Abraham H. Esbenshade House - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posted by: BruceS
N 43° 02.413 W 087° 57.235
16T E 422298 N 4765722
Quick Description: Historic Queen Anne house with Renaissance Revival features in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Location: Wisconsin, United States
Date Posted: 9/3/2011 8:21:27 PM
Waymark Code: WMCG3G
"The Alice and Abraham H. Esbenshade House, 3119 West Wells Street, is a two story, brick, hip roofed late Queen Anne residence displaying Renaissance Revival features built in 1899. The essentially rectangular shape of the house is articulated with bay windows, round turrets, open porches and complex roof planes that are reminiscent of the American Queen Anne. On the main facade is a Flemish Renaissance gable edged in terra cotta that terminates with a finial. The corner round turret is topped with a squat bell-cast conical roof. These features appealed to the Teutonic taste and origins of both architect and client. Varied materials including brick, rock-faced limestone, terra cotta, dressed limestone and rough cast stucco add to the textural richness of the exterior which appears to be virtually intact. The dominant feature of the design is the low roof with its broad overhanging eaves that appears to be pressing the house to the ground and keeping its exuberant Queen Anne features in check.
The Esbenshade House is located in what was once a gracious neighborhood of upper class late 19th century houses. Lots in this part of the city were larger than average and the Esbenshade House, though large in scale, does not cover the entire lot as do houses in neighborhoods that are closer to the center of the city. The house is sited at the front one-third of the 50 x 150 foot lot, and has ample front and side yards. There is little or no landscaping.
The Alice and Abraham H. Esbenshade House is locally significant as an example of late Queen Anne residential architecture that illustrates the transition to the more restrained domestic architecture of the early twentieth century. Built in 1899 for Esbenshade, it is one of the best preserved late Queen Anne residences in the city. Designed by the architecture firm of Charles D. Crane and Carl C. Barkhausen, it is representative of the best of the large-scale residential commissions the firm executed at the end of the nineteenth century. The incorportation of Renaissance Revival elements such as Flemish gables was typical of their work at this period for their largely German-American clientele.
In addition to residences, the firm also executed churches, commercial buildings and institutions.
In the context of late Queen Anne domestic architecture in Milwaukee, the Esbenshade House is unique. There simply is not anything else like it. The house represents the inventive experimentation that occurred as Victorian-era architects attempted to make the transition from the Queen Anne picturesque aesthetic to the historical revivalism of the early 20th Century." - National Register Nomination
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