Mortie M. Marks House
407 Johnson Street
1891; History Of
This large, many-gabled late-Victorian dwelling was built in 1891 for Mortie M. Marks, building the son of the successful merchant, Oscar Marks.
The younger Marks assisted his father in the operation of the OBuilding and Son wholesale dry goods store. At the time the 409 Johnson Street was being constructed, the family’s store was located at the southwest corner of Pollock and Middle Streets.
In November 1891, he purchased lot 324, apparently completing the house by the following summer. An inscription on a roof sheathing board, still visible in the attic, documents that the home was painted in August 1892 by Charlotte and son.
Essentially a side-hall plan structure, the Marks house is composed of a two-story gable front main block having a large two-story forward-projecting bay. The roofline is enlivened by a gable on the west slope and another two-story
gabled bay projecting from the east elevation. The home is weatherboarded, while all the pedimented gables contain lively combinations of pressed tin, patterned shingles and diagonal sheathing, evidencing the influence of the then-popular Queen Anne style.
The home was considerably enlarged on the southeast side around 1905, and the two-story porch and sleeping porch were added to the east between 1913 and 1924.
The spacious, well-finished interiors combine some original Victorian woodwork with later Colonial Revival mantels, arched doorways and in the dining room of the southeast edition, a fine pressed-tin ceiling with a cove cornice. The stairhall especially illustrates the contrasting periods, containing a massive Victorian stair with much turned work, combined with notable parquet flooring and a handsome Doric-order Colonial Revival mantel.