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: 424 Green St., Gainesville
Architecture: Neoclassical revival
With its early 20th century design, the Hosch house at 424 Green St. in Gainesville may be a thing of marvel for passersby, but it’s a place of memories for Heyward Hosch.
Recalling his grandmother, the 93-year-old said, “I was crazy about her, but she had strict rules. And one of the rules was that children could not come in the front part of the house. We had to stop at the threshold of the door and go up the backstairs.”
And the bench where he sat for family gatherings in the cabin outside the house had his name on it. The bench is still there with one of his grandchildren’s name etched on it.
Each room has special meaning for Hosch, such as a front room that was “reserved for the Methodist bishop year-round. No one could come in here except the Methodist bishop.”
The house holds significance among all the grand homes on Green Street.
“To our knowledge, 424 Green St. is the only remaining residence,” said Jessica Tullar, Gainesville’s housing and special projects manager.
Hosch’s grandfather, John Hosch, built the neoclassical revival-style house in 1907.
Construction started in 1898. John Hosch “hired whole families to come here to build … so families moved here,” said Heyward Hosch.
Work at the house was going on at the same time as construction of the former First Methodist Church of Gainesville off Green Street at Academy Street. The red brick structure served as a church for nearly eight decades and is now owned by The Arts Council.
People who worked on the church “also worked on this house,” where some of the same architecture was repeated, Hosch said.
For example, “the front stairs were like the choir loft,” he said. “And we have a deacon seat in the front room at the foot of the stairs.”
The house is designed in much the same way as early 20th century homes, with first-floor rooms designed for visitors, a dining room that led into a kitchen at the back of the house. The front of the house has a wraparound porch with a swing on one side.
One side of the house has an original mahogany door that leads onto the porch.
Bedrooms are upstairs, including one room that has an outside stairway, or fire escape, leading to the ground below.
The house also features three outbuildings, including the cabin, garage and a small barn.
The property also has a well and once had a barn stable that was torn down when Hosch was little.
Like other parts of the property, the stable stirs stories of Hosch’s past.
“After the horse was gone, the stable was left and (my grandmother) fixed one (area up) as her dining room,” he said. “And sometimes, she’d invite the family out and we’d eat in the stable.”