Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

COUNTY HIGHWAY Y NORTH OF COUNTY HIGHWAY O

Architecture and History Inventory
COUNTY HIGHWAY Y NORTH OF COUNTY HIGHWAY O | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:Windway
Other Name:Windway
Contributing:
Reference Number:28720
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):COUNTY HIGHWAY Y NORTH OF COUNTY HIGHWAY O
County:Sheboygan
City:
Township/Village:Sheboygan
Unincorporated Community:
Town:15
Range:23
Direction:E
Section:17
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1937
Additions:
Survey Date:1991
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:International Style
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:William Deknatel
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Windway
National Register Listing Date:7/28/1988 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation-Public History.

Situated on nearly fifty-four acres amidst rolling farmland, Windway embodies the distinctive characteristics of the International Style, while also reflecting the strong influence of Frank Lloyd Wright. When the house was completed in 1938, Architectural Forum chose Windway to represent the vanguard of future residential design. Architect William Deknatel, a Chicago native, studied in Paris with André Lurçat, a proponent of a planar, geometric idiom, and also worked as a draftsman for Wright. Both clearly influenced Windway. The plan itself is Wrightian: long one-story wings extend from a two-story L-shaped core, forming almost a pinwheel shape. Wright's ideas also appear in the brick walls, whose raised stringcourses create subtle horizontal striations, and in the copper cornices and downspouts, which lend a warm tone. At the same time, the flat roof, obscured entries, long ribbons of windows that turn corners, and the deep shadows cast by cantilevered eaves all express the principles of the European-influenced modernist architecture.

The largely intact interior decoration and furnishings express Moderne geometries. Designer Geraldine Eager Deknatel studied in New York and Paris. Among the highlights of her work here are a glass-block stairwell light and a geometric pattern on the floor coverings.
Now a conference center, Windway was the home of Walter Kohler, Jr., whose family owned the Kohler company and who was president of the Vollrath Company, a manufacturer of stainless-steel products. In the 1950s, Kohler served three terms as the governor of Wisconsin.
Bibliographic References:Date of construction, designer: Architectural Forum, 1939 Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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