Sheboygan WI United States
The John Michael Kohler House is an historic house listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, United States. The house is currently a part of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center complex.HistoryThe house was constructed in 1882 by John Michael Kohler (1844–1900). No documentary record of the house's architect has been found. Family tradition recalls that John Michael Kohler, himself, designed the house. This is plausible, because it is known that other members of the Kohler family in Austria engaged in architecture, including John Michael's father, whose design of a small church survives.An extensive addition and remodel was completed in 1920. At the time the house was occupied by his second wife, Wilhemina Minnie Vollrath (1842-1929) and four of his children Evangeline (1872-1954), Marie (1976-1943), Lillie (1877-1965), and Herbert Sr (1891-1968).Ownership of the house was transferred to the Kohler Foundation in the will of Evangeline Kohler in 1954 with a life estate for her sister Lillie.The Sheboygan Arts Foundation, Inc. was created in 1959 and its first board included Mrs. Walter J. Kohler III.In 1966, after the death of Lillie Kohler in 1965, the Kohler Foundation gifted the house to the Sheboygan Arts Foundation, Inc. for the use of the arts center.ArchitectureNote:The following text is primarily sourced from the NRHP application for the house.The house is a two story brick veneered structure on a coursed limestone foundation capped with an iron water table. Plan and massing are asymmetrical with projecting pavilions on all facades. The east facing pavilion contains a two story bay. The roofline is gently pitched and had projecting gables with heavy eaves and cornices and with returns suggestive of a classical pediment. The eaves have carved and scroll cut brackets with turned pendants. The main facade gable is pierced with a bull's-eye window. Windows have round arches with distinctive cast iron keystones that may have been made in the Kohler foundry. The arches are supported on pilasters with decorative iron capitals and bases footed on iron sills.