House of many colors unconventional

Published 4:53 pm Monday, January 9, 2012

UM Professor Ted Metz talks about the history of his recently redecorated house. (Contributed)

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

Perhaps you’ve noticed that the house at 430 Selma Road has just been painted in three beautiful colors. If you haven’t seen it, you must drive by.

“I know the color scheme of green, cream, and purple is rather unconventional,” said owner Ted Metz, “but I just hope that it makes folks smile as they pass.”

Indeed the old house itself is almost smiling as though it’s proud of its beautifully decorated façade; or perhaps its happy face reflects its many wonderful memories.

The two-story bungalow was built in the early 1920s, and if its walls could talk, they would have fascinating tales to tell about the folks who have lived there.

In the early 1930s, W.M. Davis, Alabama Power Company’s local manager, moved wife, Una Belle and children into the little one-story house. Eventually there were two girls (Peggy and Faye), and six boys (John, Willard, Roy, Paul, Wayne and Hubert) romping through its halls and clamoring for the attention of their ever-patient mother.

During the disastrous tornado of 1938, Una Belle crouched in the bathroom with her two youngest sons, as the whole roof was ripped from their home. While rebuilding the house and planning to add an upper floor with two bedrooms, they discovered a hearth in the chimney in the attic; evidence that the house had, at one time, been a two-story house, and had probably lost the upper floor to an earlier tornado.

James and Susan Polk bought the house from the Davis family in about 1950, and lived there with sons — James Jr. and Tommy — for more than 10 years.

Susan volunteered, “I loved that house and wanted it moved to our property in Wilton, but they said it was too tall to move.”

The next owners were Bobby and Pat Logan, who were young teachers at Thompson School in Alabaster.

The current owner, Ted Metz, a UM art professor and sculptor, bought the property in 1973, and reared his children (Naomi, Maya and Gabrielle) there. He built the art studio in the back in 1976.

For a number of years now the house has been rented to UM art students who have filled their abode with great stories of friends, learning, music, poetry, great fun and artistic creations.

The old house is filled with many memories of happy days gone by, and thoughts of happy days to come; and it fills its owner’s dream of making its viewers smile.


Catherine Legg can be reached by email at