Wednesday, March 18, 2015

More Oshkosh Building, Part Three

There were so many building designed by William Waters all up and down Oshkosh's Main Street and streets such as Otter, Waugoo and Washington Avenue.  Some had a short time of service and others remain to this day.  There was a building built about 1881 which held three addresses; numbers 79, 81 and 83 Main Street.  M. Lambert Co. occupied #79, Weber Bros #81 and Struass and Jandorf was at # 83.  There were also living quarter on the second floor.  Elements of the building bore a resemblance to the Commercial National Back in Appleton.  The Weber Block was constructed of cream colored brick and accents of dark brick with limestone lintels and springers.  In 1904 the New German American Bank built a fine new edifice and more than half of the Weber Bros. Block was removed and the rest remodeled. That same year the Plummer Company, a four story dry good store next door was destroyed by fire along with the newly rebuilt Weber store and parts of the new bank.   
Other streets off of Main Street also had fine commercial buildings.  The intersection of State and Otter Streets was once truly impressive; there was City Hall the Northwestern Building and in 1905 the Greenlaw-Thomas, a firm that did abstracts of titles built a building of grace and buauty.
The building was of a cream colored brick, two stories high with a chamfered corner which held the front door.  Above the second floor was expanse of window pane brickwork and towering pediments at the chamfered corner and above an entrance to the second floor on Otter Street. Also along the Otter Street side was a retail space.  As time went on the pediments were removed and the structure was given a coat of gray paint.  It fell to the wrecking ball in the 1980's
On Washington Avenue there was a line of stores which were built after the great fire of 1875.  There were four store fronts and two doors to the upper floor.  The building may have been designed as two structures for different client as there are slight detail differences with the second store windows. The
building was built of cream colored brick with pilasters at the center and either end of the upper level and arched lintels of brick with limestone keystones.  
Along the top of the building was an intricate brickwork cornice which ran the length of the building. The accompanying sketch was one gathered the architect's son Willie, from his father's office and place in an old magazine.  Mr. Waters also used such elaborate brickwork on other building erected after the 1875 fire.    
There are more posts to come on the many commercial building of William Waters.  I've yet to touch upon all of them in Oshkosh much less those in Neenah, Appleton, Waupaca and Green Bay.


  1. I was in the greelaw building in the 80's when it was an antique mall and again just before it was torn down in the 90's. It had an elaborate cast iron spiral staircase and a very decorative wall safe. I cant be sure but I think Waters had his office on the second floor of the Washington street building.

  2. Mr. Waters office was on the second floor the the Post Office built in 1875. It was razed when the bank building on corner of Washington and Main was built.