Lincoln College, a clandestine Congregational academy on the outskirts of Topeka, was founded in 1865. It would afterwards be accepted as Washburn College, and today, as Washburn University.
Economic difficulties afterward the Civil War fabricated allotment the academy a challenge, but the aforementioned year, the academy opened; a benefactor donated 160 acreage of adjoining land.
College leaders awash accoutrements of the acreage and developed houses about the campus as an added antecedent of income. They hoped to allure middle-and-upper-class families to the breadth with the abstraction that these families would abutment the academy by alms allowance and lath to students.
The gain from the sales of the donated acreage accurate the academy for three decades. In lieu of a salary, acreage was deeded to professors, who congenital their homes abreast the campus area they taught.
The adjacency that sprang up had able associations with Washburn Academy and became accepted for its ability and chargeless barter of ideas. In accession to professors, the association admiring students, artists, absolute acreage developers, writers and agents and was coined Academy Hill.
Located arctic of the university and southwest of burghal Topeka, Academy Hill’s hallmarks are its accustomed copse and affable residents. As one of Topeka’s aboriginal suburbs, the adjacency accustomed a able faculty of association from the beginning, publishing its own adjacency bi-weekly and blast directory.
Because of its ambit from the city’s center, Academy Hill congenital churches and schools for its residents. A streetcar band that ran forth Academy Avenue transported acceptance and association to the arcade and bartering commune in burghal Topeka.
Listed as a National Register Historic Commune in 2007, Academy Hill and its houses are affluent with history.
“We apperceive we accept a albatross to history,” said Academy Hill citizen Susan Duffy. “We feel it is a advantage to alive actuality and be one of the caretakers.”
Susan and her husband, Clark, accept lived at 1501 S.W. Boswell Ave. for the accomplished 32 years.
Their 3,077-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is anchored on the southwest bend of S.W. 15th and Boswell in the affection of Academy Hill.
The abode has been declared as a Chargeless Classic Queen Anne with Colonial Revival influences.
Susan describes it as a aboveboard with a pyramid top. Featuring a different round-gabled roofline and aboriginal four-pillared advanced balustrade with a limestone foundation, the cream- and sage-colored home stands out, alike in a adjacency abounding of examples of admirable architecture.
“I adulation the appearance of this house,” said Susan. “It’s not replicated anywhere.”
Built from 1907-1909 by Amos Longaker, it was styled afterwards a affectation abode that was featured at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Longaker acclimated the archetypal abode as his inspiration, bushing his home with large, accessible apartment and affluence of closets, a adverse to the archetypal architectural styles of the aeon in added neighborhoods in Topeka.
“I like the big, accessible rooms. It gives it a added accessible feel,” said Susan. “The egg-shaped arced windows in the active allowance are actual different and special.”
The abode took Longaker two years to body because he was affected to acknowledge defalcation afore it could be finished.
“The adventure is that Longaker approved to bake the abode down,” said Susan. “The blaze administration put the blaze out once, and afresh had to appear aback aback it started again.”
She can point out bake marks in the attic, still arresting today from the fires. Longaker did eventually accomplishment the abode and lived there for a time afore affairs it.
Two fraternities active the amplitude during the aboriginal allotment of the 20th century, including Kappa Sigma, and later, Alpha Delta. Photos and yearbooks commemorating that aeon are still displayed in the house. Previous association appear award fraternity paddles in the attic aback they confused in.
Pranks were accepted amid the fraternity brothers. It is accounted that Kappa Sigma frequently led a pony up the third-floor accomplish to the attic and out assimilate the roof balcony, to the annoyance of the neighbors.
A added black allotment of the home’s history includes its role in the 1918 affliction pandemic. During that year, the fraternity was asked to move out and the abode was acclimated as a hospital to amusement cases of affliction and added ailments.
According to an commodity from The Topeka Circadian Capital anachronous Oct. 22, 1918, the hospital was operated by Dr. A.B. Jeffrey and run by Mrs. James Biby, a Red Cross nurse. Any apprentice at the academy who was doubtable to be advancing bottomward with affliction was abandoned on campus in ascertainment quarters. If they were begin to be ill, they were beatific anon to the hospital for treatment. Consulting physicians from the burghal were alleged in for austere cases.
The cardboard appear at that time that assistant Biby had not removed her clothes for three canicule due to the demands of cases actuality accepted daily. The abode was disconnected into cubicles application frames covered in bedsheets that were blood-soaked in antibacterial in an attack to absolve the air. A abstracted kitchen and bath were set up in the basement.
During Prohibition, the Alpha Delta fraternity acclimated the basement of the abode as a affiliate room, and their abode mother active a amplitude on the aboriginal floor. In 1945, Earl and Ruth Manning bought the abode for $5,000.
The Mannings larboard their mark on 1501 S.W. Boswell, abacus a broiler and congenital bookcases on the aboriginal attic and adding the kitchen to assemble an added bedchamber at the aback of the abode for their daughter, Nancy.
Nancy Manning put a agenda in the Duffys’ aperture several years ago and afterwards met Susan to allotment her memories of growing up in the abode afterward Apple War II. She anecdotal that the ancestors boarded allotment of the university football aggregation in their attic ceremony summer. One of the football players had been crowned accession king, and Nancy enjoyed affectation about the abode with his acme on her head.
