Moore-Porter-Boswell House. 2-1/2 story. Late Queen Anne with obvious Shingle influences.
1st story weatherboard; 2nd story & attic story shake. Brick foundation. Full front steeply-pitched (12-12) gambrel 2 story gable with 4 side gables, each of different height slope/angle. Full front porch. Front and side bays. Single entry with transom. Attic story leaded Palladian windows and leaded half-round.
207 South Ninth Street was built in 1895 by prominent Lafayette banker Samuel Moore (who lived next door at 203 S. 9th). It was a "honeymoon cottage" for his children, each of whom lived there after their marriage, while building their "real house" elsewhere in Lafayette. Miss Catherine Porter, a local music teacher, bought the house from the Moore children, living there from 1922 until her death in 1961 (she died in the "nursing home" at 221 S. 9th). In the next 16 years, the house had two owners - the Champes and the Loofts. Jeff & Jane Boswell purchased the house in 1978 and embarked on their 5-year plan for renovation. After 24 years, they figured they had come as close as they could to renovation and sold the home to Glen and Suzie Parker.
The house sits on a 55'x434' lot, 60' back from the street, perched high on the slope of Ninth Street Hill. Older neighborhood residents tell of the days when they watched a season's supply of coal being carried in buckets up the 35 front steps to fuel the furnace.
The Boswells sought to reclaim many elements of the historic interior after an extensive 1960s "remuddling." Using the 1960s architect's drawings, they had an excellent map for discovering and recreating the original features of the home.
Fortunately, the exterior had never been modernized, altered, or sided. Jeff designed and built a period back porch to replace one lost to "progress." He also created what some people call "the tool palace" in the back yard.
One of the most surprising features of this home is its heavily wooded back yard which extends 300 feet - complete with ravine - all the way to Valley Street. A wide array of trees which are not indiginous to Indiana are found in this amazing "urban forest" setting. The most spectacular specimen being a huge cucumber magnolia.
Choosing the exterior colors for the house, luckily, took several years! Being on a tight "salad days" budget, the Boswells had quite a while to decide what would look "just right." Every scheme they came up with was ultimately discarded and they found themselves drawn to colors they really didn't think they liked: the current burgundy, shutter green, and gray combination. As Jeff began the prep work for painting, he discoved they had chosen the exact original color scheme. Hmmm.
As interior renovation began, the Boswells uncovered samples of the original wallpaper and paint which revealed the exact interior colors as they had chosen... it was like the house had convinced them of what colors it wanted to be! Other rather "interesting" episodes and "unexplained occurances" have led the current occupants to wonder if past residents of the home are still exerting their influence and presence in this home! Jane notes that, after all the hard work and love they have invested in this home, she, too, may hang around "in spirit" for an eon or two to "advise" future owners! Jeff just grins.