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Architecture and History Inventory
N61 W6058 COLUMBIA RD | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Hilgen House
Other Name:
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:13293
Location (Address):N61 W6058 COLUMBIA RD
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1908
Survey Date:1988
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Craftsman
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:William Hilgen
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Columbia Historic District
National Register Listing Date:1/22/1992 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:10/25/1991 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:1/2 TIMBERED GABLES, BRACKETED EAVES EXPOSED RAFTERS BRICK 1ST FLR AND CLAPBOARD UPPER POLYGONAL SIDE ORIEL ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE: The 1908 Hilgen House is significant as one of the finest, and perhaps the finest, Craftsman Style houses in Cedarburg. Its exterior remains virtually unchanged from the date of construction and retains the simple half-timber work, lookouts at the eaves, 9/9 windows and simple but elegantly proportioned massing of the style. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: This grand house was built for William and Margarethe Hilgen in 1908. William Hilgen by that time was Cedarburg's leading (and probably only) architect. Hilgen was born in Cedarburg in 1864. His father was Ernst Hilgen, who ran the Columbia Mill. As many of his fellow Cedarburg residents did, Hilgen attended Spencerian College in Milwaukee. He then went to worrk for the H.C. Koch Co. in Milwaukee, a leading and important architectural firm in its day. He worked for Koch approximentally 5 years and then spent a year in Los Angeles working for J.C. Newsom. In 1888 he returned to Milwaukee to work for a time for the Hilgen Manufacturning Co. He established his architectural practice in 1889. In 1891 he married Helene Wittenberg. She died in 1894 as did their one daughter. In 1896 he married Helene's sister, Margarethe. They had at least three children. Hilgen evidently continued to work for the Hilgen Manufacturing Co. because it is said that in 1908 he left that firm to devote himself entirely to the practice of architecture. Following is a list of buildings known to have been designed by Hilgen: 1893 District #2 School, Washington Ave. 1889 A.R. Boerner house, N61 W6088 Columbia Rd. 1898 Fred G. Schuette house, Sheboygan St. ca 1894 Wm. J. Roebken house, Washington Ave. 1898 L.E. Jochem house, Washington Ave. 1898 Mrs. M. Kuether house 1902 Trinity Lutheran church, Mequon, WI 1902 Addition, Grafton Woolen Mills, Grafton, WI 1905 John G. Frederickson house, St. John Ave. 1905 Emil Hertziger Butcher Shop 1905 George H. Wittenberg house 1905 W.P. Jochem house 1905 Methodist Episcopal Church, N56 W6093 E. Portland Road 1907 John F. Bruss and Sons store 1907 Peter Bach house 1907 William J. Ritter house 1908 several business blocks in Clinton, WI 1908 Fire House, Mequon Ave. 1908 Henry Bodendoerfer house 1908 John Armbruster store and house 1908 St. John Ev. Luth. Church, Grafton, WI 1908 T.M. Boehm store, Washington Ave. 1908 State Bank, Washington Ave. 1908 High School, Washington Ave. 1909 Boerner Bros. store addition, Washington Ave. 1909 Trinity Ev. Luth. Church, Mequon, WI (same as one designed in 1902?) 1910 Boerner Bros. store, Port Washington, WI 1910 Bank, Port Washington, WI 1910 several buildings in Allenton, WI 1911 Anton Ertl house 1913 Albert E. Bruss house 1914 George Blaeser flat 1914 High School, Random Lake, WI 1928 Jos. Schuder bungalow, Port Washington, WI unknown date Advent Lutheran Church, Washington Ave. unknown date School District #8, Mequon, WI unknown date C.C. Lehmann house, W61 N619 Jefferson Ave. Hilgen was also active in the musical life of Cedarburg. He sang in the Maennerchor and played the viola. He also served as the vice-president of the Turnverein.
Bibliographic References:Historic name, date of construction,in Wendt Wendt, p. 125, 129, 363. Tax Records. Washington Avenue historic district NPHP nomination. 1923 City Directory. U.S. Census, 1900, 1910.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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