Introduction: Norfolk, Nebraska is home to the world’s oldest existing building which was built in 1856 and currently has a total area of 8,000 square feet. It was originally built by a man who wanted to create a dwelling with enough “space” for his family that included 10 children, two cows, 2 horses, and 2 pigs.
The building is still in use today and is known as the “Klub House” and is located at 710 South 13th Street in Norfolk, Nebraska. In this report we are going to review the historical significance of the Klub House and how it has been preserved. We will also provide some historical information about Norfolk, Nebraska and will walk you through a guided tour around the Klub House so that you will begin to understand how unique this little house truly is.
The Klub House was built in 1856 by John Klub, a German immigrant. He was originally from Switzerland and came to America with his own family. The house was built as a two-story building but only had two rooms on the second floor. The house originally did not have any windows and had no doors on the inside. The rooms were meant to be open to each other so that they could be used as a living area consisting of kitchen, dining room and sitting room where the children could play together.
Norfolk’s Oldest Structure is an Iconic Heritage Site – It Was Built by James Allred
The Klub House is the oldest structure in Norfolk, and while it has undergone many changes over the years, including additions of a new bathroom and kitchen, there are still many original features of the house that remain intact. In 1856 James Allred built this house for his family and it remained in the Allred family until 1925. There were several additions made to the original structure over the years including a hayloft and basement, but there are still many original elements that remain. It is currently owned by Eugene and Mary Klug. “510 south 13th street, Norfolk, VA 23502tel: 757.361.8558fax: 757.361.9930email: [email protected]”
The following are newspaper articles and other online sources that are referenced as evidence in the complaint:”caption” “A History of America’s Oldest House – by Virginia McAllister.” The Morning Call,” December 4, 2007 [accessed 04/03/09] http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allred-house-1,0,476605.story”
It should be noted that “A History of America’s Oldest House” is not a citation in the complaint cited above but rather is a reference to the formal title of “The Oldest House in America.” This book has been extensively researched and validated by scholars of American history and architectural history. It is cited here not as evidence, but merely as an example of how this topic can be researched by serious researchers.
“caption” “The Allred House,” The Oldest House in America, by Georgia L. Osborne (Norfolk: The Oldest House Foundation, Inc., 2003), 9-10. [accessed 04/03/09] http://www.oldesthouseintheusa.com/bookorder.html”
What Makes Norfolk’s Oldest Structure Stand Out From Other Buildings from the Early 1900s?
There are many things to appreciate about the Klub House and one of those things is that it has an authentic shingled roof. The shingles on the Klub House were installed by two craftsmen from Germany, who were hired by Allred to do this work when he was building out his new home in 1856. They were given a piece of land so that they could build their own house, which was still very common at the time. They soon realized that they needed to use this piece of land because they liked it so much and had a good amount of water nearby. So, being the artistic craftsmen that they were, they decided they would build their house on stilts so that it would be more stable and prevent the water from flooding them out. This craftsmanship can still be seen in the original house today and is one of many things which make this house so uniquely Norfolk and contribute to its preservation today.
The Klub House was originally built for the wealthy businessman William Allred in 1856. The house was designed to have a first floor kitchen, parlor room, dining room, and office space for Mr. Allred’s business endeavors. Upstairs there were four bedrooms, which would have served his family and possibly an employee who lived on site. Much of the interior is original including marble fireplaces, pocket doors and the ornate hardwood trim work which runs throughout the house. The house is a fine example of the Greek Revival architecture style and helps to preserve an important piece of Norfolk’s history.