The Silver Lining House

About

The National HABS / National Park Service Records

The Hidden Treasure

Why So Many "Names" for the House?

The SilverLining House was called the Lafayette Guild / Ormond Little House in 1934 at the date of the survey, a page of which is shown above.

 

The full survey report, architect's report and interior and exterior photos can be found at:

 

Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) Catalog of the Measured Drawings and Photographs of the Survey in the Library of Congress, March 1, 1941; Ormond-Little House, on Queen City Avenue. Brick, two stories, mid 19th C, Greek Revival. 5 sheets (1934); 7 photos (1934; 1936).

 

For the complete set of architectural drawings & photos from the survey click below:


National HABS Link

 

The architect's report is part of the data / .pdf pages in the survey records; you can get there by clicking on the HABS icon; it is the first icon in the list of pictures and plans

 - turned out to be the door knobs. When the former Rehabilitation owners bought the house, the door knobs were blackened from many years of poor upkeep.

 

While on a trip to Scotland to work with the silver - gold chemical electroplating master craftsman in Edinbourgh who was restoring the chandeliers and other silver pieces, each door knob set was discovered by him to be made of rare original sheffield silver, and we were offered 2500 English pounds cash for each set. Their value has only risen over time.

 

The Home as a "Treasure"

 

The home has many wonderful features, including 9 fireplaces, various period ceiling medallions and frieze work, and other examples of 18, 19, and 20th Century architecture, art, furniture, and furnishings.

 

William Nichols, the architect of the University of Alabama and other Universities and structures throughout the South, did the initial design of the house as confirmed by his architectural signature (a french curve) that is seen on the front hall staircase and the front porch columns. It's side porch's curved roof is another unusual architectural element.

 

The timing of the start of the house is consistent with the period in which Nichols was doing the Univerity work.


However, one of his master craftsman, Robb, actually did the construction of the house.

 

For these reasons, this house is considerd a  "gem" of Tuscaloosa.

The historically correct name for the house is "The Lawrence-Current Owner" House; after the original builder and whomever is the current owner. 

 

The home was part of the national survey of historically significant homes performed by out-of-work architects during the depression period. There were only 8 houses in Tuscaloosa regarded as significant and thus surveyed, and their records placed in the HABS.

 

The SilverLining House was mistakenly called the Lafayette Guild / Ormond Little House in 1934 at the date of the survey. It was confused with another, now gone, house around the block.

 

By the time of the US Park Service listing in 1975, its name had been loosely changed to "Ormond-Little". However, the historical research required to prepare and obtain certification of the Historical Marker pictured above, and approved by the Alabama State Historical Commission, finally developed the actual historical background of the house, as now listed on the Marker, and on this website.

 

The House is now an historically important example of US history, and Greek Revival - Georgian-Federal architecture.