1018 5th. Ave.


Built around 1900, a handsome Victorian home at 1018 5th Ave. was
 demolished as part of Huntington’s downtown urban renewal project.


HUNTINGTON — A handsome brick home that long stood at
1018 5th Ave. was designed around 1900 by James B. Stewart.

Huntington’s first architect of note, Stewart designed a wide variety of
houses and public buildings. He designed the First Presbyterian Church,
was resident architect for the Cabell County Courthouse and partnered
 with fellow architect Edwin Alger to design the city’s Carnegie Library.

The stately Victorian that Stewart designed at 1018 5th Ave.,
was the childhood home of his daughter, Louise. She
 would go on to live in the house for seven decades,
 first as the wife of Huntington real estate broker
J. Ferguson Thompson and then as his widow.

Over the years, Mrs. Thompson carefully preserved
 the house in much the way it originally was
decorated by a Cincinnati designer.

The front door was adorned with wrought ironwork and cut glass.
It opened to an entrance dominated by a large fireplace and
a handsome stairway leading to the second floor.

The parlor featured an impressive chandelier that illuminated the room and
was artfully reflected in a large plate-glass mirror enclosed in a magnificent
 fireplace whose mantel reached nearly to the high ceiling. In the dining
room, a large, highly polished dining table had as its centerpiece a
punch bowl decorated with grape clusters painted by
 Mrs. Thompson’s mother, Mary Thaxton Stewart.

A library featured twin beveled glass-front bookcases.
Designed by Stewart, they were separated by a
window seat complete with arms
and a velvet cushion.

In a 1971 interview with the Sunday Herald-Advertiser, Mrs. Thompson
said she was heartbroken that her house — along with all the other
 structures in the block where it stood — was slated for demolition
as part of Huntington’s downtown urban renewal project. In 1976,
the First Huntington National Bank built a block-long new building
on the site. Today, J.P. Morgan Chase occupies the building.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on May 18, 2021.


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