It was accepted at the time for homeowners to booty borders, and Nancy recalled a woman called Mrs. Brian who helped her and her brothers accession bottle-fed piglets in the window able-bodied of the house.
Subsequent owners lived there and alike busy it out afore Clark and Susan Duffy purchased the abode in the backward 1980s. The Duffys accept lived at 1501 best than any association afore them.
“It had been on the bazaar always afterwards any bites,” said Susan. “When we bought it, the ceilings were all lowered, and the walls were covered in bargain copse paneling. The kitchen was aphotic amber with fleet and amber carpet, and the aback appointment was corrective Pepto Bismol pink.”
Even admitting Susan said their families anticipation they were out of their minds, she and Clark fell in adulation with Academy Hill, bought the house, and set about authoritative it their own.
“I grew up in a apartment development in a tri-level house, and (Clark) grew up on a farm,” said Susan. “We capital to alive in Academy Hill and absolutely admired actuality abutting to the university and actuality in a adjacency with a lot of character.”
Clark is a assistant of political science at the university, and Susan attributes the neighborhood’s affable and bookish address to its access with Washburn University and Menninger Hospital afore it closed.
“We’ve formed absolutely adamantine to accumulate it a applicable community,” said Susan.
The home’s aboriginal roof alone afresh had to be replaced afterwards added than a hundred years of service. Fabricated of wood, it was advised with linseed oil to accumulate it from dehydration out completely, and afresh decrepit with redwood stain over the top. In the name of preservation, the Duffys insisted on befitting the Yankee guttering congenital into the roofline admitting beneath big-ticket backup options.
They additionally tuckpointed the foundation and added axial air and heat.
“I anticipate the hardest allotment of active in an old abode is accepting that it’s an old house. You accept to adulation active in an old house,” said Susan.
Decorated with wallpaper in shades of blooming and cream, a axial antechamber opens assimilate a active room, dining room, kitchen, and parlor on the aboriginal floor. Like abounding houses of the period, aboriginal wide-plank trim woodwork and aureate oak floors are aboriginal to the house, and abridged doors board added character.
Most of the ablaze accessories in the home are original, and aeon replicas accept been acclimated for those that are not.
Remodeled in the mid-40s by the Manning family, the kitchen appearance apparent brick, which Susan Duffy had whitewashed. While the Duffys preserved the kitchen cabinets and corrective them white, they replaced the kitchen countertop. They additionally adapted a aback balustrade into a laundry allowance two years ago and confused the laundry accessories from the basement for affluence of living.
As the abode has undergone its abounding transformations, charcoal from the accomplished accept been begin in some abnormal places. During a bath remodel, the owners apparent a corncob aqueduct and a decayed pail, and Susan says it isn’t aberrant to still see shards of bottle from the 1966 Topeka tornado in the backyard, abnormally afterwards a adamantine bounce rain.
History and ancestry are important to the Duffys, who affirmation German and Irish roots. An aboriginal leaded window on the second-story access landing shines ablaze on a accumulating of ancestors portraits spanning several generations.
“Knowing area you appear from is important. Knowing your ancestors history is an important allotment of accomplishments yourself as a person,” said Susan. “It’s your affiliation to the world.”
She and Clark accept furnished their abode with aeon pieces, including several ancestors heirlooms that they attending advanced to casual bottomward to their three accouchement someday. In accession to an aged amazement couch and cafe in the dining room, Clark’s ancestors dining table carries its own alluring lore. It was acclimated to accomplish an emergency appendectomy on a 10-year-old babe in the family, who didn’t survive the surgery.
The Duffys accept that benevolent alcohol still abide in the house, conceivably a victim of the affliction communicable or a above fraternity brother alternate to comedy one aftermost prank. Doors slamming and added abnormal noises are common occurrences, according to Susan.
As was accepted for the time, the additional akin of the abode is addled in beneath big-ticket ache planks rather than oak. An oval-shaped bedchamber is a decidedly different affection of the house.
Used as a bedfellow room, Susan credibility out the accomplished adroitness of the woodwork and the absorption to detail that is rarely begin in newer houses today.
A second-floor bath was added afterwards to board the needs of a avant-garde ancestors with growing children.
While the Duffys’ accouchement are now grown, they accompany their own families aback to adore the abode their parents accept admired for so abounding years. For Susan Duffy, Academy Hill was an ideal abode to accession kids. With its sidewalks and affable neighbors, she says it was absolutely the appropriate best for her family.
“We fabricated a acceptable decision,” Susan said. “This adjacency is so abounding of accurate men and women. I can’t anticipate of a abode I’d rather alive than in this abode and neighborhood.”
1501 S.W. Boswell was a featured home on the first-ever Academy Hill Home Tour. While the abode isn’t currently on the National Register of Historic Places, Susan hopes to complete the action this year, which additionally happens to mark her and Clark’s 35th bells anniversary.
Susan said the abode has alloyed itself into their history as a brace and as a family.
“To apperceive we’ve about lived our accomplished affiliated activity actuality gives us a balmy feeling,” she said.
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