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Historic Preservation

Architectural Styles

Italianate (1850-1880)

The typical hallmarks of the many high-style Italianate residences in Wisconsin are wide eaves with brackets, low-pitched hipped or gabled roofs, and often a polygonal or square cupola placed on the roof.  These buildings are typically either "T,” “L," cruciform, or square in plan, they frequently have smaller ells attached to the rear of the main block, and they tend to have boxy proportions.  Other common characteristics include verandahs or loggias, bay windows, balustraded balconies, and tall windows with hood molds or pediments,  Italianate Style residences are typically two stories in height and they are typically clad in either clapboard, brick, or, less frequently, in stone

High Victorian Gothic (1865-1900)

The High Victorian Gothic style is a later manifestation of the Gothic Revival style and emphasized heavier detailing and more complex massing than its predecessor while still retaining the same emphasis on the use of the pointed arch.  One of the hallmarks of the best and most typical examples of the style is the use of surface materials of differing colors and textures to create a polychromatic appearance.  High Victorian Gothic style designs were used on as wide a variety of building types as was the Gothic Revival and can be found on both institutional and commercial examples as well as on churches.  Residential uses of the style, however, were very rare and none are known to have been built in Marshfield .

Queen Anne (1880-1910)

Most American examples of the Queen Anne style are residential buildings and because the period of this style's greatest popularity coincided with a period of enormous suburban growth in America , extant examples are numerous and now virtually define the Victorian period house in the popular imagination.  Queen Anne style houses can be identified by their apparently irregular plans, complex use of often classically inspired ornamentation, and asymmetrical massing.  The designs of these buildings often include polygonal bay windows, round or polygonal turrets, wrap-around verandahs, and steeply-pitched multi-gable or combination gable and hip roofs which usually have a dominate front-facing gable.  Use of a variety of surface materials, roof shapes, and wall projections are all typical in Queen Anne designs and are represented in a seemingly endless number of different combinations.  Shingle or clapboard siding is common, and they are often combined in the same building, sometimes above a brick first story.

Queen Anne style houses are the most frequently encountered examples of late nineteenth century and early twentieth century high style architecture in Marshfield .  The Marshfield Intensive Survey surveyed 31 examples of the Queen Anne style. This number does not, however, include the examples located in the NRHP-listed Pleasant Hill and West Park Street historic districts, which together contain the lion's share of the city's most architecturally impressive Queen Anne style houses.  Never-the-less, fine examples of the Queen Anne style are located elsewhere in the city as well, including among them one of the most elaborate and impressive example of this style in Marshfield, the Dr. Stuart Lathrop House at 308 E. Fifteenth St., which was built in 1895 and still occupies a half-block size lot that represents just a small portion of the Lathrop's much larger original holdings. This large, elaborate house is clad in clapboards and decorative wood shingles and it also has a fine carriage house located behind it, and both the house and its carriage house are believed to be individually eligible for listing in the NRHP (which see).  Less elaborate but also a fine example is the clapboard-clad house at 704 E. Fourth St., which was built between 1891 and 1912 and features a polygonal plan corner tower of the type that is so closely associated with the style.

Two other later transitional examples of nearly equal quality are located in the proposed W. Fifth St.-W. Sixth St. Historic District.  Both of these houses have gambrel-roofed Dutch Colonial Revival style-influenced main blocks that illustrate the growing influence of the period revival styles in the last years of the Queen Anne style's period of popularity.  The first of these is the R. Connor House at 709 W. Fifth St., built between 1900 and 1905 for a member of one of Marshfield's most important lumber families.  The second is also a fine example that was built in 1904 and is located at 903 W. Fifth St., and it is a clapboard-clad house that combines a polygonal plan Queen Anne style tower with a Dutch Colonial Revival style main block.

Neo-Classical Revival (1895-1935)

A style which became especially popular for public, institutional, and commercial buildings after the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, the Neo-Classical Revival style was classical in inspiration and planning and stressed symmetry and the use of classical detailing.  This detailing typically includes such characteristic elements as porticos whose roofs are supported by classical order columns, and symmetrically balanced windows and doors.  The use of columns is all but ubiquitous in Neo-Classical design and they may be either freestanding or used as engaged design elements such as pilasters and pilaster strips.  Public examples of the style were usually executed in either stone or brick and feature materials designed to express a feeling of monumentality and permanence.

