Historic Structures

Green Gables - Fleishhacker House, Woodside California

Significant as a masterwork, a house and landscape planned as a unified composition by one person, Charles Sumner Greene of the famous architectural firm Greene and Greene, for one patron, Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer Fleishhacker, and kept intact by (so far) three generations of their family. A museum catalogue has said, Green Gables bespeaks a gracious yet comfortable manner of living, but its particular beauty derives from its harmonious relationship with the land, always a special forte of Charles [Greene]. Here it is a sublime creation.(1) In relation to its area, San Mateo County and the Santa Clara Valley of California, Green Gables can claim the earliest roof of shingles imitating thatch, the first free-form swimming pool, one of the first buildings surfaced with gunite, and the last great estate with land, use and ownership intact.(2) The historic owners, Mortimer Fleishhacker Sr. and Mortimer Fleishhacker Jr., were significant figures in Northern California banking and industry and in San Francisco cultural, charitable and philanthropic organizations. Sketches and correspondence in the Documents Collection of the College of Environmental Design, University of California Berkeley, testify to the relationship of this architect and client, and show some of their design decision process. The largest of all Greene and Greene designs, the Fleishhacker estate concept developed vast, formal gardens to contrast with the natural chaparral of the rolling, mountainous site.

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Medford Soo Line Railroad Depot, Medford Wisconsin

The Medford Centennial Book states that more than any other factor, ...The Wisconsin Central Railroad had the greatest influence on the why and wherefore of Medford's uptown and downtown locations... it seeded the mushroom which spread into a hamlet and later a city. As the first rail line into northern Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Central deserves special attention. Incorporated in 1871, WC's first division of railroad to penetrate the northern frontier was a 65-mile stretch from Menasha to Stevens Point. Under the financial leadership of eastern capitalist Gardner Colby, the company acquired more than 837,000 acres under a federal land grant. In exchange for free land, WC's obligation was to be the first company to link the shore of Lake Superior with the southern part of the State. Most historians agree that the WC was organized for the purpose of acquiring the wilderness lands, because the railroad promoters sold the land to lumbermen as soon as they had acquired it. The lands north of Stevens Point were often referred to as The Pinery and were sparsely settled in the early 1870's. Thus, construction of the Wisconsin Central through the north country generally preceded settlement by Europeans. Like many northern Wisconsin towns, Medford owes its origins to the Wisconsin Central Railroad. The WC began laying rails northwest of Stevens Point in early 1872, completing its line as far as Colby in September of that year. At the same time, crews cleared a path north to the Black River. The first train passed through what now is Medford in July, and the first depot was erected in September of 1873. W.B. Jeffers, the first depot agent, and two other persons were the sole permanent residents of Medford in the winter of 1873. The name Medford was selected to recognize the home town in Massachusetts of one of the railroad's investors. In the Spring of 1874, the Wisconsin Central built a 7-room guest house for prospective German and Swiss buyers of railroad farm lands. This immigrant house located near what is now Main and Lincoln Streets in Medford may have been the only instance of the railroad company giving free shelter to prospective land buyers. Wisconsin Central donated a 316' x 500' land parcel just east of the depot to Taylor County for the site of the Taylor County Courthouse.

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Tulip Hill House, Galesville Maryland

Tulip Hill, located in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, approximately 2.5 miles west of Galesville on State Route 468, is a finely designed and little altered example of an early Southern Georgian brick plantation house. Erected in 1755-56, its basic plan and design are typical of the great Georgian mansions of mid-century, but its experimental approach to late Georgian formality in certain decorative features gives it distinctive character which adds interest to its detail. With the wings and hyphens added between 1787-90, Tulip Hill is also a very distinguished example of a five-part composition country house. Sitting on a rise of land, the impressive approach to the house from the river by a tree lined lane through the meadows and into the terraced garden exists today as it did over 200 years ago, maintaining the original site and environment. This offers today's visitor much the same impression as it did in the eighteenth century. Samuel Galloway, Quaker merchant-planter, purchased the old Talbot patent of 'Poplar Knowle, 260 acres with water frontage on West River and Browns Creek, in 1755. He renamed the property Tulip Hill, retaining in this new name the distinctive feature of the grove of grand tulip poplar trees, many still standing with ages up to 300 years. Letters reveal that the central block was well underway in 1755-56, under the direction of John Deavour. The architect is unknown, but the interior floor plan of the house bears a close relationship to Stenton, at Germantown, Pennsylvania, built by Galloway's Quaker friend, James Logan. The interior of Tulip Hill has been attributed to the young carver, William Buckland, on the basis of motif and a reference in a document that Galloway borrowed a carver from Gunston Hall, where Buckland is known to have been working at the time, but no firm evidence has been found to fully substantiate this theory. In 1787-90 John Galloway, Samuel's son, enlarged Tulip Hill into its final and present five-part form by adding two end wings, two connecting curtains, and also the present portico on the north (land) front of the central block. The plantation house remained in the possession of the Galloway family until 1886. After passing through several ownerships, the mansion was rehabilitated.

