Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (July 5, 1972)
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Story and Photos by Jean Necley
NU School of Journalism
Sitting like an oasis in a bust ling city
campus, the little yellow house at 700 N.
16th St. is the oldest structure at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The house was erected in 1877 for the
Rev. lilisha M. Lewis, a "home,
missionary" of the Presbyterian Church.
For nearly 60 years it was owned by the
family of Constance Syford until it was
willed to the Nwbraska State Historical
Society upon her death in IV6S,
'I he house currently is inhabited by
two Historical Society caretakers to
decrease the possibility of vandalism, but
eventually, the house will be restored as a
public museum exhibiting life in the
According to Marvin Kivitt, Historical
Society director, most of the exterior
restoration has been completed.
'The entire tinned roof had to be
replaced," he said, "and believe me, it
cot more than it looks." The difficulty
was in finding a craftsman who could
reconstruct the decorative French Second
F.mpire style roof. An elderly craftsman
in Lincoln finally was found to complete
Technological changes have added
plumbing, electricity and heating, but the
house has retained remnant of the past,
like the old gas jets still on I he walls
A barn with a hayloft and manger still
stands behind the house, liut the original
doors were destroyed to accommodate
cars and still need to be restored. Alone
time the family cow was kept there.
Outside the back door is a small
woodshed common to houses of the
period. Handily near the kitchen, the
shed stored fuel necessary or cooking
The house represents the home of an
average income family of the 1880s.
"Generally only elegant homes are
preserved foi public display," Kivitt said,
"so we believe it has historical value in
The old barn door, top left, if much
narrower than most modern doori.
Sandoz Hall looms in the background.
Top center, some of the original furniture
of the house, like this piano, mixes with
newer applicancet of its caretaker
tenants. Top right, indoor plumbing was
not included when the house was built,
and facilities still are not new. The little
yellow house, above, stands as a remnant
of French Second Empire style
architecture. In the barn, left, there's a
stark contrast between the motorcycle
owned by one of the house's current
inhabitants and a carriage stored there by
the Historical Society.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 5, 1972
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