130 N PROSPECT AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
130 N PROSPECT AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:John Myers Olin House
Other Name:U.W. Chancellor's House
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:100014
Location (Address):130 N PROSPECT AVE
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1912
Survey Date:1974
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:English Revival Styles
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect: Ferry and Clas
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: University Heights Historic District
National Register Listing Date:12/17/1982
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation.

In 1911, Milwaukee’s Ferry and Clas created the sprawling John and Helen Olin House (now the Chancellor's House. Three gabled dormers form a rhythmic series of peaks and valleys across the top of the main facade. Segmentally arched windows punctuate the brick walls, and an arched corbel table supports a slightly overhanging second story. The architects added to this vaguely Neo-Tudor design a surprising classical front porch, complete with Tuscan columns and a dentil course.

The University Heights Historic District: A Walking Tour: "The first years of the twentieth century found members of Madison's professional, educational and social elite being crowded out of their traditional neighborhoods near the Capitol Square by an onslaught of new university students and faculty seeking housing adjoining the booming campus. John M. Olin and his wife Helen exemplified this trend. Olin was one of Madison's most successful attorneys and was a prominent local philanthropist. He is best known today as the prime mover behind the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association, a nationally known civic group that developed Madison's park system.

The Olins moved to University Heights in 1912 leaving behind their large frame Queen Anne style house located where the Wisconsin Union now stands. Olin, who had a poor opinion of local architects, chose the prominent Milwaukee firm of Ferry and Clas to design his English style brick mansion set in beautifully landscape grounds looking out towards the distant Lake Mendota. After Olin's death, the house and grounds looking out towards the distant Lake Mendota. After Olin's death, the house and grounds were deeded to the University for use as the President's home."
Bibliographic References:Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript. Madison Landmarks Commission and the Regent Neighborhood Association, The University Heights Historic District: A Walking Tour, 1987. Madison Landmarks Commission, University Heights: A Walk Through A Turn of the Century Suburb, n.d.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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