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Montpelier - Snowden House, Laurel Maryland

Montpelier is by far the grandest of the many Snowden family homesteads built in the Laurel area from the time of the first Snowden settler, ca. 1690, to the late-18th century. A wealthy, Quaker family, they developed and dominated the local economy for over a century. Richard Snowden, later referred to as Richard the immigrant, came from Birmingham, England, to Maryland ca. 1658. He later received grants of land in this area, settling on a portion of it (located in the current Howard County) ca. 1690. His residence was known as Birmingham Manor for his original home. Upon his death, the Birmingham Manor property passed on to his son, Richard Snowden II, also known as Captain Richard Snowden. Richard continued to increase the family landholdings here until they totalled approximately 27,000 acres spanning Prince Georges, Montgomery, Anne Arundel and Howard counties. It was Richard II that started the Snowden or Patuxent Iron Works in 1735, was the first iron works in the state. His property upon his death was passed on to his son, Richard III, often referred to as the Iron Master. From him, that portion of the extensive Snowden family holdings on which Montpelier was to be erected passed onto one of his sons, Thomas. Thomas Snowden I (1722-1770) was, for many years, credited with the construction of Montpelier, originally believed to have been erected ca. 1740. However, architectural historians now believe that, based on the style and detailing of the house, it was built between 1770-1785. The two firebacks in the house give the date of 1783, which may have been the official year of completion of the main block of the house. The hyphenated wings were added later, in 1794-1795.

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Chase Lloyd House, Annapolis Maryland

The Chase-Lloyd House, 22 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis, Maryland, was built 1769-74 with interiors by William Buckland and is one of the first of the large, full-three-story brick Georgian town houses to be erected in the English colonies. Its every detail evidences an effort to achieve the ultimate in magnificance. The Chase-Lloyd House is not only the finest three-story brick Georgian town house in the Southern colonies, but it ranks with the finest similar structures in the Northern colonies, namely, the Reynolds-Morris House (1786-87) at Philadelphia, and the John Brown House (1768-87) at Providence, Rhode Island. The Chase-Lloyd House is also the only three-story brick town house erected in Annapolis prior to the Revolution. Construction of the Chase-Lloyd House was begun in 1769 by Samuel Chase, lawyer and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. In July 1771 he sold the partially completed house to Edward Lloyd IV, wealthy Maryland planter and owner of the Wye House plantation, for nearly 3,000 pounds. In December 1771, Colonel Lloyd engaged the architect William Buckland, newly arrived at Annapolis, to complete the structure. Buckland worked on the project from 1771 to 1773 as did Annapolis architect William Noke who took over after Buckland withdrew. The elaborate plasterwork of the interior was executed by Rawlings and Barnes, who had arrived in town from London in 1771. The house remained in the hands of the Lloyd family until 1847, when it was sold to Miss Hester Ann Chase, a descendent of the owner who had started the residence. In 1888 a member of this family bequeathed the house to the Protestant Episcopal Church as a home for elderly women.

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Hammond-Harwood House, Annapolis Maryland

Annapolis is a town containing many distinguished 18th century houses. The Hammond-Harwood House, last of these to be completed, is more closely associated with William Buckland than either the Brice or Chase-Lloyd Houses. Contemporary documentation indicates that Buckland was here, perhaps for the first time, responsible, not only for the carving and interior decoration, but for the entire design of the building. A portrait by Charles Willson Peale, begun in 1773, shows Buckland holding a plan and front elevation of the house. A drawing of the house in Peale's Journal further indicates the deliberate selection of the Hammond-Harwood House as a suitable illustration of the highest achievement of Buckland's career. Built by Matthias Hammond, an elegant young lawyer who received most of his large income from fifty-four tobacco plantations, the house was probably begun in 1773 and completed the following year, 1774, also the year of Buckland's death. In the second half of the 19th century the house was occupied by the Harwood family. Then in 1926 it was sold at public auction to St. John's College, which used it as a residence. The Hammond-Harwood House Association purchased the property in 1940 and today it is open to the public as an historic house museum. As an outstanding example of Georgian architecture and a reflection of the talent of William Buckland, The Hammond-Harwood House is a remarkable survivor of the great achievement of American architecture at the end of the Colonial Period.

