N. H. Allen House

This image comes from a promotional flier about Albany, Oregon originally published in 1889

A grand Albany, Oregon home

The N. H. Allen house is located at 208 SE 6th Avenue in the historic Hackleman District of Albany, Oregon. The house was built in 1880. The original owner, N. H. Allen, was one of Albany's most prominent citizens: city councilman, lumber mill owner, and proprietor of a mercantile store. In 1886 he founded the Albany Electric & Telephone Company and used his home to demonstrate electric lighting, making it the first home in Albany to have electricity.

The Allen family continued to own the home until 1967, and descendants still take an active interest in it. Owners since then have preserved the home's original character (either through neglect or careful renovation), so the home remains among the best examples 19th century architecture in Albany's historic districts.

The earliest known photo of the N. H. Allen house ... circa 1885. Note the picket fence, accessory buildings, and the lower overall profile. A few years later, the house was jacked up to create a daylight basement.

Around 1880

This is the earliest known photo of the Allen house. Take a moment to compare it with the next photo, and you will see the house has been raised to create a basement: It was originally built closer to the ground.

Mrs. Mary Allen and a daughter stand proudly at the front door of the N. H. Allen house

Around 1890

This is the first photo of the N. H. Allen house taken around 1890. If you look carefully, you can see the sidewalks along the street were made from lumber -- concrete was expensive in the 1890s -- but the semicircular walkway around the house had been poured with concrete.

This photo was taken from the same position as the 1890 photo shown above, and the house has changed very little.

In 2020

130 years later, we took this picture of the N. H. Allen house from the same vantage point as the 1890s photo shown above. The trees, fences and neighboring houses have changed, but the N. H. Allen house has stayed almost identical. The semicircular walkway around the house also hasn't changed.

In 1963

In 1963 the Allen family still owned the N. H. Allen house, but it clearly was in need of serious maintenance along with a vegetation haircut.

In 1991

In 1991 the home was a two-tone blue. During the 1990s, the home was owned by Richard and Roseanne Siemens. They must not have liked the blue because they painted the house pink as you can see below.

Line art by Ross Parkerson, 2005

Ross Parkerson made this pen-and-ink drawing in 2005 on acid-filled paper, so the original drawing rapidly faded into oblivion. Fortunately, we had scanned the drawing, and digital scans don't degrade.

In 2008

This photo shows two generations of Allens posing for a picture on the front steps. On the left is Laura, who is Edna Allen's granddaughter. Next to Laura is Joy, her daughter.

September 2016: Buddy McClure (of http://www.sandboxbuilders.llc, CCB#201291) on a lift is spraying on a coat of primer. He did a quality job on repainting the house ... highly recommended.

In 2016

By 2016 the pink paint was looking pretty tired, so Barb Sullivan chose new colors for the house -- she wanted to go back to a blue theme,. She chose three tones of blue along with white and brown trim colors. While this is exactly the sort of "painted lady" detail the home originally had in the 1880s, it was a lot of work to do.

January 2017: A nearly finished paint job ... at least from the north. The south side still hadn't been painted.