Featured in "Wisconsin's Own-Twenty Remarkable Homes"
Published by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin

   
 

 

SUMMARY

Baraboo Republic August 9th 1860

A FINE NEW RESIDENCE BEGUN

 

According to our ideas of beauty and we think that the public will coincide with us, the new building now being erected by T. Thomas of the Sauk County Bank upon the beautiful knoll about two blocks north east of the Court House will be the most elegant residence in the vicinity.

The House of Seven Gables, dating from 1860, has been recognized as an outstanding example of Gothic Revival or Carpenter Gothic architecture. It was likely inspired by the pattern books authored by Victorian architectural tastemaker, Andrew Jackson Downing. It is a true “Gingerbread House” with board and batten siding, steeply pitched gables with ornamental bargeboards and drop pendants as well as elaborate peaked finials.

The interior of the rambling 17 room home is embellished exclusively with high quality antique furnishings from the 1860 to 1880 period. The current owners, Ralph & Pamela Krainik, have called Seven Gables home for over forty years. They have undertaken an intensive restoration of the interior including gothic revival wall coverings, ceiling treatments, authentic faux graining on woodwork and floors as well as period lighting, including a number of Bradley-Hubbard fixtures. The den features a faux grained mantle and wall murals dating from 1932 depicting area scenery. The elegant parlor has a marble mantle and Downing ceiling molding treatment.

Extensive restoration of the spacious Terrell Thomas room has recently been completed. The room features Bradbury & Bradbury wall and ceiling papers with an authentic 1850 Gothic Revival pattern on the walls. The focal point of the furnishings is a ten foot tall Renaissance Revival bed room suite likely made by the leading designer of the period, John Jeliff. The most recent challenge undertaken by the owners involved the restoration of the 1860 walnut newel post and staircase.

Color analysis of the exterior paint was performed in summer of 2006. Based on that study, a complete exterior paint restoration was accomplished by fall. The result is a color scheme featuring these authentic early Victorian paints: Renwick Beige, Rookwood Brown, Rookwood Dark Brown, accented by Renwick Rose Beige and Downing Straw.

Seven Gables has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been cited by the Historic House Association of America and the by the Sauk County Historical Society for its unique architecture.

     

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