Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

221 S 10TH ST

Architecture and History Inventory
221 S 10TH ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:William W. Crosby House
Other Name:
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:33028
Location (Address):221 S 10TH ST
County:La Crosse
City:La Crosse
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1886
Additions: 1887
Survey Date:1996
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Queen Anne
Structural System:Balloon Frame
Wall Material:Clapboard
Other Buildings On Site:1
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: 10th and Cass Streets Neighborhood Historic District
National Register Listing Date:12/13/2000 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:7/14/2000 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:Multi gabled roof with hip roofed rear wing; round conical roofed turret on south front corner with corbeled base. Two story south gable roofed rectangular bay with chamfered corners on the lower story, front pedimented gable extends over two story three sided projecting bay with brackets, dentil trim and floral patterened ornament. Open front porch with classical trim and clustered columnette supports placed on porch rail in angle of the house; gable roofed north side porch. A variety of shingle patterns used on exterior surface; stained leaded and painted glass. Elaborate crowns on four tall chimneys; variety of exterior woods used for wood work and seven fireplaces remain in the interior; gable roofed with cross gable wooden carriage house at the rear.

Earlier than the more elaborately decorated Queen Anne styled houses in the city, the W.W. Crosby House is one of three exceptional examples of frame Queen Anne Revival styled houses remaining in La Crosse. As the home of an early La Crosse lumberman, the Crosby House is a significant link to the past history of the city.

According to local newspaper, house was designed by architect "Mitchell" of Milwaukee. This house, constructed by F. Drake and Son for $2670 in 1886, replaced Crosby's earlier house on the site.

William Crosby came to La Crosse in 1854 and the following year, organized the Boom and Log Driving Company on the Black River at Onalaska. The following year, he built a sawmill. In 1885 he purchased the lot from the Van Valkenburgh family, and the next year, a Milwaukee architect created the design. W.W. Crosby died on December 14, 1892.

The coach house was altered and connected to the house by an enclosed passageway c. 1994-95 by its present owners.

2015- "The Crosby House is one of the finest and best-preserved Queen Anne style homes in La Crosse. The two-and-a-half story multi-gabled mass with conical roofed turret, multiple chimneys, cut-away and projecting bays and irregular placement of stained and leaded glass windows are all hallmarks of this style. The variety of textured surfaces, with cladding and colored decorative detail distinguish this early high-style interpretation of the Queen Anne. The large open-entry porch with classically influenced columns, balustrade with turned post and decorative dentils are also typical. The ashlar limestone foundation blocks were likely quarried on Grandad Bluff. The original wooden carriage house was conneceted to the main house in recent years.

The elaborate interior features carved woodwork, stairway railing and newel post as well as unique lattice-work and screes. doors and wainscoting use contrasting light and dark woods of redwood, oak, cherry and mahogany. The home has seven fireplaces and is illuminated by exceptional stained and painted glass throughout."
-"La Crosse, Wisconsin: 10th & Cass Residential Historic District Tour", Prepared by Eric J. Wheeler, (2015).
Bibliographic References:A. La Crosse City Tax Records, ARC Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin La Crosse. B. Dr. L. Crocker, "On Architecture," La Crosse (Wisconsin) Tribune 22 April 1979. p. 19. C. Tobert Funke, Local historian letter to Joan Rausch 2 March 1984. A. La Crosse Republican Leader, 20 April 1886, 8 July 1886. B. La Crosse Chronicle, 1 May 1886, 10 June 1886. D. City Directories. E. La Crosse Morning Chronicle, 1 January 1887. Crocker, Leslie. La Crosse Buildings through Time. La Crosse: La Crosse Public Library Archives Department, 2015.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

Have Questions?

If you didn't find the record you were looking for, or have other questions about historic preservation, please email us and we can help:

If you have an update, correction, or addition to a record, please include this in your message:

  • AHI number
  • Information to be added or changed
  • Source information

Note: When providing a historical fact, such as the story of a historic event or the name of an architect, be sure to list your sources. We will only create or update a property record if we can verify a submission is factual and accurate.

How to Cite

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:

Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory Citation
Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, "Historic Name", "Town", "County", "State", "Reference Number".