Source Type: Visual Culture
Author: Betty Slowe
Publisher: Jemison Van de Graaff Foundation
Place of publication: Tuscaloosa
Date of publication: Apr 13, 1887 12:00 am

Battle – deGraffenried House, 1217 Greensboro Avenue
Houses and homes
In 1962, this landmark antebellum home on Greensboro Avenue was razed. The house, known as the deGraffenried House (or the Hester- deGraffenried House), was constructed in 1845 as a wedding gift.

Located at 1217 Greensboro Avenue on the northwest corner at 14th Street, the two-story home was owned by James Whigham. The house was being razed to make room for a 40-unit Travelodge Motel to be built.

The masonry and hand-made brick house was built by Albert Battle, a pioneer Tuscaloosa merchant and planter, as a wedding gift for his son, Dr. William Battle. The Battles left Tuscaloosa just before the Civil War and sold the house to Dr. William Hester for $5,000. After Dr. Hester’s death, the property went to Judge Henry Bacon Foster, who married a daughter of Dr. Hester. The house stayed in the Foster family until Judge Edward deGraffenried purchased it about 1912.

About 1945, the house was purchased by Ernest Friday who sold it to Whigham in 1947. Whigham remodeled and repaired the house. In 1962, Whigham sold the house to the Travelodge Corporation of El Cajon, California.

Whigham described the house as having four 20-foot-by-20-foot rooms with 14-foot ceilings on the first floor. A 12-foot wide hallway extended through the house one way and a 10-foot wide hallway ran across the house. The second floor had four rooms, a hallway and two baths. There was a 14-by-14-foot room on the outside which held a circular staircase that led to a cupola on the roof. Ornamental iron grillwork surrounded the first floor porch. Floors were of heart long leaf yellow pine planks which were dressed by hand. The tongue and grooves in the flooring were also made by hand tools.

When the house was constructed in 1845, it was in the extreme southern part of the city.

Jemison Van de Graaff Foundation
Betty Slowe (Description)
Tuscaloosa (AL)