City Directories and History: The Evans-Russell House, built ca. 1901, is significant as an exceptional example of Neo-Classical Revival residential architecture and for its close association with Governor John Gary Evans (1863-1942), for whom the house was built. Governor and Mrs. Evans lived in the Evans-Russell House from its construction in 1901 until their deaths in 1942. The house is also noteworthy as the residence of Governor Donald S. Russell (1906-1998) from 1947 until his death in 1998. The Evans-Russell House is one of the oldest houses in Converse Heights,
IMAGE GALLERY – Bill Segars, photographer.
predating the formal development of the neighborhood. The house is an intact example of the full-height entry porch subtype of early Neo-Classical Revival architecture. The two-and-one-half story frame house is distinguished by its classical ornamentation, most notably the two-story portico largely of the Corinthian order, with its denticulated and modillion cornice, pulvinated frieze, classical balustrade, and pedimented gable. Other Neo-Classical Revival details include extensive dentil work and modillions, wide cornices and decorative trim, and classically-framed double-hung sash windows. The house is unique in that it features a large, side gambrel roof more typical of Dutch Colonial Revival style houses of the 1920s and 1930s. The Evans-Russell House is further noteworthy because it reflects the transition from Victorian to classically-inspired architecture in Spartanburg during the early twentieth century. The house was reoriented on the existing lot ca. 1940, but the short move did not compromise the historic location, setting, or association for which the property is significant. Alterations in the latter part of the 1950s removed the porte-cochere and significantly enlarged and reconfigured the rear addition. The property also contains one contributing structure, a small, screened “tea room” of decorative iron frame and asphalt-shingled hipped roof that was probably constructed ca. 1955. Listed in the National Register March 21, 2007.
View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property.(Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
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