The History of The A.E. and Georgiana White House
of Eau Claire, Wisconsin
The A.E. and Georgiana White House has a common name of The Milewski Mansion named after Michael Milewski who is currently bringing the building into the 21st Century through a historic restoration. Located at 618 South Farwell Street in Downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin, not only does this property have significant persons, who contributed and continue to contribute to Eau Claire history, associated with it but it is also architecturally significant and historically linked with the development of Eau Claire and the United States in business and innovation. This American Queen Anne Revival style house is unique and still retains much of its historical character and substance. 1905 marks the first time the address is listed in Eau Claire Directories for this building; the complete New Columbian fireplace is marked as 1897.
The attention to details, high standard of craftsmanship focused on the qualities of the materials being used and the natural and open design choices are exceptional examples of the Arts and Craft Movement. The Arts and Crafts Movement began in Britain before capturing the world’s design aesthetic of natural forms, done by expert craftspeople using natural materials that were allowed to speak through their uses. The philosophical underpinnings of the Arts and Crafts Movement came from William Morris (1834–1896), who believed that industrialization alienated labor and created a dehumanizing distance between the designer and manufacturer. Morris strove to unite all the arts within the decoration of the home, emphasizing natural forms, historical symbolism and quality in work and materials. All these attributes are present in the Milewski Building and support Galaudet Gallery’s actions to continue the Arts and Crafts Movement in the 21st Century.
The many distinctive features of the American Queen Anne Revival style are also easily seen from the asymmetrical façade to the round tower and the porch covering the main doorway and center of the front façade. The fish scale siding and clapboard siding are also Queen Anne features. Inside is the hidden gem with original woodworking, accents and more.
The Whites built this mansion and helped Eau Claire prosper—the house seems fitted to them from the way they invented their lives and pivoted their company to meet future demands to the work they did within the house in preparation for opening their company. Just as John Hertz continued the tradition of allowing the beauty of this building’s spaces inspire him, so too do Mike and Vicki work with the beauty seeking to enhance it, learn from it and work within it.
Please click on the button below to learn more about this wonderful building and the historic restoration that is taking place: