Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

1005 WISCONSIN AVE

Architecture and History Inventory
1005 WISCONSIN AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:CENTRAL HOUSE HOTEL
Other Name:BOSCOBEL HOTEL
Contributing:
Reference Number:29382
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):1005 WISCONSIN AVE
County:Grant
City:Boscobel
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1865
Additions: 1881 1873
Survey Date:1976
Historic Use:hotel/motel
Architectural Style:Italianate
Structural System:
Wall Material:Cut Stone
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Central House Hotel
National Register Listing Date:11/27/1996 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:6/21/1996 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. HABS WI-333. HISTORICAL MARKER 12/25 FOR PROPERTY IS LOCATED SOUTH OF TOWN. SAM HILL AND JOHN NICHOLSON MET HERE IN ROOM 19 IN 1898 AND FOUNDED THE GIDEON SOCIETY THE FOLLOWING YEAR.

ARCHITECTURAL STATEMENT:
THE CENTRAL HOTEL IS A STONE BUILDING, RISING THREE STORIES. THE FACADE OS COMPOSED OF SMOOTH CUT STONE REGULARLY COURSED, AND WELL ARTICULATED BY ROWS OF WINDOWS. FENESTRATION OF THE FIRST FLOOR IS SEGMENTALLY ARCHED. THE REMAINING TWO STORIES FEATURE OPENINGS FRAMED BY STONE SURROUNDS WHICH RISE TO FORM ROUND HEADED ARCHES. THE MAIN ENTRANCE OF THE HOTEL IS LOCATED OFF CENTER; ALIGNED WITH THIS ON THE SECOND STORY IS ANOTHER DOOR WITH IRON BALCONY. THE RHYTHM OF OPENINGS CHANGES ON THE SOUTHERN SECTION OF THE BUILDING. THE FIRST STORY CONTAINS A STOREFRONT ABOVE WHICH ARE FOUR WINDOWS (EACH STORY) MORE CLOSELY SPACED THAN ON THE REMAINDER OF THE FACADE. ORIGINALLY A CORNICE COMPLETED THE COMPOSITION. OTHER ALTERATIONS INCLUDE THE PARTIAL CLOSING OF WINDOWS AND THE REPLACEMENT OF THE CAST IRON STOREFRONT WITH GLASS BLOCK AND PANELS.

THE CENTRAL HOTEL IS SIGNIFICANT AS A REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE OF A PERIOD OF CONSTRUCTION AND BECAUSE OF ITS LARGE SCALE AND CONSEQUENT DOMINANCE OF THE MAIN STREET, IT IS A VISUAL LANDMARK.

HISTORICAL STATEMENT:
THE CENTRAL HOTEL WAS ORIGINALLY OWNED BY ADAM BOBEL. THE BUILDING WAS GUTTED BY FIRE IN 1881, BUT REFURBISHED SHORTLY THEREAFTER. THE HOTEL WAS UNDOUBTEDLY IMPORTANT TO THE COMMUNITY WHICH WAS A THRIVING TRADE CENTER. HOWEVER, IT IS MOST SIGNIFICANT, AND BEST KNOWN, BECAUSE OF ITS ASSOCIATION WITH THE GIDEON SOCIETY. TWO TRAVELERS, JOHN NICHOLSON (JANESVILLE) AND SAM HILL (BELOIT) SHARD A ROOM IN THE HOTEL IN 1898 AND, AFTER ACKNOLEDGING THEY WERE BOTH CHRISTIANS, DETERMINED TO FORM AN ORGANIZATION OF CHRISTIAN BUSINESSMEN DEDICATED TO SERVING TRAVELERS. IN 1899, THEY MET IN JANESVILLE AND FORMED THE GIDEON SOCIETY (B).

MARKER 12/25 LOCATED SOUTH OF TOWN.

1992- "The highly intact Italianate style Hotel Boscobel is one of Boscobel's largest commercial buildings, and it is also much the best known, having been the birthplace of the Gideon Society in 1898. The hotel has an "L"-plan and is three-stories in height and the building measures 75-feet-wide by 70-feet-deep. A full basement story underlies the building and this story is enclosed with massive cut-stone foundation walls. The exterior walls that rest on these foundation walls are themselves constructed out of regular-coursed cut stone, the side and rear elevations being clad in quarry-faced stones while the west-facing main facade is clad in dressed stone. All the corners of the building also feature dressed stone quoins as well.

The main facade is by far the most elaborate and its first story consists of two separate sections. The left-hand (north) section is six-bays-wide with all but the third bay from the left containing a large segmental-arched window opening that has a cut stone sill and lintel. Each of these openings is still filled with its original six-over-six light double hung wooden sash window, the upper sash of which has a segmental-arched head. The third bay from the left contains the recessed segmentally arched main entrance opening, which has a pair of later one-light entrance doors that are surmounted by a multi-light segmentally arched transom.

The right-hand section of the first story contains an unusually tall and highly intact storefront that lights the dining room ot the hotel. 'l'his storefront is four-bays-wide with the smaller (less-wide) left-hand bay containing a six-light display window. 'l'he remaining three bays are all ot equal width, with the two right-hand bays each containing nine-light display windows and the the remaining bay containing the recessed and canted entrance to the dining room. This entrance has splayed sides that each have three narrow lights and the entrance door is later and has a single light and it is surmounted by a four-light transom. All of the windows have panelled bulkheads below them and they are separated from one another by panelled cast iron posts.

The second story of the main facade is ten-bays-wide and all but the third bay from the left contain a single semi-circular-arched window opening that is enframed with a simple cut stone surround that has a keystone for decoration. Each of these openings is still filled with its original six-over-six light double hung wooden sash window, the upper sash of which still has its semi-circular-arched head. The third bay contains an elliptically arched door opening that features a recessed pair of flat-arched one-light doors that are surmounted by a one-light fanlight. These doors open out onto an elaborate original wrought iron balcony that is supported by three cast iron brackets.

The third story of the matn facade is also ten-bays-wide and each of these bays also contains a single semi-circular-arched window opening that is enframed with a simple cut stone surround that has a keystone tor decoration. Each of these window openings are also still filled with the original six-over-six light double hung wooden sash window as well. The facade is then terminated by a parapet wall that is now sheathed in plywood sheets, but which originally featured an elaborate panelled and bracketed overhanging cornice.

Much of the original interior space in the hotel has been altered by later remodelings, but most of this remodeling has either been sympathetic to the original interior or it has acquired a significance ot its own. This building is the core property in the district and it is considered to be a contributing resource."
- Prepared by Timothy F Heggland (1992).
Bibliographic References:BOSCOBEL DIAL 4/21/1994. BOSCOBEL DIAL 4/14/1994. A. BUTTERFIELD, C. W., HISTORY OF GRANT CO. 1881 P. 789. B. HERITAGE ALBUM, BOSCOBEL, 1973, P. 47. Fennimore Times 7/31/1997. Cuba City Tri-County Press 7/31/1997. Boscobel Dial 6/3/2004.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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