Saturday, July 27, 2013

After the Great Fire, Part Three

By July of 1875 work had commenced on the reconstruction of burned out district.  The Oshkosh newspapers as a matter of civic pride were filled with articles on the rapid rebuilding.  One such document was published in the Oshkosh Weekly Northwestern of July 15, 1875 and was a  listing of all the new building by architect.  Mr. Waters was credited with some twenty structures but there were more as some were added after the paper went to press.
The subject of this post will the building on both sides of Main Street, between Otter and Waugoo Street.  H. B. Jackson commissioned Mr. Waters for a structure, one half to be used as a bank and the other half to be hardware store.  The building used the template so successfully employed by Waters on many commercial structures. It measured 40' x 60' the cost was $6,000 and as of this writing the building still stands.   
The McCorison store is one of the building that didn't make the list in the newspaper. However it is clear that the edifice is the work of architect Waters by the central pediment and brickwork at the cornice and about the windows. McCorison was a purveyor of carpet, upholstery, furniture and the large store, 46' x 80' would have provided ample room for carpet stock. The building was razed to make way for new construction sometime in the 1920's
Next to McCorison furniture store was the McKenzie Block.  The July 15th article states that R. McKenzie was to erect a small building, only twenty four feet wide and house two stores.  It appears that Mr Waters combined work for two clients into one structure, much as he did with Griffin, Ernst and Hubbard in the block just to the south.  Its is odd that there is no R. McKenzie listed in the 1876 city directory.  Newspapers of that time often made mistakes with initials.  This building too fell to the wrenching ball, to accommodate new construction.      
The building put up by Herbert Bammessell, a manufacturer and dealer of cigars was next in line and it was a beauty, with intricate brick work and imposing central pediment.  The building cost $7,000, was two stories high, measuring 46' x 80' and housed three stores as well as Mr. Bammessell on the second floor.  
Bigger & Clark Bros. built an elegant new store just across the street from Mr. Bammessell.  R. L. Bigger was a long time business man in town, once having partnered with William Hill who later built his own store two blocks north of Main and High Streets.  Both establishment vied to be the most prestigious dry goods store in town.  The new store certainly was elaborately impressive with two double door entrances, larger widows and high central pediment.  It is unclear to me if the building was razed or if it was expanded and remodeled.  I feel a portion of this structure may still exists as part of what would become S. Heymann's, cum The Boston Store.      

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

After the Great Fire, Part Two

Back on September 5, 2010, I posted an article on the great fire of Oshkosh and closed it with promise that other entries on that subject would soon follow.  Well that never happened and I intend to change that now.  There are some reader whom I'm sure will go back that 2010 posting as a matter of review and that would be a fine thing.  I will also provide a review and it goes like, this;  On April 28, 1875 a frighten employ of the Morgan Door company rushed into the office and announced that a stack of lumber was burning.  The day was dry and the wind was fierce.  The blaze pushed it's way east and the thrice burned and rebuilt business district lay in the path.  The city had been construed largely of wood and fire fighting was not the modern science of today.  ...Well you get the picture, pretty much a total lose, but it was early in the year and plans got started almost at once.   
Mr. Waters firm got commissions on 23 new building along burned out Main Street: Two hotels, a post office, two bank, an opera hall and eighteen business block; all to be built of brick.  Plans were being prepared at an unheard of pace and it would have been difficult to achieve a different look for every building. 

I've decide to look at Mr. Waters post conflagration works by starting at the south end of Main Street and working north.  One should understand that the lower end of Main Street was the unfashionable end sometimes called the rockery.  Here was a chance to change the complexion of the benighted end of the street.  Good, attractive, solid brick building would help the matter. Three men held much of the real estate along the east side of Main Street between Ceape Street and Otter: C. Griffin. C. Ernest and E. Hubbard. Mr. Waters knew it would be to expensive to design individual building for each client so he repeated the same design for the nearly the whole block, to a pleasing effect.  
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The buildings used the template very popular with architect Waters.  One building consisted of two stores, between each store was a stair way leading to the second floor.  The front elevation was much the same for any building using this formula; the room above each store had two or perhaps a triple window, center above the stairway was a diminutive window.  It was a design that Mr. Waters used over and over during the reconstruction of Oshkosh.
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Across the street Mr. Waters found work with P. V. Wright and the Jones Bros.  The clients had adjacent lots and nearly identical building.  The structures were based on same template as the buildings on the other side of the street, however the Wright building had seven windows on the second floor and Jones had but five.
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The next post will look at the buildings from Otter Street to Waugoo Street.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Appleton Residences Part Three

