Jackson Walters House
This story is part of a series on historic homes on Gainesville's Green Street. Read other stories in the series. Copies of a free publication on Green Street home history are available at The Times at 345 Green St.
Address: 718 Green St., Gainesville
Architecture: Neoclassical revival
The Jackson Walters House at 718 Green St. is more than a century old but, for the last 20 years, it served as the main office for Jim Walters, Gainesville’s larger-than-life businessman who died in early 2021.
His business, Walters Management, remains in the neoclassical revival style house across from the Hall County Schools office.
Walters’ history in the stately house next to the Mellow Mushroom restaurant dates to 2002, when Walters bought the house and moved from another home farther south on Green.
The original owner was Patrick Newton Parker, who built the two-story house in 1909.
Parker was Gainesville mayor during the 1903 tornado and chairman of the First Methodist Church’s building committee in 1906, according to historic records provided by the city of Gainesville.
He sold the house to Felix Walton Jackson in 1914. After his wife’s death in 1921, Jackson moved to Philadelphia, but the house remained in the Jackson family until 2002, according to a history compiled by Carol Childers, Walters Management’s vice president, who has worked in the house since 2002.
Jackson built the five-story Jackson Building, a still-standing, apartment-office building off Washington Street in downtown Gainesville. He also was a principal in Jackson-Walton Co., a wholesale hardware and building materials firm that was building on what is now Industrial Boulevard.
The Green Street house has many features of an upscale turn-of-the-century home, including white Ionic columns on either side of steps leading to the wide front door, a wraparound front porch and a second-floor balcony facing Green Street.
The interior has front rooms where guests were entertained back in the day, with a separate dining room leading to the kitchen. Bedrooms are upstairs. Also, the house has three brick chimneys and a basement.
Serving as modern-day offices, the house has a parking lot in the back and a driveway it shares with Mellow Mushroom.
The interior has 18th century mantels and pocket doors, which slide on rollers inside walls and can be used to partition rooms.
“There’s a door or two (that creaks). Sometimes, it sounds like a haunted house, but it’s just nice,” Childers said. “I like the architecture.”
The house is largely original, including the floor and some light fixtures. But the house has been otherwise modernized, including lighting. Two buildings considered “non-historic” are located at the back of the property.
“We’re in the process of redecorating,” Childers said. “We’re just waiting on furniture that’s sitting on a cargo ship somewhere.”