I’ve written pieces about every building I know to have been designed by William Waters. My last two missives were speculative in that I had no confirmation of Mr. Waters’ affiliation with the design of the structures, just my intuition, this and future post will just as intuitive and many posts will focus on architect Waters’ earlier work.
A few years ago, I asked Dan Radig, an artist, historian, archivist and Facebook friend if he had any photos of some of the houses demolished to make way the phone company’s new building on Algoma Boulevard. In return he sent some great pictures I’d not seen before. One was of number 115 Algoma, the address before the renumbering of 1957, which was across the street from what is now Oshkosh City Hall. Many design elements were familiar, like those of Joshua Daltons residence on Central Street. (See post from March 30, 2015.) The layout of both houses was the same and the front porches were small with an enclosed vestibule. A look back at the sketches collected by young William Waters Jr. in the mid 1870’s reviled the gable and window trim details to be the work of the elder Waters, I was sure of it. The Oshkosh city directory of 1890 was the first to list street addresses and occupants name, 115 Algoma is listed as the residence of T. J. Gannon, a commercial traveler, it also the first-time Mr. Gannon’s name appears in the city directories. A Herculean task I’m not up for, would be to go through the appropriate directories name by name to ascertain for whom the house was built. For now, the name of the dwelling’s first resident will remain a mystery.