Originally from New York, Oscar Nowlan came to Janesville in 1886 where he began a contracting business. Nowlan was well known for creating some of the city`s local industry buildings such as Hanson Furniture Company and the Janesville Cotton Mill. He designed his home on Cornelia St. in the 1890s.
This home is an elaborate example of the Queen Anne architecture style. Popular until the early 20th century, asymmetry and elaborate motifs were key in the Queen Annes. The Nowlan residence possesses modillions and tall windows which some believe is a stylistic choice to be in the style of classicism.