Bluff Hall

405 N. Commissioners Ave., Demopolis, Alabama

A historic residence in Demopolis, Alabama.

Photos 

Bluff Hall

1. Front view. April 3, 1934. Photo

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress

Map 

Description 

Bluff Hall is a historic residence in Demopolis, Alabama. The original portion of the house is in the Federal style with later additions that altered it to the Greek Revival style. It was documented as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1936, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. As of 2007, it serves as a historic house museum, with the interior restored to an 1850s appearance.

History

The house was built in 1832 by Allen Glover for his daughter, Sarah Serena Glover, and her husband, Francis Strother Lyon. The Lyons used Bluff Hall as a townhouse; they also resided at Bermuda Hill, their plantation near Arcola. Bluff Hall was one of several homes built atop a limestone cliff overlooking the Tombigbee River, known as White Bluff, on land that Francis Lyon had purchased a few years earlier from the town commissioners of Demopolis.

The house was altered in the 1840s with the addition of the two-story front portico and a large rear wing. The new rear wing contained the dining room and kitchen at ground level and two bedrooms on the second floor. This new construction also added the other Greek Revival details.

The house remained in the Lyon family until 30 October 1907 when it was sold to A. R. Smith. The Smith family maintained it as a residence into the 1940s, though the upper floors were converted to apartments. The house was sold again in 1948 and continued as apartments. The Marengo County Historical Society purchased the house on 22 March 1967 in order to restore and convert it to a historic house museum.

Description

The house is a two-story brick structure, with portions covered by smooth stucco. The front portico features six two-story square columns, constructed in brick with a stucco finish. These columns are very similar to nearby Lyon Hall. The balcony under the portico spans the width of the entrance doors and is supported by wrought iron brackets. The double parlor in the interior features two columns that were an anniversary gift to the Lyons from the Whitfield family. The Whitfields lived nearby at Gaineswood.

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 28, 1970
Reference number
70000105
Architectural style
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival
Areas of significance
Politics/Government; Architecture
Level of significance
State
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Building
Historic function
Single dwelling
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1825-1849
Significant years
1832; 1847

Update Log 

  • May 26, 2011: Updated by WillyT: Added description

Sources