John M. Evans, farmer, Civil War veteran, businessman, and investor in the city of Salem’s land boom, built this compact North Broad Street mansion in 1882. The Evans House is a near-perfect example of the American Second Empire style, employing both a mansard roof and a reverse curved mansard tower. Local tradition holds that the style was intended to please Evans’s French bride. The bold outline and fine proportions disguise the building’s relatively small size. The sophistication of the design suggests the involvement of a skilled architect. Such exuberant late Victorian houses were never common in Virginia, and many that were built have since been demolished, leaving the Evans house a significant landmark both of its style and of the boom period in western Virginia. Always maintained as a prestige address, the house is in excellent condition and survives essentially without alteration.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark