Hibbs House-9139 Grant Ave.
9139 Grant Avenue is a three-story Colonial Revival Foursquare ca. 1910 built by local builder Ira. E. Cannon for prominent merchant E. Humphrey Hibbs, co-owner of the Hibbs and Giddings clothing store in downtown Manassas.
Humphrey Hibbs and lifelong friend Eugene B. Giddings opened their fashionable men’s clothing store in 1898 and stayed in business for more than 70 years. The business survived the Great Fire of 1905, having just moved from Battle Street to the People’s Bank Building on Center Street. In 1912 the business moved into a new building on the corner of Center and West Streets designed by noted architect Albert Speiden and built by Ira Cannon. It is now home to the Freedom Museum.
After the Prince William County Courthouse moved to Manassas in 1894, the area became more prosperous and many grand residences were built on Grant Avenue. Ira E. Cannon (1871-1951), whose father John and brother Frank were also builders, played a big part in the development of the town and served on the Town Council from 1903-1907.
According to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, he built two other nearby residences: the Howard House at 9137 Grant (ca. 1900); and the builder’s own house at 9138 Grant, on the corner of Mosby St. (ca. 1904). All three houses are modified Queen Anne frame dwellings with varying degrees of Colonial Revival influence that have Palladian windows, classical cornices, and columned porches.
Other notable Colonial Revival houses that were probably built by the Cannons include the E. E. Meredith House at 9001 Center Street (ca. 1900) with its two-story pedimented portico; the house at 9250 Bennett Drive (ca. 1908) with its similar portico and multi-paned windows; and the small brick gate house originally associated with Annaburg, an 1892 Colonial Revival mansion built for local industrialist Robert Portner.
9139 Grant Avenue features two asymmetrical bays; a pyramidal hip; one front and rear and two side gable dormers; a one-story, one-level, five-bay, semi-circular porch with ionic columns; a flat roof; modillion cornice; bay window; Palladian windows; and an entrance with sunbeam transom and sidelights.
(left) This post card shows the corner of Grant and Lee Avenues ca. 1915. (right) In this ca. 1913 photo, Hibbs & Giddings is at right.