Monday, March 27, 2017

Commercial Buildings in Green Bay

William Waters also found work in Green Bay.  In 1873, on July, 17 the Oshkosh Weekly Northwesters reported that architect Waters was working on plans for an office and business block commissioned by E. J. Shaylor.  The article reported that the offices of the Green Bay and Lake Pepin Rail Road were to occupy a three-story section of the building that was to measure 80 x 44 and commercial spaces were to be housed in a two story 80 x 36 section of the $32,000 building.  The building as described in the newspaper was not built, what was constructed on the corner of Pine and Adams Streets was a handsome edifice of red brick, with limestone trim and a larger ornate cornice.  It was two and half stories high and measured 80 x 44.  The building sat on a high foundation with the basement housing shops, large window let in ample light.  Access two the first floor was gained by flight of stairs at the front and side of the building.  The Shaylor block remains to this day although greatly altered.
Yet another proposal was announced in the Oshkosh Times of May 20, 1893, in a notice to contractors for sealed bids for the construction of a factory for Fred F. Bischoff near Green Bay.
Fred F. Bischoff Manufacturing made sheet metal products and was based in Chicago. 
Reports from the Green Bay Press Gazette gave a clear account of what happened; April 28, Messrs. Bischoff and architect Waters visited site proposed by the Allouez Improvement Co., Mr. Bischoff approved the location.  May 8, 1893, Mr. Bischoff announced the name of the company would be, Allouez Cycle and Novelty Company. June 26, 1893, Mr. Bischoff dispelled rumors that the new factory was to be located elsewhere.   July 12, 1893, Mr. James Elmore, secretary of the Allouez Improvement Company explained to an assembled group how the sale of land worked and the introduced Mr. Bischoff who spoke of his plans for the factory.  August 9, 1893, Mr. Elmore told the press that the contractor hadn’t been paid and had ceased work on the factory.  The upshot of all of this was that the factory was never built, if it had it was to be three stories high, measuring 350’ x 60’ with the front entrance at the center on River Road and would have employed seven hundred people.         
More work in Green Bay and Stevens Point came to Mr. Waters early in the twentieth century with the planning of depots in both those cities for the Green Bay and Western Rail Road.  This fact was briefly noted in the Oshkosh Observer of April 11, 1902 in a piece about the firm of Wm. Waters and Son.  The Green Bay depot was grand, befitting the rail road’s home town.  It was a two-story brick structure set on a high limestone foundation, capped by a tile, hip roof with large dormers, the platform was also shielded by tile clad roofs.  As for the Stevens Point depot, it was more pedestrian, a simple one story brick building which served the needs adequately. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Appleton Commercial Buildings, Part 3

Of all Mr. Waters' Appleton, commercial buildings there were five I had trouble pin pointing.  They were; the Moore and Galpin block, Dr. Sutherlands Block, the Smith Block, the Bertschy Block and Mr. Tisher's Store. I had no clue about the Tischer store, what it looked like or where it may have been, the others I was able speculate as to which building they were.
I'll start with the Moore and Galpin block, built in 1871.  Per the 1887 Appleton city directory, Harold and Algernon Galpin maintain an office above White’s Hardware store, the same directory give the location of White’s store as “n s College av., 8 w Durkee.”  Indeed, an 1883 fire insurance map show a hardware store at that location.  The brick building exhibits many of the features that are hall marks of a Waters’ designed business block, most notably two stores flanking a central stairway to the second floor.  There is also an intricate brick work cornice and parapet along the top of the structure. 

There are references to the Sutherland Block in the early city directories and one in “Ryan’s History of Outagamie County” in the biography of Gilbert Ullman.  Other than being on College Avenue there were no clues to guide me in my search for the building.  I knew the building was constructed in 1871 and that was all.  There was one building on the north side of the avenue however that was an exact duplicate of a building on Main St. in Oshkosh, the Weston Block.  The brick work in both the Appleton and Oshkosh buildings were nearly identical to the brick work of Mr. Waters’ Phoenix Fire, also built in 1871. I thus concluded that the building on the north side of College Ave., one building west of the corner of Morrison St. to be the Sutherland Block.     
I was stymied by the Smith Block, a building erected by A. L. Smith in 1873.  Where was it located and what did it look like?  While perusing the Appleton city directory of 1877, I notice an advertisement for the Appleton Crescent which state their office to be on the third floor of the Smith Block.  A listing of attorneys and physicians show that many of these professionals had offices in the Smith Block.  I went back to the photo collection of the Appleton Public Library and looked for a large, three story building that look as if it was built in 1873.  I noticed just such a structure in a postcard of the north side of College between Morrison and Oneida.  Upon closer inspection, I could see the familiar Waters traits, it was two side by side, three story versions of the arrangement so often used by the architect, that being a stairway to the upper floors between two stores.  Mystery solved.
There was no mystery to the Bertschy Block, the 1877 city directory lists P. H. Bertschy and E. N. Johnson as having a dry goods store at 143 College Avenue and the fire insurance map of 1883 confirms that there was indeed a dry goods store at that address.  The building exhibited many features that marked as the work of William Waters, the rosettes carved in the keystone and springers of the center pediment were the most obvious.  Opportunities in Appleton provided Mr. Waters with much work early in his career and he continued getting commissions in that fair city.