Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

427 ST CROIX ST

Architecture and History Inventory
427 ST CROIX ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:August Johnson House
Other Name:
Contributing:
Reference Number:24360
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):427 ST CROIX ST
County:St. Croix
City:Hudson
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1902
Additions: 1906
Survey Date:1983
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Queen Anne
Structural System:
Wall Material:Cobblestone
Architect:AUGUST JOHNSON, MASON AND CONTRACTOR
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Johnson, August, House
National Register Listing Date:10/4/1984 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:Multiple Resources of Hudson
NOTES
Additional Information:WALLS OF COBBLESTONE CAST IN PLACE IN CONCRETE BLOCKS OCULUS IN SIDE GABLE RETURNES EAVES RAISED FIELDSTONE FOUNDATION W/ WATER COURSE ABOVE ENCLOSED COBBLESTO NE PORCH IN BUNGALOW STYLE, POSSIBLY LATER ADDITION SEE ISF Additional map code: DOT 29. Photo code #1 is: HUDSON 1/32.

In 1900, Harmon Palmer patented a cast-iron block-making machine, which Sears, Roebuck and Company sold by 1905. By changing the face plate, the builder could give the block various surface textures, most often rock-faced or cobblestone. August Johnson, a Swedish-born mason-contractor who erected many local buildings including Hudson’s city hall, did things differently. Here, instead of simulating a cobblestone texture, he placed real cobbles in the mold before adding the concrete. He then laid the colorful blocks like ashlar, with tooled mortar joints. This method also sets his house apart from southeastern Wisconsin’s nineteenth-century cobblestone houses--stone buildings veneered with cobblestones, individually laid in horizontal courses.

Johnson’s cross-gabled house combines exuberant irregularity and color with staid details, including cornice returns, stucco corner moldings, and flat lintels made of cobbles and concrete. More playful details include concrete blocks with diamond insets that enliven the gable ends and form a frieze beneath the eaves. The enclosed entry porch on the south side, probably dating from the 1920s, blends with the original house, but there cobblestone rubble replaced cobblestone-concrete block. The Johnson House also displays colorful glass decorations in gable ends. Inside, the decorations change to wood; carved entablatures top windows and doors, and the front-hall staircase boasts oak newel posts carved with beads, sunflowers, and leaves.
Bibliographic References:Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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