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Wisconsin Central Freight Station (Chicago Great Western), Minneapolis Minnesota

Because the riverfront in Minneapolis along the Mississippi River was crowded with existing railroad tracts and industrial buildings by the late nineteenth century, the Wisconsin Central Railway Company, which was desirous of trackage into the city had few choices of where to build facilities in Minneapolis. The Wisconsin Central Company, a predecessor of the Wisconsin Central Railway Company, had been operating in Wisconsin between northern Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and Chicago since 1870 hauling timber and ore from northern Wisconsin to market cities on Lake Michigan. After financial difficulties in the 1890s, it was reorganized between 1898-1900 as the Wisconsin Central Railway Company. It owned only 28 miles of trackage in Minnesota. The Wisconsin Central Railway Company had been leasing the rails of Minnesota carriers, such as the Northern Pacific and the Great Northern, to ship cattle from Montana and grain and flour from the Twin Cities through Minneapolis and St. Paul to Manitowoc, Milwaukee, and Chicago. Although this arrangement worked well, high trackage rentals and increasing business prompted the Wisconsin Central Railway Company in 1901 to build terminal facilities of its own in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The company, therefore, acquired two Minneapolis parcels for their use near the Mississippi River. Between 1901-1903, it built a large yard terminal on Boom Island north of Nicollet Island nearby the present freight station. The Boom Island yard was improved from low swampy land in the middle of the river. Improvements included fill, a stone retaining wall around the island, a rail yard which could accommodate over 300 cars, a roundhouse, coaling plant, ice houses, and limited repair facilities.

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Wiedemann Brewing Company, Newport Kentucky

The Wiedemann Brewing Company was founded by George Wiedemann. He immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1853. Initially living in New York State and after spending some time in Louisville, Kentucky, he moved to Cincinnati in 1855 when he entered the brewery business. In 1860, Mr. Wiedemann joined with John Kaufman in building a brewery on Vine Street in Cincinnati where he was appointed the foreman. In 1870 he became a partner with John Butcher, who was operating a small brewery on Jefferson Street in Newport, Kentucky. The business began to grow and soon became recognized as a major brewery in northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. In 1878 Wiedemann acquired the entire brewery and he continued to expand its operation. Over the years various buildings were constructed to meet the needs of the growing operation. In 1888 and 1889 construction of modern facilities was undertaken when several buildings were constructed including the Hops Storage building and the Malt House. With increase production capacity, the brewery began to command a greater share of the market. During the period before the turn of the century, Wiedemann acquired several smaller breweries. With these acquitions, the brewery established itself as the major brewery serving northern Kentucky. During the years, Mr. Wiedemann brought his two son's into the business. His eldest son, Charles, was sent to Munich in 1876-77 to learn the latest European brewing techniques. Upon his return, he was sent to Milwaukee to learn the developing brewing techniques being undertaken by America's leading brewers. He rejoined his father as Superintendent, then as Vice-President. With the death of his father, he was appointed President in 1890. He continued the distinctive brewing tradition with increased modernization, establishment of new markets, and attention to the quality of the beer.

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Gebhard Brewery, Morris Illinois

The Gebhard Brewery consists of the Brewing House and Warehouse Building and the Bottling Plant. The Brewing House and Warehouse Building was erected about 1896 with additions constructed over the next decade. The Brewing House section rises four stories in height and, like the rest of the building, contains a steel frame with common-bond brick walls. The Brewing House and Warehouse Building measures approximately 80' x 60'. None of the brewing equipment remains. The Bottling Plant was erected ca. 1900 and consists of a two-and-one-half-story brick building with an interior wood frame. The building measures approximately 60' x 30' and has a gable roof and a stone foundation. Originally a one-and-one-half story brick building, the Gebhard Brewery, located on West Washington Street near Nettle Creek, was started in 1866 by Louis Gebhard. Gebhard's enterprise was successful, and by 1896 he had erected a large brick and steel building to replace the original building. The new building contained a large brewing room complete with a copper vat. Grain was prepared on the upper floors of the five-story brewing house. Less than ten years later a large brick and steel addition was built off the north facade of the brewing house. Another addition to the brewery, built at the same time, consisted of a two-and-one-half story brick and timber building which served as a bottling plant. William Gebhard succeeded his father in the business and used the wealth generated by the brewery to construct homes and commercial buildings in Morris. The Gebhard family eventually had the most extensive land holdings in the town.

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