James L. Oswald House

Historic Property
Alternate Name:
Oswald-Laffitte House
Street Address:
Flat Street (next to Allendale Presbyterian Church), Allendale

Site Number:
Site Number:
Date Surveyed:
June 25 1979
Construction Date:
circa 1889 – 1890
Current Use:
Construction Method:
wood frame
Foundation Materials:
Roof Materials:
Signficant Architectural Features:
Large 2-3 story clapboard house with high hip and gable roof decorated with finials. Bulky, irregular massing. Interior chimneys. Windows are predominantly double hung sash, 1/1, some with louvered shutters. A prominent element of the asymmetrical design of this building is the 3-story turret of its west corner; this turret has a domical roof with bracketed boxed cornice and its shingled 3rd story features round-arched windows. A 1-story porch with plain balustrade and slender Tuscan columns set on pedestals extends around the W. corner across the left (NW) side and about 1/3 down the front (SW side) of the house. Front (Flat street side): the main front entry area is given emphasis by a pediment, above which is a balcony with bell-cast roof and railing supported by small egg-shaped balusters (the front door, however, faces NW rather than the street); the right side of the front elevation features a 2 1/2 story gabled polygonal bay; other notable features of the SW elevation are a small stained glass window on the 1st floor, and a wheel window above on the 2nd floor. Sides: The left (NW) side of the house is characterized by a projecting attic gable; a portion of the 1-story porch on the right (SE) side of the house has been enclosed. Rear: between 1910 and 1922, a 2-story round brick section with the conical roof was added to the rear of the house. Interior: irregular plan; stairway features turned balusters supporting the railing and a newel post with elaborate cap; simple low relief molding around doors and windows; doors have 5 rectangular panels; oak Victorian mantels. OUTBUILDINGS:
House has recently undergone rehab. Recent changes include addition of a garage, renovation of 3rd floor (previously used for storage), plaster walls covered with sheet rock, glass in transoms over interior doors changed to wood, etc.
Historical Information:
An excellent local example of the Queen Anne style of architecture, this house was built by James Lawton Oswald (1860-1942). Jim Oswald not only was a prominent planter of this area, but in addition ran a prosperous general mercantile business in Allendale. Oswald was a member of the original Board of Commissioners for Allendale County.
Source of Historical Information:
Henry Laffitte, Gus Farmer; 1910, 1922. Sanborn Maps; Allendale on the Savannah, p. 209, 210, 213-214; The Town of Allendale by L. A. Searson, p. 23, 33, 41.
City of Allendale, 1979-1980
Archives Location:
Box 13, Series 108042, Survey of historic resources (county by county data on surface properties), circa 1971-2014

Related place
Allendale County