The Kuhn House exemplifies a type of house that is both historically and architecturally significant in Houston and is reflective of the culture and social standing of the people who settled in the German neighborhood north of downtown Houston. The Kuhn House is an unusual example of a vernacular, side hall, cross-gable Queen Anne style building. The architectural feature that makes the house type unique and exceptionally significant in Houston is the wraparound porch boasting an unusual flat roof ornamented with a hooded parapet clad in diamond-shaped shingles. The Kuhn House, built in 1883, was originally located at 2309 Center Street in First Ward. The property was owned by Stephen Kuhn, who deeded it, including a house, to his son, Andrew J. Kuhn, upon the occasion of his marriage in 1892.
Andrew J. Kuhn, a successful German jewelry merchant, operated his business across the street at 2320 Center Street. Mr. Kuhn was not typical among his fellow German neighbors, the majority of which were railroad workers. He not only operated a successful jewelry business but he also invested in several other real estate ventures in Houston Heights and Hyde Park. As his family grew in number and his business prospered, he was afforded the opportunity to enlarge the original house in 1893. It was at that time that Mr. Kuhn added a rear portion to the home and ornamented the interior with stylish millwork, wainscoting, gas lighting fixtures and stenciled ceilings. In keeping with his business and social prominence, he also embellished the exterior of the house with a large wraparound porch featuring its Eastlake detailing and flat roof. He also enhanced the exterior of the house with walkthrough windows on the porch, multi-light Queen Anne style gable window, decorative shingle cladding, ornamental gable vergeboard with brackets, Eastlake style entry door, and roof finials.
To prevent demolition, the house was relocated to its current location in the Sixth Ward on March 5, 1977 by Richard Roeder, and was later restored to its original character by Charles Stava and JD Bartell. The rear portion of the house was built in 2002 to replace the one demolished when the house was relocated. Materials used in its construction were salvaged from other homes owned by the Kuhn family that were lost to progress.
Old Sixth Ward Historic District -Listed on National Register 1978
Old Sixth Ward Historic District –Municipally Designated 1998
City of Houston Landmark 2002
City of Houston Protected Landmark 2006
Winter 2005- Old House Interiors Magazine, Best Restoration of a Victorian Era Home. Published in “Victorian” Winter 2005 edition of Old House Interiors. Charles Stava and JD. Bartell.