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.

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