The day house
The Day House was built in 1875 by local businessman George Sale Day. A bricklayer and brick maker by trade, Day came to Springfield from St. Louis in 1871 and purchased the Hudson Brickyard and Kilns. His home at 614 South Avenue – most likely built with brick from his own kilns – served as a showplace of the bricklayer craft and an advertisement for Day’s business. During the Civil War, 10 homes on South Street were burned for strategic purposes, and the Day House, according to former owner Richard P. Stahl, “is an excellent example of immediate post-Civil War residential architecture.” The house’s eclectic architectural style combines Georgian and French Empire elements and features Victorian jigsaw trim. The entrance to the home still retains its hand-
blown glass windows.
Built on a central hall plan with chimneys integrated into the exterior walls, the home was originally planned to be four rooms – two sleeping rooms upstairs, two living spaces downstairs – but was expanded to six rooms, possibly while the original construction was still underway, as the addition meshes seamlessly with the original. The two-story portion of the house includes a wood-shingled mansard roof with three dormers facing the street and two dormers overlooking the back of the house. The home’s kitchen was built as a separate structure, which kept the heat of the kitchen from spreading to the rest of the home in summer and served as a safety measure in case of kitchen fire. The kitchen was connected to the house by a covered porch, and later was fully incorporated into the home’s structure as part of a 20th century addition.
In 1876, Mr. Day was elected to Springfield City Council and served two terms; he then became mayor of Springfield in 1882. His political career ended in 1883, but Day continued his brick-making business until 1889 and also became a partner in a grocery business on West Walnut Street with Mr. William E. Birch. Mr. Day deeded the home to his wife, Theresa, in 1877 “for love and other considerations.” George and Theresa had one child, Laura, who married Mr. S.M. Godby. Laura died in 1880, and upon the death of Theresa Day in 1882, the house passed to her grandchildren. It was purchased from the heirs in 1907 by Milton A. McCluer and remained in the McCluer family until 1943.
The Day House was preserved for posterity in the 1970s when local Architect Richard P. Stahl, AIA, stepped up to save the historic structure, restoring the exterior and converting the interior for his office. It was Stahl who worked to place the property on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Betty and Bobby Allison Ozarks Counseling Center is thrilled to write a new chapter in the history of this beautiful, welcoming and architecturally significant building.