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: 446 Green St., Gainesville
Architecture: High Victorian
While its residents are of the present day, the Smith-Palmour-Estes House at 446 Green St. continues to be inhabited just as James Whitfield Smith intended when he built the home 135 years ago.
Today, the house is owned by Brightstone Transitions, a transitional program designed to help neurodiverse young adults gain the necessary skills to reach independence.
The home’s first resident was a native of West Point, a cotton broker and was among the founders of Gainesville’s old First National Bank. Like his home, his namesake is integral to the lineage of Gainesville: Smith was the father of Sidney Olsin Smith Sr., an insurance executive, and the grandfather of Judge Sidney O. Smith Jr., whose name marks the front of the federal courthouse on Spring Street.
As suggested by its moniker, the Smith-Palmour-Estes house has changed hands several times since its construction in 1886. Upon the Smith family’s move to Atlanta in 1925, Dr. W.A. Palmour bought the house for $12,000, according to The Times archives. In 1941, Mrs. C.V. Nalley bought the house for $5,200; in 1942, Martin Lawson paid $7,000 for the property; in 1944, Henry Estes secured it for $12,000.
Today, eight individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 call the Smith-Palmour-Estes house home and contribute to its upkeep.
“I think it’s significant that our young people have the chance to live in the house the way it was meant to be lived in,” said Jason Cox, one of the present owners.
With the exception of the kitchen, which has been repainted in recent years, the house maintains its Victorian charm, from the veranda’s “slight projection to the north end of the facade,” turned posts, bracket details, sawn balustrade, gingerbread detail, carved medallions and gable to the oak-grained staircase leading from the center of the house to the second story and a tree that, planted by James Whitfield Smith, still grows in the front yard.
Having survived the great tornado of 1936, the Smith-Palmour-Estes House is exemplary of the “High Victorian Style,” according to the National Register of Historic Places, and one of the most photographed structures on historic Green Street.