Monday, November 1, 2010

Appleton residences Part One

Appleton played an important part in the development of northeastern Wisconsin. As early as 1847 it was established as a seat of learning with the charter of Lawrence University and the seat of county government in 1851. In the early 1870's the city was already a hub of commerce and manufacturing. William Waters found the aggressive community a good place to do business.

An earlier post mentions Waters' Italianate residential work but there was much more to architectural activities in that fair city. He designed not only dwellings but banks, stories, hotels, churches and schools, Mr. Waters was responsible for the design of some thirty two buildings in Appleton. That is the number that can be verified. There are probably more undocumented commercial and residential works yet to be discovered.

Waters initial efforts besides the
Goff and Whorton residences were for
the most part commercial structures
including one for Mr. Whorton and his business partner. As the 1880's bloomed William Waters was doing more residential work. Eleven homes can be attributed to Mr. Waters. This post will feature three dwellings from the years 1881 and 1882. They are the homes of H. J. Rogers, J. R. Wood and H. D. Smith. All are the Queen Anne style and are of a large and
robust nature. Architectural
features to note are large porches,
bay windows and prominent chimneys.
Consider first the Rogers home, situated on a bluff above the For River and fronting on Prospect Avenue, the house was built of brick with porches on three sides. It could have been regarded as the finest dwelling built in 1881. Rogers a mill operator also owned the Appleton
Gas Light utility and was convinced in 1882 to have his mill and new house wired for electricity, thus becoming the first house in America to be lighted with electric lights.

H. D. Smith a banker and investor
built his house on East John Street
next to J. R. Wood. Mr Wood was an
Appleton pioneer and banker with
large holdings in the Upper Peninsula.
His home was designed to accommodate a large family. It was a spacious wooden frame structure with a porch and a baloney above.
There was a small
porch at the side of the
house. Next door, the Smith place was also of wooden frame construction and boasted a large front porch and bay window. Three large chimneys
tower over the roof line which is crowned with decorative iron work.
Some years after Mr. Smiths' death his widow donated the house to Lawrence University.

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