One of Wauwatosa’s oldest houses, this two-story Carpenter Gothic residence includes a cross-gabled roof, a one-story porch with flattened-arch brackets, and a one-story bay window lighting the parlor. What makes the house so memorable are its spectacular bargeboards, wooden confections jigsawed to showcase the carpenter’s craft. There are six bargeboard patterns in all: an oak leaf pattern in the large gable over the bay window, a quatrefoil-and-trefoil combination in the gabled porch entrance, a lacy hand-carved pattern in the gable over the second-story lancet window, a floral motif in the front south-facing gable, and quatrefoils throughout. There is even a wavelike design in the bargeboards of the adjacent old barn. The construction date is uncertain, but the house may have been the first residence built on Church, Wauwatosa’s first residential street. Thomas Hart, who bought the house in 1874, helped establish the town by building a sawmill on the Menomonee River around 1838, followed by a gristmill in 1841. The Hart House, originally T-shaped, grew over the years with additions made to the rear, though its front and side facades have barely changed. The house was restored in the 1980s and 1990s.
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Thomas and Nancy Hart House
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