Monday, May 31, 2010

Three Sisters

It is easy to say that most church steeples dating from the 1870's were much the same. Some had louvered vents others had clocks. Some had finials, crockets or crosses, all were tall and inspiring. Here, are depicted three church steeples of Mr. Waters early works. Oshkosh's St. Peter and First Congregational and St. Joesph in Appleton. All of them date from the mid 1870's. I was baptized in the old St. Peter's. Before it was demolish the steeple had been rebuilt to about half of what once was. I can recall the old First Congratulation church. It too had its' steeple altered before it was razed in the 1960's . St. Joe's in Appleton still stands. The church has had some additions over the years but the alterations have been sympathetic to the original structure.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Commercial Structures
Commercial buildings were a large part of Waters' practice. Some of his earliest commissions were buildings devoted to business and he continued designing business blocks until the end of his career. Many of his early jobs in Appleton and the fires which destroyed Oshkosh's Main St. gave Mr. Waters ample opportunity to build his skill with regard to store front design. There was one design template in particular that served his clients well. This design consisted of one building with two stores with a stairway to the second floor between the stores. The store front layout depended on client need. Many had a central recessed entry flanked by large display windows. In some cases the entrance was to one side, as seen here in the Commercial Bank,
On the second floor twin or triplet windows provided light and ventilation to offices or flats. At the center of the structure, above the stairway was a single window. This design is well suited to long rows of buildings. A study of business houses from the 1870's will show a few examples of this design template. Mr Waters may not have been the genesis of this design but used extensively were it would work well.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The West Side School in Winne-conne was also built in 1901. The central pavilion has an arched entry flanked by two small windows. Above the entrance are three large arched topped windows. A bellcast hipped roof with a two window dormer is crowned by a small belfry. The main body of the structure has symmetrical fenestration with the first floor windows topped by jack arch lintels. This school is no longer standing.

This is the grade school in Edgar Wisconsin. Mr. Waters seemed to be working his way west. The year before, in 1900 he had designed a High School in New Lisbon. The Edgar school is built of brick and is topped with a bellcast hipped roof. Again, there is an arched entry and symmetry in the fenestration. There are distinctive jack arch lintels on the first floor window as well as those of the center pavilion.
This is an image of the Dartford School. The school was built in 1897 in the village of Dartford, later to become Green Lake. It was a wooden structure with a bellcast hipped roof. There was an arched entry in the center pavilion which was topped by a small belfry. The siding was of clapboard and shingles and the fenestration was much the same as that of Menasha's Forth Ward School. There were dormers at either end, a feature seen only on this school building. The building is no longer standing.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Forth Ward School was built in 1891 and was the first of the small school buildings designed by Waters. It was constructed of a light colored brick and had contrasting courses of dark brick. The lintels, sills and pediment cap were cut of lime stone.
The building displays complete symmetry and is topped with Queen Anne style belfry. The structure is no longer standing.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Small Schools

Around the turn of the century Mr. Waters designed a number of small school buildings all based on the same plan. The first of these was Menasha's Forth Ward School built in 1891. This was followed in 1897 by the Dartford School
(Green Lake) and the Punhoqua School in Oshkosh. Winneconne's West side School and the Edgar grade school were built in 1901. The buildings were of an efficient and straight forward design which proved affordable and appealing to the clients. I will publish images of the other schools later.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Waters' birthplace

I've noticed that the current biographies of William Waters erroneously cite his birthplace as Franklin County New York. Mr. Waters was born in the village of Franklin in Delaware County New York. Delaware county is near Pennsylvania in southern part of the state and was in the late 1700's the destination for many migrants from New England. Waters' grandfather removed from Hebron Connecticut to Delaware county in 1798 and commenced to raise crops and children. Waters' father served as town clerk for a term or two and also became a well to do merchant with a local dry good store. William Waters Sr. and his wife Elizabeth had three children two sons and a daughter, William was the eldest.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Opening statement

I have for many years been interested in the history of Oshkosh, Wisconsin and in particular the architect William Waters, of that city. It is my hope that this blog will serve as a clearinghouse for information about Mr. Waters as well as a sounding board for any opinions on subjects under consideration. I intend to add images of building and engage in discussion about same. Perhaps there will be persons as interested in this subject as I am.