The Queen Anne house was completed in 1899 for New Albany’s prominent businessman and benefactor Louis N. Hartman (1838–1917) and his third wife, Annie Katherine “Katie” Kunz. With its distinctive corner tower, it is believed to be a pattern-book plan by the Knoxville, Tennessee, architect George F. Barber. The house contains a profusion of oak, cherry, and butternut woodwork, parquet floors, and stained and beveled glass. The second floor’s walnut and oak flooring squares were manufactured by New Albany’s Wood Mosaic Company. Woodwork may have been milled at the Oak Street Planing Mill owned by Philip Schneider, father of Annie Katherine Kunz.
Hartman was a German immigrant active in the Methodist church. While wealthy owners were by then building on Main Street, he chose to build on the site of his original family home, in a segregated neighborhood. Local tradition and his obituaries maintain that Hartman was a lifelong advocate for African– Americans struggling in the post-Reconstruction era.
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October - November 2020