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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Front entrance

House from northwest

Living room

Mrs. Richard Polson House
Route 2, Town of Spooner, Washburn County
Architects: Purcell & Elmslie
Date of Construction: 1917

Purcell and Elmslie, well-known Prairie School architects based in Minneapolis, designed the Mrs. Richard Polson House. The house is a culmination of years of subtle refinements in plan, elevation and ornamentation by architects who were leaders in the Prairie School. The two-story wood and stucco bungalow is rectangular in plan with typical Prairie School characteristics such as a gable roof, wide eaves, a low profile and strong horizontal emphasis.

Like other Prairie Style designs, the Polson house is integrated into the landscape. The house is set on the high point of the land and is situated so that the sun-porch and the corner windows are directed to the natural surroundings of woodland and fields. The entry consists of ornamental sawed wood squares that form stylized quatrefoil flowers. A fieldstone terrace wall creates a gentle transition between the exterior of the house and its landscape.

The flowing and open plan of the house is defined by the arrangement of rooms around the fireplace. The most significant feature of the Polson house is the use of indirect lighting through the placement of windows and specially designed statuary bronze light fixtures. The unity of space and simplicity of materials creates an intimacy between the interior and exterior of the house.

The house is privately owned; please respect the privacy rights of the owners.


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