American Craftsman (1900-1920)

Like the associated Arts and Crafts style, the American Craftsman style had its origins in the work of English architects and designers who sought a new approach to house design by using simplified elements of traditional vernacular houses to produce a comprehensive design in which exterior and interior elements worked together to produce a unified whole.  Unlike Arts and Crafts designs, however, the American Craftsman style did not choose to imitate its English heritage.  Instead, by applying the basic principles of Arts and Crafts design to American needs and building materials, designers such as Wisconsin native Gustave Stickley were able to fashion buildings having a specifically American appearance.  The American Craftsman style is characterized by quality construction and simple, well-crafted exterior and interior details.  Natural materials are used both inside and out in a manner appropriate to each and wood is by far the most common material used both inside and out with brick, stucco, and wood shingles also being typical exterior building materials.  Frequently the exteriors of American Craftsman style houses use broad bands of contrasting materials (such as wood shingles above stucco) to delineate different stories.  American Craftsman style homes usually have broad gable or hipped main roofs with one or two large front dormers and widely overhanging eaves, exposed brackets or rafters, and prominent chimneys.  Most designs also feature multi-light windows having simplified Queen Anne style sash patterns.  Open front porches whose roofs are supported by heavy piers are a hallmark of the style, and glazed sun porches and open roofed wooden pergola-like porches are also common.

Prairie School (1895-1925)

An indigenous American style with roots in the American Arts and Crafts movement and the Shingle style, the Prairie School style originated in Chicago and became an important regional style in the Midwest in the years before WWI.  The popular image of a Prairiestyle building today is dominated by the contributions of the style's greatest practitioner, Wisconsin-born architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  These buildings can be characterized by their horizontal lines.  Horizontality was emphasized by the use of long, low hipped or gabled roofs with widely overhanging boxed eaves, grouped or banded windows, and a belt course or shelf roof between stories.  Residential designs also typically feature massive chimneys which help to anchor the buildings to their site visually and serve as counterpoints to the prevailing horizontality.  Wood, stucco, and brick were typical building materials and their natural beauty was emphasized.  Stylized and abstracted motifs were frequently used in leaded glass windows and interiors.  Although most often used for residences the Prairiestyle was also used for many other building types as well including banks, retail stores and schools. School School

The finest examples of buildings designed in the Prairiestyle are those in which the style is expressed in all the exterior and interior elements.  These buildings have a unity which is especially characteristic of the Prairiestyle and which is found in relatively few examples not designed by the acknowledged masters of this style.  More typically, local architects utilized elements of the Prairiestyle in the same way they used elements of the Colonial Revival or Neo-Classical styles to create up-to-date, fashionable buildings.  Buildings created in this manner vary greatly, some having the distinctive feel of true Prairieexamples, with others having only the details School School School School

American Foursquare (1900-1930)

A residential style popularized by builders across the country, the American Foursquare is easily identified by its box-like form and broad proportions.  As the name implies, examples of this style are often square in plan although examples having a slightly rectilinear plan are also very common.  Examples are almost always two or two-and-a-half stories in height and usually have a shallow-pitched hip roof, widely overhanging eaves, and centrally placed dormers which are occasionally placed on each of the four slopes of the more elaborate hip roofed examples.  Entrance doors were originally almost always sheltered by porches and most examples of the style feature a one-story, full-width front porch which is often supported by Tuscan columns.  Exterior materials include brick, stucco, concrete block, clapboard or wood shingles, or combinations of these materials.  American Craftsman style-influenced designs often alternate exterior finishes by floor, creating a banded appearance.  Decoration is minimal, though some of the better examples are embellished with period details or American Craftsman style details such as porch piers decorated with trellis-like abstract designs which, in the finest examples, strongly suggest membership in another stylistic category such as the Colonial Revival or Prairiestyles.  Never-the-less, the overall proportions of even the most elaborate of these buildings always give them away and reveals their American Foursquare style roots. School

Bungalow (1910-1940)

