Hugo Lea House

Hugo Lea House
Period: 1891
Exterior Description:

The front (east) elevation of the Lea House rises three stories. A center gable projects from the home using a gambrel (dual pitched) roof. The third story projection (east face) has a Palladian style window. To the south and north there is a pair of dormers combining a shed roof dormer laterally and a hipped roof dormer medially. All of these windows use a multiple pain (traditional) design. The second story window fenestration is asymmetric. The south and middle bedrooms have composite style windows with the lateral windows being larger and the center window half the length. The center window is Queen Anne style with small panes around its perimeter, as are the upper sashes of the windows to each side. The north bedroom has a single east facing double sash window, with the upper sash also in the Queen Anne style. The center bedroom projection also has a single window/double sash facing north and south. The first/main floor has a projection that contains the main entry/vestibule and alcoves. The front double doors are in the Queen Anne design with beveled glass. There are pairs of the same design window on each side of the projection. The entire projection is covered by a large multi-hipped porch with a central projecting gable. The porch columns and floor appear original, the balustrade is un-original but tasteful. The south side (parlour) east facing the window has a large picture style window with the upper ¼ done in stained glass. The north (dining room) has a single double hung sash window of the same Queen Anne design. The northeast corner first floor has a bracketed hood style corner window of the same Queen Anne design, the brackets are missing at this point. It is likely these brackets were the same or similar to the ones used under the third story (north) projection. The north facing first floor then has the composite (three) style window seen on the front of the house. The upper sash and center window done in the Queen Anne style. To the west of these windows is once again a single window (double hung of the same style). The second story of the north gable has a projecting bay with a rounded “belly” at its base. This bay is comprised of three thin center windows and a thin window at each side angle. They are all double hung with the same Queen Anne style upper sash. To the west of the bay window, there is an interesting oval shaped window glazed in eight bisecting panes. The third floor (north) gable projects past the second story creating an eave which has decorative brackets near its eastern/western corners. The third story is adorned once again with a Palladian style window, which is multi paned. Above both these window assemblies’ front and north is an arch façade created by the same plain (square) shingle. The west gable is also three stories high, the main floor (kitchen/pantry) has two double hung sash windows facing (west) and two paired facing (north). The second story also has two windows facing (west) and a single windowed hipped dormer to the north. To the south is a paired set of windows and a small square window. They all have the Queen Anne style upper sash, with the square window being multi-paned. The (unoriginal) first floor with three season room is adjacent to the west and south projections and encompasses where an open porch probably once resided. This addition is very complimentary to the home however, and does not detract from the homes beauty/originality. The windows used here emulate the same Queen Anne style as the originals. The 3rd story gable (west) has a single multi-paned casement style window. The south roof has two hipped dormers also with casement windows. The south side gable first floor has a projecting bay window that is comprised of one large fixed picture window, with the upper third of the window done in stained glass. The adjacent side windows of the bay are thin double hung sash windows. To the east of the bay window there are two double hung sash windows. The second story has two windows and a smaller square window. All are double hung sash with the same Queen Anne style upper sash. The third story has the look of a Palladian style window. The lateral windows are casement and square. The central portion of this façade is created by two large rectangular inset panels, furnished above with a colonial style cornice. The south chimney runs behind this façade. The first story and three season addition (un-original) are of clapboard construction with corner trim, vertical and horizontal trim (stick work). The second and third stories are finished in square (plain) shingles, usually made of cedar, because of its durability. Shingles are also used on the dormers as well. Window fenestration is non-symmetric, as is the entire home. Its cross gabled design uses gambrel and gable roof lines, shed and hipped dormers, multiple window styles, including composite, double hung Queen Anne, casement, bay, oval and Palladian windows. It is an excellent example of irregular and asymmetric fenestration and massing. The foundation is of field stone and it is predominantly a full basement. The roof, now asphalt shingle, most likely was also cedar shingle. Originally the home had three chimneys. The kitchen (west) chimney was removed. The remaining two chimneys still service the two fireplaces of the home. They were re-tucked in an incorrect medium brown brick. The original brick appears to have been a lighter (cream city) style for the Chimneys. The roof also has an unusual and interesting feature, an original skylight. This skylight sheds light onto a second story ceiling (skylight) and illuminates the main stairwell. This skylight is located centrally to the home in the west gable on its south face.

