His work includes the Cardinal Hill Reservoir (1931) in Jefferson County, Kentucky; the Saginaw Water Works plant in Saginaw, Michigan; the Westclox plant building in Peru, Illinois; and the LaSalle Theater (1912) in LaSalle, Illinois.
Early life and education
He was the son of Andre and Ellen C. (née McNaughton) Matteson, grandson of Zerrubbable and Tryphena (née Whitford) Matteson and great-grandson of William Matteson. His sister was Jean Matteson.
At the 34th Annual Chicago Architectural Exhibit of 1924, Mattheson was listed in the index: "Matteson, V. A. (Hartford Building, Chicago) Entrance to Home of 'Big Ben', Western Clock Works La Salle, Ill."
Matteson was employed at the firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White in Chicago.
At the 1933 dedication of Three Rivers Park (also site of the Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Matteson commented that there is "no more beautiful spot could be wished for than the Three Rivers Park site, affording as it does a splendid view from across the rivers in any direction" and that "The exterior design of the building is not 'modernistic', but an adaptation of the spirit of the Gothic to modern requirements. Most of the pleasing architectural effect is secured by a careful study of mass and proportion, light and shade, and color… While the effect is rich and massive, befitting the purpose of so important a building to the community, the design is really one of extreme simplicity.”
Matteson was known for his water plant designs. Matteson was a member of the American Water Works Association and had at least twenty years of experience in water plant design before planning the Saginaw Water Works plant. He wrote that "it is economic to give the public beautiful, as well as useful things, especially when one considers that of all the money expended on a complete water system, only about twenty-five percent of the total is applied to works above ground and visible." including the "beautiful and functional" Saginaw Water Works plant.
In a letter to the editor of American Architect and Architecture, Matteson called for engineering to be included as an integral part of architecture. He wrote that "[a]rchitecture should be considered as the combined Art and Science of Building."
Death and burial
- Westclox plant building in Peru, Illinois
- LaSalle Theater (1912) in LaSalle, Illinois – demolished
- Saginaw Water Works plant in Saginaw, Michigan – Gothic architecture adapted to "modern requirements" with a large central tower enclosing a steel water tank including "interesting detail and stone carvings" covering the history of the site on the tower and along the north and east building faces
- Residence of W. E. Fitch in LaSalle, Illinois
- Summer home of Dr. A. Lagorio in Delavan Lake, Wisconsin
- Gate Lodge, summer home of Dr. A. Lagorio in Delavan Lake, Wisconsin
- Residence of Walter Ashby in Peru, Illinois
- Cardinal Hill Reservoir (1931), Louisville Water Company in Jefferson County, Kentucky – listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the one-story, stone (ashler) structure includes Doric pilasters, full entablature, parapet wall, shouldered architraves, quoins, and balustraded stairs; lights along front bank of old reservoir set on pedestal bases "with tomb-like structures" holding lights at corners
- Carnegie Library Building in LaSalle, Illinois