JackWaters

Lincoln Street architect Jack Waters is wearing a bright, greenish-yellow shirt that sets off a green tie bursting with huge purple, rust, and cream-colored polka dots.

The polka dots seem to gesture to the large, tetrahedron-shaped “sculpture” of bowling balls on his living room floor.

And both the tie and the bowling balls reflect Waters’ boldly innovative and humorous vision, as well as his abiding love of design.

Waters’ architectural creations are known not only around the world, but also right on his own block of Lincoln Street (just south of Main and 5h), where he has designed more than half a dozen houses.

One of those rare birds who doesn’t make much of a distinction between work and play Waters dives enthusiastically into talking about his career. For him, architecture is a passion and a pleasure.

“Have you heard about Cecilia Good — thought to be a famous madam— and her connection with the Mabel Mansion over here [at 456-58 Lincoln]?” he asks.

“The Mabel Mansion was supposedly built by an attorney. Mabel, who had a connection with Good and this big 1880s house was probably the only thing out here for many years, except for the milk stop near where Chester Carpenter now lives (the Carpenter Mansion, at 5th and Cherry streets]. Cecilia Good had these little cribs, as they called them —cabins or cottages that businessmen would get on the train and come out to at lunch time, for what were known as ‘nooners’.

“Well, I bought a cottage at 322 Lincoln St. in 1998 and turned it into the first house I did here, which is known as Lincoln Castle. When I bought it, it was a little tiny cottage with wonderful foundations, essentially one room with a little sleeping room down below — cabin would be a better word”.

“Then I was told that I had bought the last of these little cribs. It had a few boards horizontally, and a lot of shingles over it, like a big basket”.

“What we did was extend the foundations and build up and in the process, it was totally transformed.”