Completed just before the start of World War II, the Colonial Revival Fargo house is a very late example of Henry Dysland’s work.

The Fargo house is very similar to the main block of the Schaub house at 4105 Mandan Crescent (site j), which Dysland designed five years earlier. In the Fargo house, however, Dysland has stripped the three-bay symmetrical facade to its essentials; the only real decorative element being the rather wide triangular pediment above the entrance door. Instead, Dysland relied on his excellent sense of proportion to produce a house that was both modern in its proportions and respectful of its traditional design sources.

Although less well known today than his contemporaries, Henry Dysland (1885-1965) was one of Madison’s best and most prolific residential architects during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1925, Dysland formed a design/build firm known as the Better Homes Corp., which subsequently designed and built at least 58 houses in Nakoma, including Dysland’s own at 721 Seneca Place (site k).

When the house was completed, John Fargo was a career military officer in the United States Army Air Force and a professor of military science at the UW.



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