The Reitz Home is the only historic house museum in Evansville, Indiana. The 17-room French Second Empire-style building was built by lumber baron John Augustus Reitz in 1871.
Following Reitz’s death, the house was completely redecorated in a variety of Victorian styles — as it exists today — by his eldest son, Francis Joseph, in the late 19th century.
In the Reitz Home, visitors are taken through the lifestyle of one of the wealthiest families of the 1800s. A walk through the exquisitely furnished rooms provides a rare glimpse of mid-19th century Victorian architecture.
Much of the original furniture used by the Reitz family is still preserved in its rooms. French gilt chandeliers, which adorn the hand-painted ceilings, light up the intricately patterned, hand-laid wood parquet floors. The delicately molded plaster friezes, tiled and marbled fireplaces, walnut wainscoting in Moorish design, and the glowing stained glass windows, stand out in its artistry and elegance.
Also present are collections — acquired or donated items — that include a Chinese teakwood cabinet, Mathushek rosewood square piano, a beautiful white onyx and gold mantelpiece, the chair used by writer Harriet Beecher Stowe, and a handsome center table with massive carved legs that displays the Reitz family Bible.
The Reitz Home Preservation Society, a non-profit organization, is entitled to restore and maintain the home museum. Since 1973, the Reitz Home has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
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