There are a few Appleton homes I neglected to include, so here they are.  First on the list is the home of David Smith.  Mr. Smith was one of the big names in early Appleton banking.  He was born in 1826 in Torthorwald, Scotland and his family followed his father to Quebec in 1844.  Young Mr. Smith then moved to Cincinnati, took a job with a wholesale grocer and met and married Agnes Thom.  From there the Smiths moved to Milwaukee where David was employed as a bookkeeper and met Robert Shiells.  Not long after that he and Shiells move to Neenah and establish a bank there.  Smith wished strike out on his own and moved to Appleton to open a bank in that city.  The bank would become the First National Bank but Mr. Smith didn't care for the restrictions placed him by the national banking laws and withdrew.  He later started the Manufactures Bank which eventually merged with the Commercial Bank.   
The Smiths had seven children and needed a suitable house to raise them in.  Mr. Smith turned to William Waters to provide the plans for there dwelling.  The house was in the Second Empire Style, an unusual style for Waters to work with.  The plan is very similar to that of the E. C. Goff residence also of Appleton but that the Goff place is Italianate in style.  The house was situated on a fashionable street near City Park.  David Smith died at age fifty, his widow and several children lived in the house for many years thereafter.
William Henry Harrison Stowell had life crowded with incident.  He was born in Windsor, Vermont, educated in Boston, took up mercantile pursuits after graduating, then moved to Virginia in 1865 to become a tax collector.  He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1870 and served until 1877.  In 1880 he went west to Appleton were he got into the the paper industry.  By 1886 he had moved on to Duluth Minnesota with interests in paper making, steel production and banking.  In 1914 he moved again this time to Amherst Massachusetts, were he died in 1922.  His time in Appleton may have been brief but it was long enough for him to commission a house by William Waters.  The building was never constructed. 
Rush Winslow was born November 7, 1843 in Koshkonong, Wisconsin and received his early education in Fort Atkinson.  He tried a carrier in business but decided to study medicine in the office of his father.  Young Winslow went on to school in Chicago and New York and received his MD in 1870 from Bellevue College, New York.  In 1873 he settled in Appleton and was recognized as one of the leading professional men of the city.  He also believed in public service and was first elected alderman and then four teams as mayor starting in 1887.  He too secured the services of William Water to plan his abode.  The house was  Queen Anne Style with porch at the front and side of the building and sat on a corner lot one block south of College Avenue and just across the street from the Methodist church.  
Alexander Smith was the son of David Smith, so it is fitting that he should ask architect Waters to plan his house.  Alexander's house still stands on Park Avenue in Appleton, not far from City Park.  It has been altered from the original but the Waters design is unmistakable.  A simple Queen Anne, it is based on a cottage design Mr. Waters used to great success for many years.    
The last house on the list is the rectory built for All Saints Episcopal Church.  That church had had a long history in the city of Appleton, first as Grace Episcopal and later as All Saints.  By 1891 the church was getting settled after having moved the church building the site at the corner of Drew and College.  A proper rectory was called for and the church sought out Mr. Waters to make the plans.  The architect delivered a beautiful and well proportioned Queen Anne Style house which was erected on Drew Street just next to the church.  The rectory served the parish until 1959 when it was raised to make way for another building.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Residences in Green Bay & De Pere

William Waters had two residential commissions in the cities of Green Bay and De Pere. The first was the home of banker  and philanthropist Rufus Kellogg.  My research was sketchy at best, there was no comprehensive biography of him to be found, on line.  I do know he was of the Amherst Massachusetts Kellogg's and he was born in 1837 and past away in Green Bay in 1891.      
There was also precious little information on his dwelling; it is mention in an article about architect Waters published in the Oshkosh Weekly Northwestern dated June 25, 1891.  The house was in the Stick Style and may  have been designed in the late 1870's or early 1880's.  There was a large wing of the house to the right which looked like the foursquare houses of the turn of the century.  To the left was the front door and small porch and behind it and even future to the left  was tower like portion which may have held the stair case.  This tower was capped by bell cast roof with an iron work finial at it's peak, all the the roof ridges were adorned with iron work.  Just behind the tower was a portion of the house which rose to a third floor gable and in that gable was a double window and small balcony.  In 1908 the house was purchased by the Sister of St. Joesph of Carondelet and became St. Joesph Academy for Girls.  It severed in that capacity until the late 1950's when it was replaced and demolished.    
On North Broadway, along the Fox River in De Pere was the home of E.E. Bolles the owner and operator of a wooden ware mill in that city.  The only reference to this dwelling and William Waters was the Northwestern Weekly article from June of 1891.  The house was an early Queen Style and was designed perhaps around 1881.  It was a large house with many porches and bay windows on the first floor and an abundance of windows on the second floor.  Gables, dormer and towering chimneys crowned the house on the attic level.  At sometime the house was remolded and the Queen Anne details were removed in an effort to update the building.