The Hensley HouseSan Jose, California
Hensley Historic District
This district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. It is composed of the largest concentration of Victorian
homes left in the central city area. Bounded by Second street to the west, Empire Street to the north, Sixth Street to the east, and
Julian Street to the south, the area has a mix of single and multi-family uses. Many of the larger residences have been divided into flats
Historically, the eastern side of the neighborhood was a part of the Hensley estate, bounded by First, Empire, and Fourth Streets with
the Southern Pacific railway tracks serving as the southern edge of the property. Major Hensley settled here after 1849 when he left
the gold fields. The property was subdivided in 1896; again with the services of T.S. Montgomery.
Architecturally, the houses represent some of the best examples of Italianate, Stick- Eastlake, and Queen Anne styles popular between
the 1870s and 1890s. The neighborhood is made up of representative examples of the styles. The many larger and more elaborate
homes located on North Third Street and the less elaborate workingmen's homes on the North Fifth Street exhibit two interpretations
of the styles on different scales.
The Hensley House
One of the most attractive Victorian homes in the San Jose downtown area is
the Hensley House, located at 456 N. 3rd Street. The Eastlake-Queen Anne style
home now serves as a bed and breakfast inn. America's love affair with the
porch and verandah is exemplified in this Victorian. This lovely home is
appointed with ancient, stained glass windows and decorative wrought iron
fencing on roof peaks. Guest rooms are beautifully furnished and decorated
with fine French and English crafted antiques, crystal chandeliers, wall
coverings, painted gilded ceilings, curtains and furniture, all of the
Victorian era. Halls, closets and bathrooms exhibit extensive use of
decorative hardwood molding and trim. The living room, serving as a reception
and dining area, also is decorated with Victorian era furniture and antiques.
The ceiling is supported by dark stained, heavy wooden beams.
The Hensley Historical District was designated a National Historical District in
February, 1990 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
If one has nostalgia for the Victorian era, this is the place to stay.
Click here to tour next Historic Building: 11. Historical Museum-Morgan Hill
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