Saturday, March 29, 2014

Buildings of the North, Part One

William Waters' architectural reach extended further from Oshkosh as his fame and influence grew and by the 1880's he'd worked past the Fox River valley and into the north woods of Wisconsin.   A lengthy biography published in "Beer's Commemorative Record of the Fox River Valley, lists many of his accomplishment; a bank at Merrill, a courthouse, school and bank in Phillips and two schools in Ashland. The up building of the states' north was providing many opportunities for the Oshkosh architect.  
As reported in the Oshkosh Weekly Northwestern of May 19, 1881, under the headline "Architect Waters", was an article enumerating the many jobs he was working on. (Sic) ...At Merrill (formerly Jenny) Lincoln County, he has a bank and two stores, two stories, for Ross, McCord and Company, $10,000...  Mr. McCord had many business interests in Jenny, cum Merrill, a lumber mill among them.  It would seem he partnered with Mr. Ross and in 1881 decided to build a business block and open a bank on the corner of East Main and Poplar Streets.  The brick structure was two stories high with space for four businesses, the bank occupied the corner space with offices on the second floor. It exhibited many of the Waters' hallmarks, along the top was a brick cornice not unlike those seen on other of his commercial structures.  There were indentations on either side of the windows making them appear larger and a chamfered corner which held the front door to the bank with a large window on the second floor.  Above the window was a set of diminutive triplet windows topped by a pediment inscribed with the construction date.
 Over the years the building served many commercial establishments, for much of its' history it was Peterman, Brothers Department Store and later a hardware store.  Only a few change were made since construction: the pediments were removed from the building top and smaller window were installed.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Marshfield Rebuilds Part 2

Following the devastating fire of 1887 the city of Marshfield ordained that commercial structures be constructed of brick.   The massive fire had cleared Central Avenue and there was ample work for architects and masons.  Less than a month after the blaze, Mr. William Upham was in Oshkosh at the office of architect Waters, reviewing drawing for the proposed new business block.  The building was to be built on the corner of Central Avenue and 2nd Street, several block south of Uphams' mill and factory and occupy the same side of the street  as the new Tremont Hotel and First National Bank.  The edifice was two stories high with three store fronts and offices on the second floor.  It was built of cream colored brick with bands of dark brick for visual interest.  Along the top was a cornice and frieze of intricate brick work and at one  end the cornice extended well above the rest of the building.  
Within a year an addition was erected adjacent to the hotel.  It is not clear if Mr. Waters designed the enlargement but the architectural motifs carry from the original structure to the addition, making him the likely architect.  Atop the corner of the annex is a pediment much like that of the Waters designed bank just to the other side of the hotel.
There were other buildings along Central Avenue which may also have been the work of William Waters, surly he would have taken the opportunity to seek other commissions in the burned out city.   Pictured here is a building from the 1880's which still stands on Central Avenue, many of the older building have been replaced.  The store exhibits many of the attributes associated with a design by architect Waters; the cornice, the accents around the windows and the small pediment at the center of the building, most notably.   Mr. Waters was again in Marshfield in 1889 when the city built a new High School of his design, see the post of December 10, 2012.