The term Bungalow has the unusual distinction of being both the name of a style and the generic name for a particular type of small residential building.  Consequently, it is quite usual to speak of Colonial Revival style Bungalows when describing some houses of small size having pronounced Colonial Revival style design elements even as it is usual to speak of other houses as being in the Bungalow style.  Bungalow style houses themselves are generally small-sized, have either square or rectilinear floor plans, and are usually one-story-tall.  When a second story is needed, it is placed under the slope of the main roof in order to maintain the single story appearance and dormers are typically used to admit light.  Bungalow designs typically have a horizontal emphasis and are covered with wide, projecting gable or hip roofs which often have protruding rafter ends or brackets supporting the eaves.  On almost every example of the style the front door is sheltered by a porch and full-width front porches are commonplace.  The roofs of these porches are often supported by piers having a battered shape although many other shapes can be found depending on the amount of influence other styles had in the overall design.  Horizontal clapboard siding is the usual exterior surface material for these buildings although stucco, concrete block, brick veneer, wood shingle and even log examples are also found.  Detailing is usually structural rather than ornamental and features plain, well-executed woodwork.

Occasionally, Bungalows feature design elements borrowed from other styles such as the Craftsman, Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, and Prairiestyles and sometimes these other styles are so dominant that they take precedent over the Bungalow style.  In general, though, Bungalows can be divided into three principal types: side-gabled; front-gabled; and hip-roofed.  Each type can have either square or rectilinear plans and can be either one or one-and-a-half stories tall and their exteriors can be surfaced in any one of the materials listed above or in combinations of them. School

The Bungalow style was much more common in Marshfield than the American Foursquare style, thirty-five examples having been surveyed plus the seven that have been listed under the Craftsman and Prairiestyles.  The best examples of these thirty-five buildings are listed below by type regardless of the other stylistic influences that are present or the type of siding materials present. School

Colonial Revival (1900-1940)

Interest in America 's historic Colonial Period architecture increased at the end of the nineteenth century at a time when a reaction to the stylistic excesses of the Queen Anne style was beginning to set in.  The greater simplicity of Colonial examples gave new houses designed in this manner a fresh, modern appeal.  The Colonial Revival style is simple and regular in design and typically features symmetrically placed windows and central doors.  Usually, these buildings are two stories in height, they have exteriors sided in either clapboards or wood shingles, although brick and even stone examples are also found.  Many Colonial Revival houses have an L shaped plan but most examples have rectilinear plans and post World War I examples often have an attached garage.  Symmetrical designs are typical but not invariable.  Borrowing architectural detailing from genuine Georgian, Federal, and Dutch Colonial examples is typical in Colonial Revival buildings although such details are usually not elaborate.  These features include classically derived main entrances and front (and side) entrance porches that are typically supported by simple one-story-tall classical order columns and are topped by pediments.  Other popular features include corner pilasters, denticulated cornices, and shutters.  The great majority of Colonial Revival designs have simple gable roof designs although hip roof examples are also found, and dormers are also popular features.

The Colonial Revival style is primarily a residential one and although buildings designed in the style were occasionally quite grand, most were medium size houses and these were built in vast numbers all across America .  Indeed, so enduring has the popularity of this style been that many modern homes in Wisconsin and elsewhere still imitate it.  Not surprisingly, these houses come in many shapes and forms.  Many are highly symmetrical in design but others are quite informal and rambling, it all depended on the particular historic precedent each was trying to emulate.  Wall cladding also varies considerably.  Houses clad entirely in stucco, brick, stone, wooden clapboards, or steel that imitates wooden clapboards are plentiful but so also are examples that mix these various materials, although few if any mix more than two kinds at once.  Despite this variety of designs and materials, however, the use of some elements such as double hung multi-light windows, main roofs that have very shallow boxed eaves, and main entrance doors that typically have some classical allusions, is relatively consistent.

Dutch Colonial Revival (1900-1940)

A popular early twentieth century building style, the Dutch Colonial Revival style was almost always used solely for residential buildings.  Examples of this style can be readily identified by the hallmark gambrel shape roof.  In general, Dutch Colonial Revival style residences can be divided into two types: those whose gambrel ends face to the front and those that face to the sides.  Front-facing gambrel ends are more often found on earlier examples and on vernacular examples of the style while side-facing gambrel ends were favored for both larger and later examples.  These buildings are generally symmetrical in appearance but side-gambreled examples often have a small sun porch wing at one end.  Exterior walls are typically clad in either clapboards, wood shingles, brick, or stone and contrasting materials (such as clapboard above brick or stone) are also frequently used to delineate different floors and help to produce a more informal appearance.  Most examples of the style are one-and-a-half stories tall and the use of large dormers to admit light to the second floor rooms is common, especially on later, side-gambreled examples.

