Contact: Kara O’Keeffe
May 24, 2021
Razy and John Wright House Listed on the State Register of Historic Places
Town of Medary, WI. – The Wisconsin Historical Society placed the Razy and John Wright House (Town of Medary, La Crosse County) on the State Register of Historic Places on May 14, 2021.
The Razy and John Wright House was constructed in 1930 and while certainly designed by an architect, definitive attribution has yet to be established. The design incorporates elements of various popular architectural design trends of the time. With its picturesque silhouette, complex roof massing, locally-quarried stone masonry, leaded glass windows, and fine craftsmanship, the Wright house is an outstanding local example of an eclectic Period Revival style that combines elements of the Arts and Crafts movement and the Rustic, Tudor, and Storybook styles. The high level of craftsmanship and sophisticated architectural detailing suggest the involvement of an experienced designer. Based on the construction period and the overall architectural form, two likely candidates exist.
Barney Spangler was a local non-architect but master craftsman known to work in the Tudor Revival style, but more compelling evidence points to La Crosse architect Otto Merman. Merman incorporated flared catslide roofs with inset dormers, similar enclosed porches, and chimney monograms, among other details, in his known designs. Despite the architect not being conclusively identified, the house is an excellent, distinctive, original design of the Period Revival era, and stands apart as one of the most unique in the community. Perhaps more information will come to light that will finally identify the architect.
The State Register is Wisconsin’s official list of state properties determined to be significant to Wisconsin’s heritage. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Wisconsin Historical Society administers both the State Register and National Register in Wisconsin.
To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.
About the Wisconsin Historical Society
The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs and services. For more information, visit wisconsinhistory.org.