Sunday, November 29, 2015

More Oshkosh Buildings, Part Eight

On June 6, 1902 the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern reported under the head line “New Power House”, the intention of the Oshkosh Electric Light and Power Company to build a new power plant. The report stated B.E. Sunney of the General Electric Company was in town and with member of the Oshkosh electric company were going over rough sketches of the new building, as prepared by architect William Waters.  The meeting was to make suggestion and changes before the plans for the new fireproof brick plant were drafted.  Notice of the letting of bids for contracts was published in mid-July of that year and by October came the announcement that Meyer, Domke and J. T. Raycraft had been awarded the contracts for the building’s construction.  The new plant was to be located on Marion Street on the site of the old plant, adjacent to the Cook and Brown brick yard.  A brisk construction schedule was planned with occupancy to occur by January 15, 1903. There were to be two parts to the building, the main building measuring 133’ x 79’ and 18’ at the eaves was to house the office, bath and toilet rooms, shop and dynamo room.  There were tile floors and a steep angle state roof.  The boiler room was located in a portion 72’ x 45’ with the ceiling 36’ above the floor.  Eight foot high arched topped window on all sides of the building allowed for much natural light and the front entrance was like that of the Winnebago Traction company’s car barn and power house.    
The electric power company was formed in 1884 with exclusive rights to electrically light the city streets.  A power house was built in 1885 and by 1902 needed to be upgraded, the fact that the company had gone into receivership in the autumn of 1901 seemed to make no difference.  In 1904 a Boston man named W. H. Whitney foreclosed on the business and continued to operate it, merging with Oshkosh Gas Light in 1907.  Cook and Brown Lime Company bought the building in 1920 and used it for a number of proposes including a showroom for a large kitchen appliances.  The building was razed in the late 1960’s to make way for the construction of Park Plaza, a shopping mall.   

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Oshkosh Houses, 1877

It was in March of 2015 that I posted an article about Joshua Dalton's residence. I was sure the house was the work of Mr. Waters but was unsure of construction date. A reader of this blog told me of a newspaper write up from the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern of December 14, 1877 which described the past season construction activity in Oshkosh and mentions the Dalton home. The article also reported that architect Waters drew plans for James G. Clark's Washington Street residence as well as the dwelling of attorney Henry Bailey on Otter Street.   I was unable to find an image of the Clark house but did to locate a picture of Mr. Bailey's place. The house, which no longer stands was very near the old Courthouse which would have been convenient for an attorney.  It was of Italianate Style, two stories high, measured 30' x 60', was built of wood and coast $2,500.  On the left of the front elevation was a flight of steps up to a small porch and front door. Above the porch and set back was a single window, to the right on both the first and second floors were sets of double windows. The roof was of a shallow pitch with extensive overhangs supported by brackets.  The building was razed in the early 1980's.

As for James G. Clark, a partner in a dry goods business, there are no images of his home.  There was no description of his house other than to say it was two stories with basement and was 35' x 65'. The house was reported to have central heat, hot and cold water and coast Mr. Clark $2,500. The residence was likely situated near the corner of Washington and Mount Vernon Streets where the Masonic Temple now stands but any traces of the dwelling have since vanished.