THE MERRITT HOUSE
Highland Avenue began during the real estate boom of the 1880's as a dusty main street of Highland; Birmingham's first suburban streetcar neighborhood. Initially running three blocks, from 20th to 23rd street, Highland Avenue's early architecture was predominantly Victorian Queen Anne replete with turrets and gingerbread fretwork.
The Merritt House was built in 1908 and is one of less than a dozen extant examples of more than 90 elegant homes that graced the avenue in the early 20th century. The architect is still unknown, although the attention to detail in the design suggests that the home was individually designed rather than by a mail order plan - very popular in the day. An enhanced version of the American Foursquare style, the home featured expansive porches, dormers and stained and leaded glass.
With numerous members of the Merritt family residing there until the 1970's, the home saw few changes. Afterward, the house was occupied by a law firm for roughly a decade, with its numerous rooms becoming offices for the many partners. Then in the mid-1980s, many additions were added to both the interior and exterior as the house saw its conversion to a restaurant. The Pillars, the Merritt House, and the Veranda on Highland restaurants all had their improvements and expansions added over the years. Galley and Garden committed to significant renovations as we opened in 2014 in order to modernize the interior and restore the exterior to its historical condition.