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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Neoclassical Revival (architecture)


a style popular ca. 1895-1935 that was spawned by the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. The Exposition's "White City," as it came to be called, was a formal grouping of classical buildings created by some of the nation's most prominent architects and was viewed by millions of Americans. It reinstilled in the nation a belief in the classical ideal, which resulted in the unprecedented production of Neoclassical buildings with classical details. The style was particularly popular for public and institutional buildings, as well as commercial structures, especially banks. When Wisconsin's second state capitol building caught fire and was partially destroyed in 1904, the construction of a new Neoclassical Capitol Building (NRHP 1970) was begun in 1907. Another equally Neoclassical structure is the State Historical Society building (NRHP 1972). Completed in 1900, it is located at 816 State Street in Madison. Commercial examples of the style include the Daily Northwestern Building (NRHP 1982), built in 1927, and the Wisconsin National Life Insurance Building, built in 1930, both in Oshkosh. View more information elsewhere at 

View pictures relating to architecture at Wisconsin Historical Images.

[Source: Cultural Resource Management in Wisconsin (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1986). ]
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