Year Built: 1911
Historic Use: retail building
Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival
Property Type: Building
Wall Material: Cream Brick
Other Buildings On Site:
National/State Register Listing Name:
WEST SECOND STREET COMMERCIAL H.D.
National Register Listing Date: 1984-02-02
State Register Listing Date: 1989-01-01
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information: IRON PABST EMBLEM IN CIRCULAR AREABRICK CORBEL TABLE AND PARAPETCAST IRON DETAILS IN WINDOWS WITH RELIEVING ARCHES [Date Cnst:-1912 (C)]
DESCRIPTION: This two-story cream brick commercial building is intact on the picturesque treatment of the second story which features three windows with relieving arches and includes a central window with its original cast iron fixtures. Above, a cast iron emblem of the Pabst Company is set into a central arch, extending from which is a medievalizing parapet wall with brick corbel table and battlements. With the Pabst building further west occupied ca 1909, this building was built in late 1890's and was first operated by Pabst Co., as the Blue Ribbon Bar and Bowling Alley in 1911. 
SIGNIFICANCE: Built in approximately 1885-1890, this brick building is considered a contributing structure due to alterations, however, the second story is significant for its early date and integrity. Secondly, this unusual Romanesque Revival Style building is considered historically significant for its association with the Pabst Brewery of Milwaukee which was known as the Jacob Best Brewing Company until 1889. This building represents one of many agencies that were distributed throughout Wisconsin to capitalize on the highly competitive beer market. Ashland was recognized as a large market where the other brewers sought profits, too; however, only the Pabst buildings remain in Ashland. The second Pabst building is also located with the district (#4).
HISTORICAL STATEMENT: Because of Ashland's booming economy and rapidly increasing population in the late 1880s, the major Wisconsin breweries found a large and profitable market in a city reached quickly and easily by rails transport. In 1888, the Ashland City Director lists under Brewers' Agencies the following companies one of which is from Ashland: Anheuser Busch Brewing Association at 320 W. Second Street (demolished), Ashland Bottling Works at 900-4 E. Front Street (demolished), Val Blatz Brewing Company at 312-20 Ellis Avenue (demolished), Globe Bottling Works on 8th Avenue West between 4th and 5th Streets (demolished), Jung Brewing Company at 1104 St. Claire (13-17) which is now the Blue Room Bar, Fred Miller Brewing Company at 319 W. 3rd Street (30-31), Miller and Company at 117 10th Avenue East (demolished, Pabst Brewing Company at Commercial Row near 4th Avenue West (demolished) and the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company at 401 5th Avenue East (demolished). Commercial Row ran from Ellis to Vaughn Avenue, between 3rd and 4th.
The two best preserved buildings related to brewers in Ashland are the Pabst Buildings at 411 West Second Street at 511-09 West Second Street (36-25), the Ashland City Directories indicate that the brick building at this address was first listed with Pabst in 1911-12 and was known as the Blue Ribbon Bar and Bowling Alley. In 1903 Pabst Brewery's agency was at 406 West Second Street (demolished). By 1915, Pabst was owner of buildings at 320 (demolished) 415 (36-33), and 509-11 (36-25) West Second Street. Most of Pabst's business efforts seem to have taken place in the early teens, however, correspondence survives to show that in 1883 Pabst was trying fiercely to win over Mr. Toppel of Ashland as an agent. Charles Best suggested to Joseph Billingheim that he contact influential saloon keepers and to offer a new suit of clothes and cash as a reward for Mr. Toppel. [A]
Bibliographic References: [A] THOMAS COCHRAN, PABST BREWING CO (NEW YORK, 1948) P 167 [C]1911 ASHLAND CITY DIRECTORY