Georgian Revival (1900-1940)

This style borrows from both the historic Georgian and Federal styles and uses such characteristic design elements as symmetrical facades, rectangular plans, hipped roofs, and accurate classical details to produce designs having a sense of formality about them which is not typical of examples of the related Colonial Revival style.  Popular exterior design elements include corners sporting quoins, denticulated cornices, Palladian-style three-unit windows, and symmetrically disposed double hung windows having 6, 8, or 12 lights placed in the top sash (and sometimes in the lower sash as well).  A favorite spot for elaborate ornamentation is the centrally-placed entrance door and typical features are broken pediments, classical order columns, semi-elliptical fanlights or transom lights, sidelights, and paneled entrance doors.  Brick and stone are popular exterior materials and trim is often of wood although stone is also found on larger examples.  Not surprisingly, then, the Georgian Revival style is most frequently found on residential buildings in more prestigious neighborhoods.

Tudor Revival (1900-1940)

Inspired by 16th century and 19th century English models, the Tudor Revival style has been used for nearly every type of building but most frequently for single family residences.  The most characteristic feature of this style is the ornamental use of half-timber work filled in with stucco or brick applied over a conventional balloon frame.  Residential examples in particular tend to be irregular in plan and often have massive and sometimes elaborately decorated brick or stone chimneys, multi-gabled steeply-pitched roof lines, and large multi-paned window expanses which are almost always made up of grouped casement windows on the finer examples.  Although examples occasionally have elements sided in either clapboard or wood shingles, most examples are usually partially or completely sided in brick, stone, or stucco.

Spanish Colonial/Mediterranean Revival (1900-1940)

These styles share a common heritage in the architecture of southern Europe and take as their inspiration the vernacular architecture of this region as modified by successive periods of high style designs.  This mixture resulted in an architecture which clearly expresses volume by the use of flat surfaces that are relieved by the use of arcaded design elements such as doors, windows, and repeated decorative motifs, and by using terra cotta, plaster, and tile ornamentation.  Both styles can be identified by these and other frequently shared elements such as tile-covered hipped roofs, which are often supported by heavy brackets under the eaves, and round-arched elements such as door and window openings.  Both styles also invariably utilize some type of masonry material for exterior walls.

Mediterranean Revival style structures are generally more formal in plan and appearance than are Spanish Colonial Revival style buildings.  The best examples of the Mediterranean Revival style have a pronounced classical feeling and typically utilize symmetrical elevations and plans, brick and/or stone wall cladding, and wrought iron elements such as balconets and window grills.  Spanish Colonial Revival buildings are typically more informal in plan, they are much more likely to have plastered or stuccoed walls (although partially exposed brick walls are also sometimes used), and they make much more frequent use of wooden decorative elements.  As a result, Spanish Colonial Revival style buildings typically have a more informal appearance than Mediterranean Revival style examples

Neo-Gothic Revival (1900-1940)

Unlike Gothic Revival style and High Victorian Gothic style examples, the best Neo-Gothic Revival style buildings are the result of considerable architectural scholarship.  Like their English Perpendicular style and late French Gothic style progenitors, the better Neo-Gothic Revival style designs have a pronounced vertical emphasis and use a much more subdued palette of exterior and interior colors than did the preceding Gothic Revival styles.  The Neo-Gothic Revival style is characterized by steeply-pitched roofs, irregular massing, random ashlar stone construction, and the use of high-quality construction and materials.  The vertical emphasis of the Neo-Gothic Revival also lent itself to the design of tall office buildings, but smaller commercial or office buildings occasionally carry Neo-Gothic ornamentation as well.  This style was especially popular for religious and educational structures and the accurate use of historic models is especially visible in the beautifully wrought, highly carved stonework and excellent decorative metalwork which is characteristic of many of these designs.  It should be noted that this style is also sometimes called "Late Gothic Revival."  Because of the costly materials and extensive handwork involved in the construction of many Neo-Gothic Revival style buildings, such designs were expensive and examples are usually found only in the larger cities in Wisconsin .

