ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


George Fred Keck




     Female portrait painted in 1912 by Watertown architect George Fred Keck


1935      Built first solar house in Watertown, Wilde residence, 305 Elizabeth



      Octagon House porches being worked on, April of 2011.


"The Board of Directors was often plagued with the question of what constituted good repairs.  Were the porches a part of that pressing need?  As early as June 1940, Architect George Fred Keck offered to draw plans for the porch restoration project.  A year later a five hundred dollar donation accompanied blueprints for the restoration of the verandas.  These funds were made available from the Honorable Joe. E. Davies, Ambassador to Belgium and Russia."  - John Richards: The Hill and The Mill, page 99.



05 17     Architect George Fred Keck, a native of Watertown, was inducted into the Housing Hall of Fame in recognition of his lasting contribution to the cause of providing all Americans with decent and affordable homes. Keck, who passed away last November in Chicago at the age of 85 and worked in partnership with his brother, William, was the first American architect to demonstrate the potential of passive solar energy. At a time when the nation enjoyed seemingly inexhaustible supplies of cheap fuel, he was an advocate of thermally efficient and functional modern design in housing. Keck built his first solar house in Watertown in 1935, the Wilde residence located at 305 Elizabeth Street. Using the “greenhouse” effect, he was able to achieve fuel savings of 15 to 20 percent. Small windows were built on the north side of the home; wide floor-to-eaves windows on the south. Trees were planted to reduce southern exposure during the summer.   WDT



Cross Reference:  Keck and Keck (Paperback) by Robert Boyce