379. M.H. Willis House (FY 1810)
813 West End Boulevard
The Willis House is a large two-story brick house of simple Colonial Revival design. It has a steep gable roof, a gable end chimney, a five-bay facade, a central entrance with sidelights and Classical surround, and a full-length front porch with paired Tuscan posts and a balustraded upper deck. The story of this house is an interesting commentary on the desirability of the West End in the 1920’s.
According to Willis family history, a two-story house had been built on the site by 1909. In December of that year, the Davis house next door burned, and the Willis house was also damaged by the fire. The Willises then rehabilitated the house for their continued use. Around 1927 they decided to build a new house but wanted to retain their present location with its dramatic westward view. They moved the old house downhill to Sunset Drive (it no longer stands) and had Fogle Brothers builders construct the present house in 1928. The house remained in Willis ownership until 1967. (I-Meade H. Wllis, Jr.)