Bentley-Wheeler House

950 Cass St | Locally Designated 12/16/2004 

Local Register of Historic Places Nomination Form
Notice of Designation of Historic Structure

This highly eclectic, Queen Anne influenced house was built for, but never lived in by, E.E. Bentley. It features intersecting gable roofs with brackets and block dentils under the eaves and along the gables; full attic story with open arcaded inset balustrade porch with twisted column supports in the gable; jerkin head gable roofed east side second story balustrade balcony with spindle-work arched opening supported by large brackets; bargeboards with appliqued ornament; gable roofed east side roof dormer with Palladian styled window; several enclosed porches have been added to original structure; carriage house at rear. Although altered on the lower levels through the years, the Bentley House, a complex combination of decorative elements, contributes to the architectural environment of the city as one of the more unusual significant interpretations of the Queen Anne style in La Crosse. Although sometimes called the Bentley-Wheeler house, Edward E. Bentley never lived in this house. From 1875 to c. 1912, when he probably died, Bentley, a resident of La Crosse beginning in 1855, resided at 821 King Street. Bentley was president of the Batarman Bank. J.E. Wheeler and Rice (Nicholas S.) lived at 938 Cass Street in 1890, the first year he appears in the city directory. In 1891, he is listed at 950 Cass Street; two years later he is president of the Exchange State Bank. The Exchange State Bank was one of the three major financial institutions of La Crosse during the late 19th century. 2015- "The three-story Bentley/Wheeler House is a patchwork of elements and a significant example of Queen Anne style architecture. The towering irregular mass with multiple gables features distinctive recessed and projecting second-story porches with lavish spindle-work. The multi-textured and colored surface, tall brick chimneys and neo-classical decorative detailing are typical of the Queen Anne style. The carriage house is located south of the dwelling. For many years in the mid to late 20th century, this house was operated as a multi-family rental. In the 1990s this landmark residence was restored and is currently operated as the Bentley/Wheeler Bed and Breakfast."
-(Historical notes from the Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory).

This site is located within the 10th and Cass Street Neighborhood Historic District.