Pensacola’s newest addition to the National Register of Historic Places is the 126-year-old Marzoni House, located in the city’s Old East Hill neighborhood.
Situated on one of the city’s last remaining sections of brick-paved streets, the Queen Anne-style house was built in 1890 by Louis D. Marzoni, a second-generation Italian-American. Marzoni’s father, Antonio, was a newspaperman who operated the Pensacola Democrat and Pensacola Observer before joining the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
Born in 1856, the younger Marzoni owned a grocery store on the corner of Wright and Tarragona streets and also worked for Henry Baars’ lumber company, one of the largest lumber companies in the area during Pensacola’s turn-of-the-century lumber boom. He later left Baars to form his own shipping firm, Smith & Marzoni.
A growing family led Marzoni to expand the house in 1900, nearly doubling its footprint and adding a two-story porch. Just months after being appointed to the city council in 1907, Marzoni died of a stroke, but the house remained in the family until 1957.
On his death, the Pensacola Journal called Marzoni “one of the most highly esteemed and widely known citizens of the city.”
Though the house was actually listed back in May, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced the listing along with that of five other Florida properties this week.
“I am pleased to announce the addition of six Florida properties on the National Register of Historic Places,” Detzner said in a statement. “These newly listed sites stretch from Pensacola to Miami, and represent homes, entertainment venues, and commerce and tourist sites that reflect the geographic and cultural diversity of our state.”
Built with the old-growth heart pine which Pensacola was once famed for exporting, the Marzoni House is noted for its twelve-foot-high ceilings, handcrafted ornamental details, and three-story octagonal tower on the house’s southeast corner. “The level of ornamental woodwork and workmanship on the interior of the house is exceptional,” the house’s National Register entry reads. “With very little repair and replacement materials, the level of architectural integrity to this elaborate house is very high.”
The news comes as a boon to preservationists, for whom it’s been a rough summer. In July, the 115-year-old John Sunday House, built by one of Pensacola’s most historically significant black citizens, was demolished after a court order allowed a developer to sidestep the city’s historic preservation rules. That case, along with the razing of the former West Hill Taxi building, led city council members to approve a six-month citywide moratorium on the demolition of structures more than 100 years old.