Alterations: 1950’s – The Pantry and side entry (northwest corner) were remodeled to accommodate a laundry area and half bath. 1955: Green asphalt siding was applied over horizontal original siding of story 1 and wood shingle siding of story 2. The raised trim was removed or destroyed to accommodate this siding application. 1980’s: Metal siding was applied over the siding of 1955. One of the three chimneys was removed (west side). A gazebo was added to the backyard, with the railing constructed from the original porch railing.
1990’s: A sunroom was added where the rear entry porch had been. Several new windows were installed (made to look like the original). The kitchen was updated with new cabinets, countertops, floor, and dishwasher. A detached 3-car garage was built. The basement was partially finished, including a half bath. 2003: Both layers of artificial siding were removed to expose all original siding.

2003-present: Painting, repair and replace were necessary the original wood horizontal siding, wood shingle siding and trim. Sources: Spoke to Mrs. Marvin Mather, homeowner 1945 – 1974. Spoke to Mrs. Robert Hanson, homeowner 1974-1990. Tax records and inspection files.

Interior Description:

Front (south) entry is gained through original double beveled glass (Queen Anne style) doors. They are either fur or pine. A vestibule is located between the main entry and the foyer entry doors. The foyer entry double doors are oak but unoriginal to the home, apparently the originals were replaced. The trim is of oak, the floor is maple. The vestibule enters into the foyer or (great hall) as they are sometimes referred. The flooring is original oak with a parquet border, this border criss/crosses in a diamond shape pattern, the contrasting wood in the parquet appears to be walnut or stained maple. The main stairway door trim, baseboard and doors are all in oak (possibly white). This grand space is flanked left (south) and right (north) by bi-folding French doors. The oak trim has chamfered edges and is simple in ornamentation. Simple corner blocks are used with a parallel cross pattern, grooved into the block. There is an oak fire place with an over mantle. The fireplace is of the Queen Anne style with a beveled mirror in the over mantle. The fireplace and hearth tile are glazed in shades of brown and tan and are original. The register and grate appear to have been for coal burning. Ornamental stick and ball style fretwork is found above the entry of the alcoves, that flank the vestibule. The fretwork is fairly delicate and is original. To the north of the foyer is the dining room, it has original maple flooring and is trimmed (doors, baseboard) with the same style and contributes well with the existing woodwork. On the west wall there may have once been a built in sideboard that communicated with what was most likely a butler’s pantry. There is not built-in storage on this wall that is un-original. Original Woodwork appears to possibly be cherry. The parlour flanks the foyer to the south. Both the dining room and parlour are accessed via bi-fold French doors from the foyer. The parlour (southeast) also has an original fireplace, different but complimentary to the one in the foyer, in the Queen Anne style. It has an over mantle with three beveled glass mirrors vertically oriented. The woodwork and trim, likely cherry, is of the same style as the rest of the first floor and original. The east facing picture window has a stained glass portion at the top, the colors are muted tones. This window matches the one that is in the (library/sitting room) and is original. The fireplace is most likely cherry. Some of its original hearth tiles, caramel in color with a floral border, are missing. Although new, the flooring is maple, complimenting the original maple floors. To the west of the parlour is the library/sitting room. Entry to this room is through a pair of pocket doors (six panel). The library/sitting room has a large bay window with the center window complimented by a stained glass window in its upper portion. This window matches that in the parlour; same muted tones of blue, green, wine, and tan. A stick and ball fretwork ornaments the bay opening at the ceiling. This fretwork is similar to that found in the foyer/grand hall. Woodwork and trim may also be cherry and is original. The floor is maple. At the southwest corner of the home is an added three season room that is unoriginal but tasteful in its execution using the same style of woodwork and trim (oak) found throughout the first floor. This probably was the site of a back (open) porch originally. Doors/trim in the kitchen area/pantry/rear hall are fur or pine and original with original filigreed hinges/hardware. The doors are 5 panel (4 vertical; center panel horizontal). The kitchen is in its original position in the home, but unoriginal concerning its cabinetry/flooring/orientation. However, it compliments the home’s integrity. Ceiling height on the first floor is 10 feet. A maid’s or rear stairway comes off of the back hallway that runs from the foyer and library connecting to the kitchen. It is of the straight flight design. The main or grand stairway is an open well half turn newel style. Its woodwork is fairly simple. The newels are squared with a simple pyramid top with routed grooves adding some ornament. The balusters (spindles) are square and simple also in execution. The steps and balustrade are oak and very reminiscent of the arts/crafts or mission style that was in its very early stages of popularity (1900-1930). Mopboard (baseboard) is 81/2 inches high throughout the first floor (original) rooms; it is ornamented with simple beveled trim. The grand stairway has an original skylight positioned over the well of the stair. This receives it natural light from a skylight (original) that is positioned above, in the roof of the third floor. The second floor has three main chambers (bedrooms) and a rear (west) bedroom that was originally the maid’s room. The southeast bedroom has original (painted) woodwork, carpeting and, a large walk in closet. The owner reports she believes all of the flooring on the second floor is the common wide pine; roughly 6 inch. The center (east) bedroom has original woodwork which is also painted with a modest size original closet. The northeast bedroom maintains its original woodwork and is unpainted. It also has a modest original closet. The bathroom (most likely original) is at the northwest corner of the second floor. It is believed to have its original tub (cast iron). It is not the standard claw foot style, but has a full surround base that emulates an inverted tub. The rest of the fixtures are unoriginal. The floor is maple. The maid’s room is at the back (west) portion of the home and is the smallest of the bedrooms. It also maintains its original trim with a closet that might have been added. The hallway runs in a square fashion around the perimeter of the main and rear stairways. The hall portions that run east-west are partitioned by original doorways that separated the main living quarters from the back or maid’s quarters. Woodwork in the hall is fur or pine, original and unpainted. All of the doors on the second floor are five panel. Ceiling height is nine feet. All floors are carpeted except the bathroom. The 3rd floor is an unfinished space, but could easily be done to accommodate anything from a new ballroom/recreational room. The space is rich in aesthetics with dormers and hipped roofs creating an interesting and usable space if needed. The basement is partially finished and houses the main mechanicals. There is a full basement with crawlspaces under the northwest and southwest corners.

