant. Having stood vacant for years, the homewas marked for demolition until it was saved in the 1960s bythe Albion Historical Society. New wiring, plumbing andheating systems and other refurbishing was completed in one and-one-half years. A local landmark, the elegant GardnerHouse currently houses a museum and the headquarters for theAlbion Historical Society.

Marker Text
GARDNER HOUSE MUSEUM | Augustus P. Gardner (1817-1905), a wealthy hardware merchant, built this Victorian stylehouse in 1875. A three-story, thirteen-room mansion with amansard roof, it was Gardner’s home until his death in 1905. In1966, after decades of neglect, the house was purchased by theAlbion Historical Society. Restored, it houses a local museum.Five of the rooms are furnished as a nineteenth-century home,and the remainder feature permanent and rotating exhibits. Thishouse is among the last of its type in this area.

This early 1960s photo shows the condition of the A.P Garner house as it looked when it was acquired, before being renovated by the Albion Historical Society.

Head carpenter Claire Torrey pauses for this photo in front of the Gardner House Museum during the period of renovation in December, 1966.

Albion Historical Society president Vernon L. Bobbitt supervises the restoration of the A.P. Gardner House. Bobbitt was one of the founders of the historical society and served as its president on two occasions.

Old picture of the Gardner House.

Volunteers raising the Welcome banner and opening the museum.

Artifacts located in the attic of the Gardner House Museum.

Michigan Historic Site marker outside of the museum.

Detail of window hood.

Howard Hall piano located inside of the museum.

Chandelier hanging inside, part of much larger chandelier from the Albion Opera House.

Block with “Peabody” name used for getting off of horses.

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