The McCracken Wilgus House
This original farmhouse was built circa 1814 for Robert Megowan. The home faced what was then Winchester Road, and is today East Third Street. It was a 2-story, 3-bay l-shaped common bond brick house with a limestone foundation in the Federal style of architecture, just when the Greek revival style was becoming popular. The farmhouse was purchased by John and Emily McCracken from James Megowan in 1846. The home is historically significant as one of the oldest farmhouses within the city limits, and among the oldest in the East End. Follow this link to the house's National Register of Historic Places form for a more detailed history and description of the home.
Garrett Wilgus, a prominent brick mason and builder, bought it and remodeled it between 1855 and 1871, adding the west wing and center block first, and then a 1-story 3-bay Gothic porch and the east wing in the 1870s. Garrett Wilgus was a nephew of Asa Wilgus, who built the Pope Villa on Grosvenor Avenue for Senator John Pope. Asa Wilgus may have built the original house for Robert Megowan, as the woodwork in the original room to the left of the hall displays similarities to woodwork in the Pope House.
In 1886 Wilgus sold twelve residential building lots to Martha West, who in turn sold them to Amanda Barkley. He thus joined George B. Kinkead and William Gunn in creating room for Black residents in the East End. In the 1890s, after the deaths of Wilgus and his wife, Agnes Monk, the house was occupied by his heirs.
In 1901 its 22 acres were subdivided. Wilgus Street was opened in 1906, and the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.