Art Deco (1925-1945)

The term "Art Deco" is the popular name for the style featured at the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs held in Paris in 1925.  At this Exposition, various trends which had been emerging in both European and American design were blended into a style which served as a bridge between the styles of the past and the truly modern styles of the future.  The Art Deco style frankly delights in modernity and has a fascination with the machine and with industry.  This is expressed in the hard-edged, angular, machine-like quality typical of many of the stylistic motifs adopted by designers who worked in this style and is also evident in the vertical emphasis common to much of the architecture designed in this style.  At the same time, the decorative nature of Art Deco, its emphasis on ornamentation, and the enormous amount of hand work which went into both exterior and interior details in the best examples all mark this as the last of the pre-modern styles.

Art Deco designs often utilize highly stylized historical or natural ornamental details but the most frequently observed stylistic motifs have an abstract, angular, geometric quality that symbolizes technology and industrialization.  Typical of the style is the use of low-relief geometric ornamentation featuring designs such as chevrons and stylized sunbursts.  Such designs were often incised into granite or molded into terra cotta, two materials which were popular for the exteriors of buildings designed in this style.  The same designs were also often reproduced in cast stone, a product which could be colored and which was capable of being reproduced in any desired quantity.  Bronze and other ornamental metals such as steel and even aluminum were also often used on interiors and exteriors.

Art Moderne (1930-1950)

The Art Moderne style is sometimes known as the "streamlined style" after the design movement that was prevalent in America in the 1930s and 1940s.  This style is similar to the Art Deco style in its interest in the machine and technology but it differs in several major respects.  The Art Moderne style is truly modern, its designs lack any historical references, and examples tend to be innocent of ornamentation in the historic use of the term.  Rather, such ornament as exists in these designs is made up of elements of the building itself and is not just an overlay.  In addition, the Art Moderne style stresses horizontal lines rather than vertical ones, and features flat roofs and narrow banded windows.  Concrete and glass blocks are often used to create the smooth wall surfaces and rounded corners that are hallmarks of the style.  Aluminum and stainless steel are typical door and window trim materials and exterior walls are typically made of masonry often covered with a smooth finishing material such as stucco or concrete.

Lustron (1946-1950)

Although short-lived, the all metal Lustron House produced by the Chicago Vitreous Enamel Products Company's subsidiary, the Lustron Corporation, was one of the most successful and is now the best known of the pre-fabricated houses that were developed just after World War II to meet the enormous post-war need for new housing.  The houses were produced in the former Curtiss-Wright airplane factory in Columbus , Ohio , and were especially notable for being made entirely of steel.

Lustron homes are distinctive in their appearance, with two-foot-square, porcelain enameled steel panels on the exterior, usually colored yellow, beige, gray, or aqua.  The roof is similarly made of steel, but these panels are sized and shaped to look much like standard shingles.  Although several different models were planned, the vast majority—perhaps more than 90%—of those shipped from the factory were the original, two-bedroom Westchester model measuring 31feet by 35 feet.  This model has four picture windows, one in the dining room, one in each bedroom, and one in the living room, which is a bay window.

The interior of the Lustron is all porcelain-enameled steel as well, but these panels are 2 feet wide by 8 feet high and beveled, much like standard paneling, to give the appearance of a conventional home.  The design features an open floor plan with only the bedrooms and the bathroom having doors.  The space is very efficiently planned, with plenty of storage, making the 1024 square feet seem like more.  Built in shelf, drawer and mirror areas are located in the dining room, living room and master bedroom.  The closets all have shelves in them as well. 

Although a design success and a practical success, the Lustron House was a manufacturing and commercial failure and only some 2500 were made before the company closed its doors in 1950, and only 150 were built in Wisconsin .  Never-the-less, the houses lived up to their claim of being practically maintenance free and they also represent an important step in the concept of pre-fabricated housing.  Consequently, these houses have an architectural and historical importance that makes all intact examples potentially eligible for the NRHP.

Contemporary Style (1946)

The Contemporary Style is a provisional term which is applied to the vast numbers of buildings built after World War II that are truly modern in inspiration and which owe nothing to past designs or historic examples.  Unfortunately, because the scholarly effort that will eventually categorize these buildings into styles is still in its infancy, nothing can be said at this time to characterize such buildings, nor are most of them eligible for inclusion in the NRHP, which normally accepts only those buildings that are 50 years old or older.  Never-the-less, it is important that intensive surveys such as this one try to identify buildings that, by virtue of their excellent design, may eventually be eligible for inclusion in the NRHP.
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