C. Larson Home

C. Larson Home
Period: 1800-1899
Exterior Description:

The Queen Anne Style became popular shortly after the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. From 1880-1910 it became the ruling architectural style throughout much of the country. The railroads and mass production of building elements contributed to this spread. Steam and water powered mills churned out fanciful columns, spindles, brackets, shingles, and complex window sashes. Balloon frame construction (invented in 1833) and the Queen Anne style allowed builders and their clients varied and adaptable floor plans using asymmetry, using almost any, or a variety of surface materials. Most are of wood frame construction with clapboard, but brick, stone veneer, and stucco were also used. Common details of the style include steeply pitched multiple gable or combination hip and gable roofs, gable projections, bays with elaborate hood moldings or cornices, round or polygonal turrets and towers, and moderate to large verandas. Reflecting the emerging Colonial Revival style, Queen Anne homes built after 1900 tend to be less picturesque and more symmetrical and have more classic details.

The Christian Larson home was built in 1894 of the Queen Anne Style. It has a somewhat irregular floor plan and shows the asymmetry of the style with details like wood shingles, applied stick work, and carved bargeboard. The front (south) of the home consists of the main entry enclosed by a small front porch with its original turned posts and a simple (unoriginal) balustrade. Above this porch is a second story balconette that has its own pent roof and original spindles and bracketry. The front facade is decorated with fish scale shingles at the belt course and also the front gable. The first story has a projecting bay window supported by decorative brackets. This window has the signature Queen Anne style bay window surrounded by small panes of clear glass; these many times are colored with red, blue, green, and amber panes of glass. The second story windows are decorated with sunburst panels above and separated by 2 panels in between the two windows. The gable is comprised of original bargeboard and stick work in a pierced “X” pattern with decorative panels attached at its angles. At the Southeast corner of the front is an interesting projecting corner bay window, with turned posts and a flower box at its base. It resembles a balconette. The west side of the home is less adorned with fretwork, but does have a screened in porch off of the North/West first level of the home. This porch may have been a smaller porch converted to a larger screened area. It has been tastefully executed and blends seemlessly with the home. The west gable maintains its original stick work and fish scale. The east side has a projecting cross gable that extends out approximately 4 or 5 feet from the homes main elevation. Fenestration is irregular. The first story windows of the projecting gable are decorated with panels below them. The fish scale belt course runs 2/3 the length of the home and is interrupted by a second story porch that appears original, but has an unoriginal, simple balustrade. Below this is an enclosed porch that originally was open and maintains an east entry. The 3rd story gable is supported at its base with sandwich style brackets. The bargeboard and stick work is original, but of a more vertical and horizontal pattern with decorative panels integrated into the pattern. Fish scale shingles also adorn this gable. The back (north) side of the C. Larson home is historically appropriate and appealing and is a fine example of Queen Anne Architecture. Color Scheme (3) Body is gray/blue, Trim is cream/tan, and accents are rust.

Interior Description:

The front entry is a single pine “Eastlake” style door with multiple panes of beveled glass and its original winding doorbell. The foyer is decorated with corner black (large) and routered trim. The open stairway to the left is pine and comprised of an “Eastlake” style pattern for the newel post and a mixture of spindles and geometric woodwork up the stairway. The immediate right (east) is the front parlor. The woodwork in this room is very unusual. The door trim has a pressed heavy vine and leaf design ending at upper corner blocks with a pressed cross/sunburst design. The baseboard is also very unusual with a pressed design comprised of a floral and arch pattern. The front (south) window trim is another style of a floral and thin climbing vine pattern. The corner (southeast) bay window is yet even another complimentary floral/vine pressed pattern with birds. The woodwork in the parlor is extremely unique in the Waupaca area. Adjacent to the parlor through double pocket doors may have been a sitting room, used now as a dining room. The trim is the curved trim that occupies most of the other 1st floor rooms (except parlor) and has spooned carved corner blocks. To the west through double swinging doors is what was probably a library. An unoriginal ½ bathroom is between the library and the original kitchen. This room was most likely a pantry. The original kitchen area now has a screened porch at the Northwest corner of the home and is used as a Child’s playroom. The cellar and back stairway are adjacent to this room. At the Northeast corner of the home is what is now used as a kitchen, which most likely may have been a dining area. It is connected to the sitting room (now dining) by a single pocket door. The woodwork through the first floor is pine, and almost all of it is original and unpainted. The floors are maple. The ceilings are 9 ½ feet high. Doors are 5 panel. Ascending the main (front) stairway at the landing is another Queen Anne Signature: a clear pane of glass surrounded by small panes, in the colors of purple, yellow, and light blue. At the second floor is a short hallway that leads to the front (south, East, and West bedrooms. The Northeast bedroom is accessible by the middle (east) bedroom or the back stairway. The northwest bedroom is accessible through the west bedroom and bathroom. The bathroom has been altered greatly. It is uncertain what the original floor plan was like. Acess to the bathroom is gained by either the west or northwest bedroom. Most of the pine woodwork upstairs is original. However, some rooms have been painted. The floors are wide pine. The ceiling height is 8 ½ feet. Square footage is 2,698. The cellar is of fieldstone and is a full basement. The Christian Larson home is slowly being renovated/restored. Overall, the home is very intact.

Statement of Significance:

Christian Larson emmigrated from Laaland, Denmark to Waupaca in 1869 with his wife, Carrie, and two children. Five more children were born in Wisconsin. At the age of 14 he became an apprentice to a tailor in Denmark and brought the skill of his trade to Waupaca, and in 1870 went into business for himself. His trade increased and he employed help until 1892, when he sold his business and became “cutter” for the new firm. After prospering greatly with his business and also dealings in city property, he built his Queen Anne Home at 413 Waupaca St. in 1894.

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