Statement of Significance:

The Shingle Style Home: several home styles indigenous to the United States emerged during the late 1800’s, influenced by a series of gifted young architects, one was the highly creative Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886). He was one of the first Americans to attend the École des Beaux–Arts School of Architecture in Paris, France. By the end of the nineteenth century, architecture was dominated by École des Beaux–Arts graduates, who effectively formed an architectural establishment. The Richardson direction developed alongside the neo-classical styles, in its more formal aspect, he embraced the massive masonry forms of the Romanesque Revival: rounded arches, thick columns and towers with conical caps, and deep recessed widows and doorways. These were primarily seen in public buildings and the impressive stone mansions of the extremely wealthy. His informal shingle style first grew as a reaction to High Victorian Eclecticism, because the form was malleable and areas could flow. This style became a basis for twentieth century modern architecture. The earliest examples, continuations of the Aesthetic movement, were intended to show their kinship with seventeenth century New England architecture, drawing upon three centuries of Renaissance detail. To some architects the Shingle Style was understood to be a revolt against style in general, while others felt the form to be a basis for an entire new discipline. Shingle Style structures naturally retained strong reminders of the Romanesque rough stones and broad arches. Others showed Queen Anne characteristics – Palladian windows, colonial detains and further nostalgic components crept into the style. In the Shingle Style a very daring perception of form was created – low, flowing, serene with horizontal sweeps, and an easy exchange of interior and exterior spaces; it was anticipating modern architecture. This style was widely adopted for large resort homes in which varying elements were united into a coherent style by the use of shingle cladding. The fashion spread rapidly from the East Coast to the Midwest, where it was adopted by many up and coming young architects including Wisconsin’s own Frank Lloyd Wright in the early phase of his career. Color was an element of the Shingle Style that led it away from current trends. Most were stained a deep, soft brown, some Venetian red, while others were toned in gamboges and deep greens. The most admired of the shingle tones were the silvery grays that Oceanside salt air imparted to the cedar. The Hugo and Adell Lea House was built in 1891. Built of wood clapboard and shingle, its exterior influence is predominantly Colonial and Queen Anne. Hugo Lea operated a general and clothing store in downtown Waupaca from 1883-1906. He was one of three original officers and directors of the Waupaca Electric Light Association, incorporated in 1886. He was one of the original officers of the Curling Club, organized in 1879 and one of the original officers of the Waupaca Opera House formed in 1888. Hugo’s father, Richard Lea, was one of the early Waupaca Settlers arriving in 1864. He opened a general and grocery store and built the Lea Block in 1870 on South Main Street, one of the first “brick” blocks in downtown Waupaca. The homes blueprints were from the Cooperative Building Plan Association, 63 Broadway, New York, copyright 1887 by R. W. Shoppell. Unfortunately, the original plans have been lost. The Lea House is the only Shingle Style home in Waupaca and the surrounding area.

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