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Meux Home Museum

Dr. Thomas Richard Meux’s 16-room Victorian home was built in 1889. It still has the same impact now as it did over a century ago. The Meux Home pays homage to Victorian Gothic architecture and hospitality.  The Meux Home, at R and Tulare Streets in downtown Fresno, is designed in the asymmetrical style popular in Victorian homes in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. It depicts the broad aesthetic spectrum of that era in a muted manner. Towers, Corinthian cornices, corbels, scrolls, fans, string courses, and stained or cut glass adorn the house’s facade. Above the roof, the ornate chimney decorations reflect a French Renaissance influence. The high wood-shingled roofs, ridge embellishments, the tower with an ornate finial, and finials at the intersection of the main roofs’ roof hips give it a Victorian Gothic feel. The house’s facade has contrasting textures, including staggered shingles at the gable ends, patterned shingles on the second story, and beveled shiplap siding on the first floor, with a wood-detailed water table at the bottom. Transition in the direction of wall shingles at wall ends is provided by corner boards crowned at the top with decorative corbels. The porch wraps around the house’s three main elevations and serves to keep the interior cool during the hot summer days. There is no area of a wall or ceiling that is left unadorned. All walls and ceilings were papered to achieve this. In every room, a picture mold is utilized to separate the ceiling paper from the wall finish. All millwork and details are made-to-order items from a local mill. The doors, on the other hand, have a unique three-panel design. Stock Victorian mill components in a modified classical design make up the stair rails, newel posts, and balusters. All of the wood trim has been stained and varnished. All of the fireplaces and mantel ornaments are off-the-shelf items. Around fireplace openings and hearths, stock art tile is used. All of the lighting fixtures are superb examples of the gaslight units that were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. On the property is a stable with an adjacent storage room. Stalls for horses were provided, as well as storage for phaetons, surreys, and a one-horse carriage. Dr. Thomas Richard Meux built the Meux Home in 1889. Dr. Meux was born in the town of Wesley, Tennessee, in 1838. In 1860, he graduated from the University of Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. During the Civil War, he enrolled as a private in the Confederate Army’s Ninth Tennessee Volunteer Regiment in 1861. He departed the army as an assistant surgeon with the rank of Captain after four years. In Brownsville, Tennessee, Dr. Meux married Mary Esther Davis in 1874. Mrs. Meux was in terrible health, so Dr. Meux decided to go to the Central Valley, based on the recommendation of a brother who had relocated to San Francisco. In 1887, the family moved to Fresno. For the past eighty years, the Meux family has lived at the Meux Home. The mansion was eventually purchased by the city of Fresno and is now the Meux Home Museum, which is available to the public.

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