1020 1ST ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

1020 1ST ST

Architecture and History Inventory

NAMES

Historic Name: Folding Furniture Works Building

Other Name: Lullabye Furniture Warehouse and Plywood Mill

Contributing: 

Reference Number: 28242

PROPERTY LOCATION

Location (Address): 1020 1ST ST

County: Portage

City: Stevens Point

Township/Village: 

Unincorporated Community: 

Town: 

Range: 

Direction: 

Section: 

Quarter Section: 

Quarter/Quarter Section: 

PROPERTY FEATURES

Year Built: 1919

Additions: 1931

Survey Date:2011

Historic Use: industrial building

Architectural Style: Astylistic Utilitarian Building

Property Type: Building

Structural System: 

Wall Material: Clapboard

Architect:

Other Buildings On Site: 

Demolished?: No

Demolished Date: 

DESIGNATIONS

National/State Register Listing Name: Folding Furniture Works Building

National Register Listing Date: 1993-07-29

State Register Listing Date: 1993-01-15

National Register Multiple Property Name: 

NOTES

Additional Information: A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the State Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation. Locally designated landmark.

Built in 1919 but destroyed in a fire in 1931. Rebuilt as an enlarged replica of the original.

By the early twentieth century, the white pines near Stevens Point had been logged off, leaving vast swaths of cleared land or only hard-to-sell hardwood trees. To create a market for their own hardwoods, the Worzalla brothers, who owned large tracts of cutover land between Stevens Point and Wausau, decided to make furniture. In 1917 John Worzalla founded a furniture-making company, specializing in baby cribs and folding children’s swings, which he patented. Two years later, he built a factory in Stevens Point, at the edge of the city’s main commercial district.

In 1931, in the midst of the Depression, fire destroyed the Folding Furniture Works. But John Worzalla paid his own factory workers to erect a new, larger Folding Furniture Works on the same site. The long, narrow vernacular building looks more like a New England textile mill of the early nineteenth century than an industrial structure from the early twentieth. By 1931, fireproof masonry had long been the norm for factory construction, but Worzalla’s insurance covered only about 60 percent of the investment lost in the fire, so his workers clad its walls with narrow clapboards. Along each of the factory’s three stories, rectangular windows admit natural light onto the shop floors and create a rhythmic pattern of voids. Each window is filled with an unusual pane, in which the upper sash is filled with four smaller lights over four long ones. On the east side of the building, a one-story hipped porch supported by rectangular posts shelters two entry doors, which flank a central window.

In 1961, the factory closed for good, and the local Lullabye Furniture Company purchased the structure for use as a warehouse. More recently, it has been rehabilitated for apartments.

Bibliographic References: Date of construction: Daily Journal, 1/18/31 Income Producing Tax Credit Project - 1992 Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.

RECORD LOCATION

Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation-Public History, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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