Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Right under our noses, locally


Brochure for this one day event.  Often we  do not attend events locally
when we would if we were visiting.  But the history offered was too tempting for me to miss
The Chateau on Cass St.  Front  with the original structure.
Saturday, May 16 was frigidly cold here so my plans to go on the architectural tour of some of the wonderful historic buildings in downtown Lqa Crosse changed.  The walking guided tour was to begin at 11:00 but one was free to go along at leisure until 5:00PM, so about  1 o'clock I decided to brave the frigid air and go across the river.  I really wanted to see the Chateau, aka Mons Anderson House which is a high end operational restaurant where there are intimate small dining experiences.  They serve the finest wines and champagnes and the food is exquisite I have been told by others who have enjoyed their meals at this restaurant. So many others were curious about this place as well as I saw  once I got over there, bundled up, walked the short distance from our bank where I parked.  I wore my Austrian wool hat, a cuddle dud under my sweater, knee socks under my riding boots and my packable down winter jacket that has served me so well for two seasons.  Was it really May, brrrr.  

Addition to left of the original structure
All the limestone came from right here, Grandad's Bluff in La Crosse
I was most impressed with the multi million dollars spent renovating the Chateau on Cass and fascinated with it's history.  I was appalled at some of the people on this self guided tour and applaud the Ewesr, owners for being gracious and opening the business to curious folks,  and yet, I wonder, have these people never been to any historic home?  Although Ms. Ewers detailed the history and the saga of this place they call home with their 3 children and invited people to walk, she shared it is and has been a work in progress, attributing the massive costs already to maintaining the historic integrity of this beauty. 

Ms Ewers tour guide and owner, notice the parquet floor
in one of the downstairs dining rooms
 She invited people to stroll throughout the entire place leisurely, as all rooms including the kitchen were open, with exception of the family's private living quarters, yet, anyone with an ounce of decorum would know not to touch paintings, the fine crystal, the wines, etc.  People, are so tiresome as some roamed and touched any and everything and then some who were more feeble, complained about the stairs, really, I thought.  WTH did you think it's an 1800's structure, why are you here if you cannot walk stair cases.  It is definitely a place I will want to dine for something special, perhaps taking advantage of their limousine pick up service as well for an anniversary.  

This was sponsored  by the Downtown La Crosse  association of merchants, amidst the graduations of the UW  underway at the convention center and other weekend events. From their brochure here is a synopsis of this home:  F. Mons Anderson House 410 Cass Street
(Le Chateau Restaurant) 1854, 1878 Guided Tours all day

One of the finest examples of mid-nineteenth century residential architecture in western Wisconsin. The home is a rare blend of Gothic Revival and Italian Villa styles rendered in locally quarried limestone. The home has a fascinating history; from a peak of late Victorian era opulence in the late 19th century, to neglect and near ruin by the later part of the 20th century, to its current state of complete restoration and recognition as one of the most historic and architecturally significant homes in the city of La Crosse. Not all areas handicap accessible . 



These 2 photos are of one of the ladies rooms on the first floor, opulence
When the Ewers bought the Chateau several years ago now, t
he owner from the 1980's had  used it as a bed and breakfast,
left only chandeliers when he moved away.  This
is but one downstairs, notice the ceiling too.
One of the fireplaces, this one in what is now
the library where space is available for larger
dining parties.
 
More photos are on my Facebook page where I posted directly about this event last week and then shared my pictures. I really tried too get photos without the people.  Finally I left after thanking them and learning about the availability of the limousine service for special events.  I detest crowds and so I did not venture down to the downstairs, basement, aka where the bar and salon will open this summer, down this wrought iron staircase.  I did not want to meet someone going down when I was coming up, no room to pass, etc.  But be sure I intend to return to at least sample some wonderful wine and appetizer.


2 comments:

  1. Despite the unseasonable cold temps, I bet you were glad to have gone on this excursion, Pat. We really enjoy exploring places and this would have definitely made our "to do" list! What a ladies room and that curving staircase while beautiful to look at would have not been one I would like to ascend or descend. FYI - the weather was also unseasonable chilly in NH at the start of last week.

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  2. I would like to visit there during an open house, it is an outstanding building. I hope you do return for wine tasting and using the limo service.

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