You are here

August Johnson House

-A A +A
c. 1906, August Johnson. 427 St. Croix St.

In 1900, Harmon Palmer patented a cast-iron block-making machine, which Sears, Roebuck and Company sold by 1905. By changing the faceplate, the builder could create various surface textures. Johnson, a Swedish-born mason-contractor who erected many local buildings including Hudson’s city hall, did things differently. Here, instead of simulating a cobblestone texture, he placed real cobbles in the mold before adding the concrete. He then laid the colorful blocks like ashlar, with tooled mortar joints. This method also sets his house apart from southeastern Wisconsin’s nineteenth-century cobblestone houses in which stone buildings are veneered with cobblestones.

Johnson’s cross-gabled house combines exuberant irregularity and color with staid details, including cornice returns, stucco corner moldings, and flat lintels made of cobbles and concrete. More playful details include concrete blocks with diamond insets that enliven the gable ends and form a frieze beneath the eaves. The enclosed entrance porch on the south side, probably dating from the 1920s, blends with the original house, but there cobblestone rubble replaced cobblestone concrete block. The Johnson House also displays colorful glass decorations in the gable ends. Inside, the decorations change to wood. Carved entablatures top windows and doors, and the front hall staircase boasts oak newel posts carved with beads, sunflowers, and leaves.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Marsha Weisiger et al.
×

Data

What's Nearby

Citation

Marsha Weisiger et al., "August Johnson House", [Hudson, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/WI-01-SC3.

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 380-380.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,