Address: 2884 Iowa Street
Year Built: 1929
Architect: Bilger Kvenild
Style: Tudor Revival
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places: 7/23/2010
Constructed in 1929, the Henry Neef House stands out as a local example of a national campaign than taking place in the building industry to construct an all-steel house that would be stylish yet affordable, durable, and fire-resistant. Henry B. Neef, co-founder of Gate City Iron Works, a local steel and ornamental iron manufacturer, built the two-story steel frame house to provide a residence for his family as well as show potential customers the usefulness of his company’s products in home design. While ornamental ironwork figures prominently in the doors, light fixtures, stair rails, and drapery rods of the home’s interior, architect Bilger Kvenild masked the residence’s innovative structural technology using the traditional Tudor Revival Style. Gate City Iron Works manufactured products for the exterior as well including an arbor, property fences and impressive driveway gate. As one of the state’s few “all steel houses,” the Neef home remains an enduring legacy to enterprising but short-lived efforts in the 1920s and 1930s to revolutionize the construction of single-family residences.