Governor William Ross's son Willie built the big, frame Queen Anne house with dramatically steep and complex roofs, tall shaped chimneys, and decorative bracing in the gables. A narrow alley across the street conveniently took him to his yacht, moored on the Nanticoke. William F. Allen, produce broker and later a congressman, bought the house about 1916 and made changes along Colonial Revival lines, modifying the facade by adding a huge porch with archaeologically correct Ionic column capitals copied from the Erectheum in Athens, Greece, and a lower porch culminating in a porte-cochere. The result was a grandiose composition of the sort popular with the gentry in small towns nationwide. The interior was allowed to retain its original overmantels, tile hearths, staircases, doors (with wooden handles), and other details.
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