Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

1634 KING ST

Architecture and History Inventory
1634 KING ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Henry Salzer House
Other Name:David and Kimberly Pretasky House
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:29632
Location (Address):1634 KING ST
County:La Crosse
City:La Crosse
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1912
Survey Date:1996
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Prairie School
Structural System:
Wall Material:Stucco
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Cass and King Street Residential Historic District
National Register Listing Date:11/7/1997 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:4/22/1997 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:Builder was Joseph and Frank Schwalbe. An outstanding example of the work of Bentley and Merman, the Salzer House, designed in 1912 for Henry Salzer a local see merchant, exhibits the typical Prairie School horizontal emphasis created by the broad hipped roof, the band of windows compressed between the heavy roof and the stuccoed ground floor and the careful alignment of all horizontal elements. Buttresses framing the entrance and located at the ends of the house visually counteracts the dominant horizontal appearance of the centrally planned home. Constructed of fireproof hollow tile for wall and floor, the Prairie house originally had cypress shingles stained moss freen and was painted deep tan with brown string course and trim.

Features include: band of second story windows compressed between broad roof overhang and extended lower story; buttresses/piers frame the entrance door and the ends of the house; large outside wall chimney; plain rectangular windows; one-story north screened porch; shed-roofed door hood; decked porch on south end; Prairie-style planters on corners of lot. Originally dark tan exterior with green shingles-now painted white.

Constructed of fireproof hollow tile for walls and floors, the Salzer house is the best example of of the Prairie style found in La Crosse and is significant as one of the most elaborate early works of the local architectural firm, Bentley and Merman. Henry Salzer was associated with the John Salzer Seed Co. of La Crosse.

When it was built, the Henry Salzer House was featured in the Midwestern architectural magazine "The Western Architect" as one of the architect's best designs. Local legend states that Mrs. Salzer wished a more traditional plan, while Mr. Salzer wanted a modern design. They compromised and got a Prairie style house with a Colonial room arrangement.
Bibliographic References:A. LACROSSE TRIBUNE 6/12/1994. B. City of La Crosse tax records. C. H. Allyn Brooks, "Percy Dwight Bentley at La Crosse", The Prairie School Review, Vol. IX, #3, 1972, pp. 10-11. D. H. Allyn Brooks, The Prairie School (New York: W.W. Norton Co., 1972), pp. 265-67, 338. A. La Crosse City Tax Records, University of WI-La Crosse, Area Research Center, 1910-1918. B. La Crosse Water Records, La Crosse Public Library, Archives. C. La Crosse Leader Press, 20 Sepember 1912. Crocker, Leslie. Buildings of La Crosse through Time. La Crosse Public Library Archives Department: La Crosse, 2015.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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