Tuesday, February 10, 2015

More Oshkosh Buildings, Part Two

The lower end of Main St in Oshkosh had always been a hub of activity and commerce of all kinds. At first it was a ferry crossing and Main St. was known as Ferry St.  Later a bridge was built along with a steamboat dock.  The Revere House, a large, fine hotel was adjacent to the river and other brick building were soon erected such that by the early 1870's only a few frame structures remained.  
One of the most interesting buildings at that end of the street was the one erected by C. S. Weston, pictured here with the Phoenix firehouse.  There is no written proof that William Waters drew the plans for the Weston building, but when compared the the Phoenix firehouse, a building known to have been drawn by Waters, it's obvious they are by the same hand.  Another tell tail sign is the Weston building's layout; two store fronts separated by a stairway to the second floor .  On the upper floor there are two sets of triplet window with a small window between them, Mr. Water used this template in many of his commercial structures.
Just next to the Weston building stood Weisbrod's Hall, built in 1873 for Rudolph Weisbrod a furniture maker and undertaker.  Although there is no proof that Mr. Waters drew the plans for this structure, it may well have been his work as he did other projects for the Weisbrod family.  In 1884 Mr. Weisbrod remodeled the building, changing it to a saloon and hall.  Weisbrod sold the building in 1891 to Herman Teichgraber and it was remodeled once again and reopened as the Alhambra saloon. It is this remodeling shown here and is doubtless the work of architect Waters.  Red pressed brick, terracotta panels as well as a scrolled sill below the second floor windows were all Waters hallmarks. 
There once stood a house on southwest corner of Main St and Marion St. the erstwhile home of O. B. Reed.  The old frame building was torn down in 1885 and the cellar became a frog breeding pond and eye sore.  Henry Borman purchased the property in 1890 and in the spring of that year began construction of a Waters designed building.  An Oshkosh Daily Northwestern article of April 30. 1890 states that the brick building was to be three stories high and measure 20 by 100 feet and cost $8,000.  What was erected was a two story building of red pressed brick with limestone and terracotta accents with a chamfered corner entrance, Mr. Borman resided on the second floor.  All the of the buildings in the first block of Main Street were demolished in the late 1970's.

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