Henry Salzer House

1634 King St | Locally Designated 03/31/1997

Notice of Designation of Historic Structure

Builder was Joseph and Frank Schwalbe. An outstanding example of the work of Bentley and Merman, the Salzer House, designed in 1912 for Henry Salzer a local see merchant, exhibits the typical Prairie School horizontal emphasis created by the broad hipped roof, the band of windows compressed between the heavy roof and the stuccoes ground floor and the careful alignment of all horizontal elements. Buttresses framing the entrance and located at the ends of the house visually counteracts the dominant horizontal appearance of the centrally planned home. Constructed of fireproof hollow tile for wall and floor, the Prairie house originally had cypress shingles stained moss free and was painted deep tan with brown string course and trim. Features include: band of second story windows compressed between broad roof overhang and extended lower story; buttresses/piers frame the entrance door and the ends of the house; large outside wall chimney; plain rectangular windows; one-story north screened porch; shed-roofed door hood; decked porch on south end; Prairie-style planters on corners of lot. Originally dark tan exterior with green shingles-now painted white.Constructed of fireproof hollow tile for walls and floors, the Salzer house is the best example of the Prairie style found in La Crosse and is significant as one of the most elaborate early works of the local architectural firm, Bentley and Merman. Henry Salzer was associated with the John Salzer Seed Co. of La Crosse. When it was built, the Henry Salzer House was featured in the Midwestern architectural magazine "The Western Architect" as one of the architect's best designs. Local legend states that Mrs. Salzer wished a more traditional plan, while Mr. Salzer wanted a modern design. They compromised and got a Prairie style house with a Colonial room arrangement.

- (Historical notes from the Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory)

This site is located within the Cass and King Street Residential Historic District.