Matt Jensen House

matt_jensen

Address:  501 W. Fulton Street

Period: 1800-1899

Exterior Description:  The Matt Jensen House is a Stick Style Queen Anne home built in 1890. Typical of the style it has an irregular plan, with elaborate wood bargeboards and the square corner tower, with a complex hip roof decorated with projecting gables. Included features are applied stick work, especially in the gable peaks and the tower, decorative hood moldings over second story windows, and projecting one-story bays filled with decorative “picture” style stained glass windows. The veranda wraps around the corner tower and features turned posts. The east back porch (once open) is now enclosed. The west side of the home also had an attached greenhouse which was removed many years ago (60+). The home is also painted in a historically accurate fashion. Originally there was more acreage to the property, and was a (gentleman’s farm). Over the years, existing plots were sold as the city grew to encompass this (Block 7). The original carriage barn is gone. The photo of this home dates probably to the 1890’s or early 1900’s. The back (south) side of the 2nd story has been added on over the back kitchen, and the west side has an external stairway for the 2nd story which is used for rental income. The home otherwise is very intact maintaining its original clapboard siding and all of its decorative molding and brachetry.

Interior Description:  The first floor of the home is comprised of a front entrance (double doors) foyer with an open stairway leading to the 2nd story. The foyer then has doorways leading either into the adjoining sitting room (east) or front parlour (north). Both of these rooms have large bay windows with stained glass borders. The dining room is on the west side and originally had french style doors leading to the front parlour and sitting room. The doorway to the parlour has been converted to bookshelves and a smaller doorway, but can be easily converted, in that the original door frame still exists. The dining room possibly was connected directly to the kitchen originally, but this area has been remodeled into a larger bathroom and closet. The kitchen space has been fully remodeled. Consequently, the original configuration is unknown. Most of the mopboards and the window and door trimwork is original but has been painted multiple times. Unpainted woodwork such as the entry doors and stairway are pine or fur but are “grained” to give the appearance of oak. It is likely the remaining painted woodwork also followed this theme. Ceiling height remains at its original nine feet six inches (9’6”) on the first floor and eight feet six inches (8’6”) on the second floor. It is quite likely that this home did not have electrical service originally. As a result, it is unlikely that any original light fixtures remains.

The second floor has been rental space for many years and has had multiple remodelings, especially the back south wing and west wing. This area now accommodates the rented apartment (see 2nd story diagram). The original 2nd level most likely was a three bedroom layout. The front north and east bedrooms are connected to the landing at the top of the stairway. The third or west bedroom is/was accessed through the east bedroom. This west bedroom is now split by a wall running east/west creating a bathroom for the rental and storage off of the east bedroom. The area labeled “apartment bedroom” may have been a part of the east or west bedroom or possibly a sitting room. Like electrical, it is unknown whether the property originally included indoor plumbing. Since this home was on the edge of town, it most likely did not have City water yet. The north and east bedrooms maintain much of their original woodwork (oak grain) and hardware. The floors are maple throughout the home, much of them covered by carpeting. Accessible by a ceiling trap door, the 3rd level appears to have always been attic space and is unfinished. It is accessible by a ceiling trap door.

Statement of Significance:  The Matt Jensen home is a very good example of a Stick Style Queen Anne Structure. It was built by Hans Knudson in 1890. Mr. Knudson was a well known local builder who came to Waupaca in 1881 from Denmark. The architect is unknown, but most likely the plans for the home were purchased from the numerous architectural trade journals that were offered at this time. Matt Jensen was prominent in Waupaca. Originally the home sat on a five acre plot, purchased from John Downey in 1889-1890.