Cotton House

2640 South Webster Ave., Green Bay, Wisconsin

Wood, Temple style house of the Greek Revival period


Overview Looking Northeast

Photo taken by J.R. Manning October 2018




"The stately Cotton House's significance lies chiefly in its excellence as an example of the pre-Civil War use of the Temple style of Greek Revival architecture in wooden houses in Wisconsin. Many consider it Wisconsin's most outstanding example of this architectural style. It is also unique among Wisconsin's wooden Greek Revival houses in having the distyle-in-antis treatment of the two-story high portico.

"The house was built, probably in 1840, by Judge Joseph Penn Arndt for his son-in-law, Lieutenant John Cotton, a West Point graduate who was stationed for a time at Fort Howard in Green Bay beginning in 1824. He married Judge Arndt's daughter Mary in 1825, and from 1826 until 1848 they were located at various military posts from the southeast to mid-continental United States. Cotton is credited for the style of the house, having done wide research in architectural styles during his army travels and deciding that his future home would be Greek Temple in design.

"In 1941 the house was moved from its original site about one mile away to the site of old Camp Smith and placed atop a hill where it has an imposing overview of the Fox River. It was during the move that the date 1840 was found inscribed above the doorway, indicating that the house was built in or before that year."

Quoted from the National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form prepared by J. D. N. Anderson, Assistant Director Historic Sites, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, January 15, 1970. A link to the document is listed below under "Sources."

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on April 28, 1970
Reference number
Architectural style
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Period of significance
Significant year
ca. 1840


19th Century (37,324)
Brick (42,462)
Brown County, Wisconsin (58)
Built during 1840s (2,978)
Exotic Revival (7,380)
Green Bay, Wisconsin (21)
House (27,220)
Mid 19th Century Revival (7,958)
Moved (2,188)
Private owner (54,396)
Wisconsin (2,565)

Update Log 

  • October 31, 2018: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added description and added photos