Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Wm. Prentice Residence

William Waters got off to a great start in Oshkosh with commissions from the state of Wisconsin for the Normal School in that city and superintendent architect of construction for the Northern State Hospital, as well  as several city jobs. Being a fine architect and savvy businessman Mr. Waters took full advantage of the good economic times and sought jobs feather-a-field.  One of his first jobs to take him out of town was the residence of William Prentice, woolen mill operator of Sheboygan Falls.  Mr. Prentice wanted a fine home befitting his status in the community. The Sheboygan County News published a report on March 4, 
1870 on the new residence to be built by Prentice, using the finest materials; 60,000 bricks from the Whipple & Goodrich Brick Yard had been gathered for the two story house which was to measure 32' x 36'.  The basement was to house the dining room, kitchen and servants' quarters, while on the first floor were the parlor and conservatory, guest and family bed rooms occupied  the second floor.
The interior lay out dictated a very singular exterior: Architect Water employed a Second Empire Style, rarely used by him.  The structure was a celebration of asymmetry.  Because the basement accommodated the dining and other essential rooms the first floor was higher off the ground than might be expected.  There was on the front elevation, just to the right of center, a tower which held the front entry.  To get to the doors one had to mount a flight of stairs to a platform with railings; a set of large double doors was hooded by a balcony above and there too was another set of doors.  To the right of the tower on the main floor was a covered porch which could be accessed from the parlor.  Left of the tower on the same floor were two set of window fronted by another balcony.  Along the right side, a bay window projected from the main floor and a lofty chimney pierced the roof line.  A mansard roof with dormers on all sides topped the house as well as the tower which was finished off with decorative iron work.  At sometime, perhaps around the turn of the century a large covered porch was added, changing the character of the structure.  From 1943 until 1968 the building served as the Sheboygan Falls Public Library after which it once again became a private dwelling.

1 comment:

  1. The basement was to house the dining room, kitchen and servants' quarters, while on the first floor were the parlor and conservatory, guest and family bed rooms occupied the second sober living ny