Historic Structures

Cole Motor Car Company Indianapolis Indiana

Joseph J. Cole, the man who was to become one of Indiana's leading automobile manufacturers, was born on March 23, 1869, on a farm in Waterloo, Indiana. J. J. Cole disliked farming and upon graduating from high school at the age of 16 enrolled in the Richmond Business College, where he completed a one-year course. From there he embarked upon a career in the carriage and buggy industry, first being employed by the Parry Manufacturing Company of Indianapolis and later working for the Moon Brothers Carriage Company of St. Louis. During his tenure with these two firms, he gained experience in all phases of the carriage manufacturing industry. However, his greatest success came as a salesman, and because of the large sales commissions he was able to earn he had saved $25,000 by the time he was 35 years old. In November, 1904, at the age of 35, he purchased a one-half interest in the up-and-coming Gates-Osborne Carriage Company of Indianapolis. The Gates-Osborne Carriage Company had been organized in Indianapolis in 1902 and the small carriage factory had prospered during the first two years of operation under the guidance of T. M. Osborne, president of the company. J. J. Cole became the company's second president in November, 1904, and in December of the following year the name of the company was changed to the Cole Carriage Company. Under Cole's leadership, the operations of the company were expanded. By 1907, 49 different models of carriages and driving wagons were being manufactured.

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Manchesters Department Store, Madison Wisconsin

The Manchester's Building was constructed in 1929-1930 to house the largest department store in the City of Madison (Capital Times, Sept. 28, 1930). The founder of the establishment, Harry s. Manchester, was born in Kewaunee, Illinois in 1868. At the age of 18, he began his career in the retail business in a Kewaunee store doing odd jobs. Eventually he was promoted to buyer, and in his contacts with big-city jobbers he developed a desire to go farther in the business than he could get in Kewaunee. Although he worked in several department stores around the country in the next few years, he was most successful in his positions in Marshall Field's in Chicago. In that store, he rose to become manager of all of the ready-to-wear departments and was awarded for his efforts by receiving company stock. When his son, Morgan, was about to graduate from college, Manchester decided to buy a dry goods store in Madison so that he and his son could work together. In 1921, Manchester purchased Keely and Neckerman, a successful 31-year old firm, which in that year employed 80 people and did $700,000 worth of business annually. For nine years, Manchester and his son continued running the dry goods store at 15-17 North Pinckney Street (demolished ca. 1970). At that time, the store specialized in fine women's apparel, reasonably priced dress accessories, yard goods, linens, toys and rugs, with a beauty parlor and bobby shoppe (a hair cutting shop for young women and girls featuring the trendy, short hair cuts). Under the Manchesters1 leadership, the establishment thrived so that by 1930, just before the store moved into its new home, the business employed 130 people with 70 more added during the holiday season and did $1,250,000 worth of business annually (Wisconsin State Journal, Sept. 28, 1930}.

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Spreckels Mansion, San Francisco California

The large and handsome Francophilic mansion, built by Adolph B. Spreckels ca. 1912-1913 on a dramatic view point in San Francisco's exclusive Pacific Heights area, has long occupied a prominent visual and social role in the city. It is one of the few truly grand residences in a town which has always prided itself on social elegance, but has signally failed to match the destroyed wooden palaces of the 19th century with more substantial mansions in the 20th century. Placed at the corner of an unusually large city lot (virtually half a block of choice realestate), it looms above its neighbors in chaste classicizing French Baroque beauty - symbolic of the cultural and social prominence of its chatelaine, Alma de Bretteville Spreckels. The building is of reinforced concrete faced with white stone; the architect was George Applegarth - practitioner of meticulous period design. (His California Palace of the Legion of Honor, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Spreckels to the City of San Francisco, is a slightly later example of his skill in the French mode.) The Spreckels mansion interior, although considerably altered from the original one-family plan, still suggests the magniloquent promise of its exterior; fine examples of period furnishings occur in both Mrs. Spreckels' fine floor - the main first floor of the mansion now converted to an apartment for her - and in that of her daughter, Dorothy (Mrs. Charles Munn), above on the top floor. The first published account of the Spreckels Mansion appeared in the San Francisco Call for Sunday, May 2k, 1913- A brief description of the residence (estimated cost: $1,000,000) and the name of the architect, George Applegarth, accompany a drawing of the building with an elaborately formal Baroque garden cascading down the hillside site behind the house. (These garden effects were never realized.)

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Gray House, Connersville Indiana

As originally constructed the house probably consisted of only the main one-and-a-half story block. Raised upon a stone foundation, the walls are constructed of brick and laid in common bond with headers every ninth course. The five-bay front facade is articulated by six full-length brick pilasters, defining each bay; both four-bay side facades are articulated by five pilasters. Around the roof line is a wooden entablature which consists of a thin band of dentils and a wide frieze with rectangular openings covered with cast-iron grilles spaced at regular intervals around the front and two side facades. Most of the grilles conceal blind panels, but those near the rear on the side elevations cover attic windows. The central entrance is a recessed porch framed by Greek Doric columns in antis which support a wide, plain entablature. A fourlight fixed transom and sidelights surround the door. A low-pitched gable roof with the ridge running parallel to the front is framed at the ends with slightly pointed parapet walls. Four corner chimneys rise tall above the roof's surface. The rear wing may be an early addition to the main block, but there is no definite break in the brick work at the intersection of the walls, so it is difficult to discern whether the rear section is an addition or continuation of the main block. Few changes have been completed on the interior, except for the probable removal of a partition wall in the first-floor left rear room, and the addition of some partition walls in the right rear of the first floor. Both fireplace hearths have had repair alterations completed.

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