I had often wondered about the early residential works of William Waters. Published lists from biographies and newspaper articles tended to mention only the homes of the well-to-do, folks such as S. M. Hay and W. H. Doe and being prominent persons images of their dwelling were easy to find. But certainly Mr. Waters did more than homes for lumbermen and bankers. A few weeks ago a Facebook friend and fellow Waters devotee posted several pictures of a house at 723 Frederick Street in Oshkosh. In one image there can be seen a notice of condemnation attach to the front door. The friend expressed fear that the house would soon be bulldozed. He also said that he thought it may have been the work of architect Waters. I had noticed the house years ago but had never considered that Mr. Waters had designed it.
The house was built for Joshua Dalton a house painter who worked with his father for many years but later opened a grocery store in Methodist Church block on the corner of Main and Merritt Streets. An article published in the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern of December 14, 1877 give a list of the new house construction in the past season and there among them is Joshua Dalton's residence on Leaf Street.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
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.
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
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.