Wednesday, September 06, 2006

502 No. 40th Street

502 No. 40th Street
Building permit: 1905
Building style: Classic box
Building cost: $2,500
Architect: Unknown
Owner: Gustave Epeneter

Gustave Epeneter, who built this house, was the owner of the Eagle Cornice Works, which made decorative metal cornices. Epeneter and his wife, Minnie Pearl, livedin this house for several years before building the house next door. Epeneter used materials made by his company everywhere possible in the house. The most distinctive feature of the house’s exterior is the metal trim on the widows walk. There is a galvanized iron balustrade on the top of the roof, and a stamped metal frieze runs along the cornice line. There is a ballroom on the third floor, and oak woodwork is used throughout the interior. Many of the house’s original features are still evident.

In 1925 Epeneter was on a jobsite at the old Burgess-Nash building at 16th and Harney, inspecting some work when he slipped off some wet scaffolding and fell 20 feet to his death. His obituary states that in 1921 Mr. Epeneter built a “home on wheels” for himself and his wife to tour the country. He called it “Epp’s Pullman Ford” and it was said to have “all the conviences of a Pullman and more too.” This might be the precursor to the motor homes we see on the road today.