Friday, November 25, 2011

Oshkosh Residences Part 5

As one travailed along Algoma Street past the Normal School neighborhood one would reach "The west end" as that part of town was known to some. This section of the city was home to the aristocracy of Oshkosh, mainly the Sawyer and the Paines. In time others were building opulent homes on Algoma and West Algoma Streets.
Mr. Waters planned many fine homes as well as a church and a school in this area of town. The first dwelling in this vicinity for which the architect provided drawings was in 1873; the residence of H. C. Larrabee. My research has yet to reveal any image of this house, so it's hard to say if it was Italianate style or perhaps a more modest structure of wooden frame construction. Mr. Larrabee was the saw mill superintendent at the Paine Lumber Company and at one time served on the city council. He built his house just across the street from Edger Sawyer. The neighborhood start to change greatly at the turn of the twentieth century and the structure was demolished and another house replaced it in 1910.
Further down the down the street toward town, just across from Read School was the home constructed in 1883 for Mr. and Mrs. Ben Hooper. Ben was the son of Moses Hooper and his wife, Jesse Jack Hooper was a prominent suffragette, advocate and even ran for the U. S. Senate in 1922. The house was a Queen Anne cottage style and once boosted a large front porch which was altered and converted to indoor living space. The renovation didn't maintain the rhythm as set up by the original arched openings, giving the house an unsettled look. Other than the changes the house has been well kept up.
Even closer to town was another Waters' job with a Hooper connection; in 1910 Moses Hooper commissioned a house for himself, his daughter and her husband Otto Lang. Perhaps the aging attorney felt the house he had built in 1882 was too much for him and wanted to live with his daughter and son in law. The house was of the latest style and was built of rough hewn lime stone blocks, a building material favored by Moses Hooper.
In the last decade of the nineteenth century municipal judge Arthur Goss had William Waters design a dwelling for him to be built on New York Avenue. Judge Goss was born and raised in Oshkosh and attended the Normal School in town, then went on the University of Wisconsin and graduated with a law degree in 1884. He returned to Oshkosh and worked in the office of Moses Hooper until his election as the first municipal judge in 1895. Completed in 1898 the home was a foursquare design with embellishments of bay and triplet windows. This building has been well maintained and looks much as it did when built
Around the corner and up the street from the Goss residence is one of the finest homes on Algoma Street, the house built for A. B. Ideson. Mayor Ideson got his start as a manager with the Paine Lumber Company, showing such skill that he became a shareholder and secretary of the company and in the process acquired a great deal of wealth. His management acumen paid off as well as he was elected mayor of Oshkosh. In 1898 Mr. Ideson hired Mr. Waters to plan a suitable residence to be built on Algoma Street, the architect did not disappoint. The design was grand in scope and interesting in the use of shape and building materials to create
a variation in surface textures. The house has not been neglected and looks to be in excellent condition.
Just across the street from the Ideson place was the home of Phil Sawyer. This building has already been discussed in an earlier post about the Tudor Style. Mr Sawyer, known to family as Phil was the son of Edgar Sawyer and grandson of Senator Philitus Sawyer. Phil had a good head for business and ran many of the family's ventures. His house was built in 1904 and still stands next to the Oshkosh Public Museum.
What is now the public museum was built in 1908 as the residence of Edgar Sawyer and was the crowing achievement for architect Waters. The building was said to be in the "Old English Style" with its towering chimneys. bay windowed gable ends and imposing porte-cochere. The grounds also included a captious carriage house of a design harmonious the the residence. Mr. Sawyer donated the building to the city in 1922 and stipulated that it should be used as a museum. There have been alterations and sympathetic addition to the structure but the original building has not been obscured.
In 1911 Louis Schreiber called upon William Waters to draft plans for a new residence. Waters had a history with the Schreiber family having had planned Louis father's 1884 home on Washington Street. Mr. Schreiber was president of the First National Bank; his father Charles had been head cashier of the same bank. Mr. Schreiber chose a lot on Algoma Street just past the Congress Street intersection, on which to build . He also chose the Colonial Revival Style which was very poplar at the time. The well maintained brick house still graces Algoma Street and appears as did when built.

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