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Architecture and History Inventory
221 WASHINGTON ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Martin Van Buren Barron House
Other Name:Roland Krause House
Reference Number:16537
Location (Address):221 WASHINGTON ST
County:Eau Claire
City:Eau Claire
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1871
Survey Date:1981
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Gothic Revival
Structural System:
Wall Material:Clapboard
Architect:Bangs and Fish
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Barron, Martin Van Buren, House
National Register Listing Date:1/28/1983 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:Multiple Resources of Eau Claire
Additional Information:Lacy bargeboards dramtically outline the steeply pitched gables that characterize the Martin Van Buren Barron residence. The three gables - cross gables and a main gable facing the street - are also emphasized by finials which add to the vertical orientation of the two story dwelling. The walls are clapboard sided and free of ornamentation. The main entrance, framed by sidelights, is centrally located on the gabled projection which is enclosed by a classically inspired veranda that contrasts with picturesque and romantic image evoked by the bargeboards. Paired Tuscan columns and a balustrade on both the lower level and veranda roof are featured. Above the entry are two roundheaded openings emphasized by a semi-circular window frame that joins them. A similar fenestration pattern appears on the cross gables. A bay window containing three segmentally arched 4/4 sash windows is located on the first floor, while on the second, is a pair of segmentally arched openings included within a segmentally arched frame. The same arched windows also distinguish the lower portion of the cross gables that form the main facade. The 4/4 sash windows are over-sized and, like all the openings, flanked by wooden shutters.

The Martin Van Buren Barron house, a picturesque creation featuring steeply pitched gables outlined by emphatic curvilinear bargeboards, is the best local example of Late Carpenter's Gothic architecture. Constructed by Eau Claire builders, Bangs and Fish in 1871, the residence is one of the few remnants of Eau Claire's early decades. It was designated an Eau Claire Landmark in 1980.

The building firm of Bangs and Fish was established in Eau Claire in 1867. The partnership operated a sash, door, and blind factory that supplied these articles and other woodwork for many of the city's buildings. In the case of the Barron house, Bangs and Fish did the actual construction (D).

The home's original owner, Martin Van Buren Barron, was born in New Hampshire in 1834 and settled in Eau Claire in 1865. Initially, Barron, in partnership with his brother, operated a flour and feed store. Abandoning this endeavor in favor of lumbering, he and another brother built a mill on the Chippewa River. In the next years he became associated with a numer of lumber enterprises, including rafting and selling lumber for the Eau Claire Lumber Company and logging for himself and in partnership with Peter Truax. From 1878 until his death in 1891 Barron was employed by the Rust-Owen Lumber Company and engaged in "buying a lumber and logs at Boyd, Cadott, Bloomer, Chetek, Barron, Cameron, and various other points on the Omaha and Wisconsin Central lines." (C) In 1872, he was elected a member of the first City Council of Eau Claire, representing the lower Third Ward.

Today, the home contains an office and a dwelling area.

2016- "One of the most striking remnants of Eau Claire's early decades, this picturesque residence was constructed by Eau Claire builders Bangs and Fish. Highlighting the steeply pitched gables are scalloped bargeboards, which became popular in the late nineteenth century with the advent of mass production of wood trim. The wraparound porch was common for houses in the Victorian era and served as a center for social activities.

Martin Van Buren Barron settled in Eau Claire in 1865 and initially operated a flour and feed store. From 1878 to 1891 he worked for the Rust-Owen Lumber Company. In 1872, he was elected a member of the first City Council of Eau Claire, representing the lower Third Ward."
-"Eau Claire Landmarks: Designated Historic Properties in Eau Claire, Wisconsin", Eau Claire Landmarks Commission, P.O. Box 5148, 2016.
Bibliographic References:(A) Eau Claire Landmarks Commission Nomination. (B) Barland, L. 1965. The Rivers Flow On, p. 404. (C) Historical and Biographical Album of the Chippewa Valley, 1891-92, p. 496. (D) Eau Claire Telegram, March 4, 1947. (E) "SELF GUIDED TOUR OF THE SAWDUST CITY," 1977. Eau Claire Landmarks booklet published by the Landmarks Commission in 2002.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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