History of the Mallory-Neely House
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located at 652 Adams Avenue in the Victorian Village Historic District, the Mallory-Neely House is one of the City’s treasured historic sites. It is all the more special in that it retains all of the original historic interiors, furniture, and artifacts almost exclusively. It offers a visceral experience walking through the home and lives of a family from over one hundred years ago.
Isaac and Lucy Kirtland bought the property in 1852 and built the two-story home for their family. In 1883 Columbus and Frances Neely bought the house and moved in with their five children. The Neely’s made significant changes, adding a third floor with an additional level for the tower and were responsible for the magnificent period interiors we still see today. The décor and furnishings date to circa 1890 and include pieces the family bought at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and later from the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.
It was preserved in this pristine manner by Mrs. Frances Neely Mallory, also known affectionately throughout her life as Miss Daisy, who moved into the house with her parents as a child and was the last family member to reside there until her death in 1969. In the 1970s the Mallory Family gave the house and contents to the DAR/SAR/CAR who opened it as a house museum. They gifted it to the City in 1985 and it has been a facet of the Pink Palace Family of Museums and operated as a historic house museum since 1987.
The Mallory-Neely House is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The first floor of the house is now accessible to visitors in wheelchairs. Due to the historic nature of the property the second floor was not able to be made accessible without a harmful effect on the historic character and features. The federal legislation makes allowances for designated historic properties by permitting a site to create the next best alternative experience through having a film available that replicates the guided tour. This will be available in the carriage house visitor’s center which also now has an ADA compliant restroom and a refurbished entrance to accommodate all our guests. A new handicap parking spot is located on the property along with specially graded walkways.
The Mallory-Neely house also has a new roof. The original slate roof on the house, which dated to c 1890, had outworn its long life. Great care was taken so that the new roof matches the original in every way and should last for another hundred years.
The Mallory-Neely House is now open to the public once again. Admission is free to Pink Palace Family of Museum Members. Hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm with tours on the hour and half hour with the last tour at 3:00pm.