This beautiful home is one of Jackson’s most outstanding examples of Queen Anne style architecture. It is an asymmetrical, two story, Queen Anne house that’s crowned with a cross gable roof. The gables on the house are clad in vertical flushboard with dentils; some have decorative fan-shaped wood molding. The front porch has a spindled frieze and chamfered posts, as well as a decorative “Oriental” balustrade. Historically, the yard had a picket fence around it.
C. W. Zimmerman, owner of the C. W. Zimmerman Manufacturing Company, a large lumber mill in Jackson, purchased this property in 1899. It appears that Zimmerman purchased the property for Joseph Loranz, his company’s bookkeeper, for from 1899 onward, the property was always referred to as “the Loranz Place”. It was not until February 13, 1913 that Zimmerman and his wife deeded the property to Joseph Loranz. Evidently, Zimmerman financed the property and when Loranz completed payment, it was deeded to him, long after he had built and resided in the house. Loranz built his house around 1900 out of the finest lumber manufactured by his employer. Loranz served as Jackson’s postmaster during the administration of President Herbert Hoover. This was after the C. W. Zimmerman Manufacturing Company had closed. In 1934, the Loranzes sold their house to Bessie S. McCrary. Mrs. McCrary and her husband, Dr. G. C. McCrary, raised their family in the house. After her death, the house was sold in 1991 to the City of Jackson and it now serves as home of the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce offices.
The house was listed on the Alabama Register (ARLH) of Landmarks and Heritage on March 19, 1993. It is a contributing property to the Jackson Historic District that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
The Loranz-McCrary House is located at 500 Commerce Street in Jackson, AL (GPS coordinates 31.507066, -87.896987)
Sources: 1) ClarkeMuseum.com; 2) NRHP “Jackson Historic District” Registration Form.