2214 Kane

The Andrew and Josephine Kuhn House

Known for many years as the Steamboat House due to its wrap-around porch that resembled the bow of a steamboat, it began life in 1883 as a Gulf Coast Colonial at 2309 Center Street, which was once part of the Old Sixth Ward. It was the home of Mr. Stephen Kuhn, a New Orleans coffee merchant who needed a place to stay for extended periods of time while conducting business in Houston. Upon retirement, he deeded the house, to his youngest son, Andrew J. Kuhn, upon the occasion of his marriage in 1892. The younger Mr. Kuhn not only operated a successful jewelry store but also invested in several real estate ventures in Houston Heights and Hyde Park. As his family grew in number and his business prospered, he chose to enlarge the original house instead of moving to a wealthier neighborhood elsewhere. He added the front portion to the home and ornamented the interior with stylish millwork, wainscoting, gas lighting fixtures and stenciled ceilings. To delight his beloved wife, Josephine, of her fond childhood memories traveling on the Mississippi River with her steamboat captain father, he had the new front porch built in the Steamboat Gothic style. To prevent demolition, the house was relocated to its current location in 1977 by Richard Roeder, a pioneer in the gentrification of the Old Sixth Ward, and later restored to its original character. The rear portion of the house was rebuilt 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.