Weinbrenner Shoe Factory
305 West Third Street, Marshfield, Wood County
Architect: Gus A. Krasin
Construction date: 1935
The Weinbrenner Shoe Company's factory occupies an entire city block located two blocks west of Marshfield's Central Avenue Historic District. The City of Marshfield built the original portions of the factory in 1935 as an incentive to get the Milwaukee-based Albert H. Weinbrenner Shoe Company to set up a new manufacturing facility in the city. Marshfield architect Gus A. Krasin designed most of the original plant, as well as most of the additions to the building.
The creation of this factory is an excellent example of the kind of creative, self-funded relief projects that cities like Marshfield sponsored in the early years of the Depression to help their own citizens. It is also a good illustration of how cities made use of the various relief programs sponsored by the Federal government by this time. The construction of the factory building itself was intended to provide jobs for the unemployed in the city and the factory was to serve the same purpose. The City of Marshfield was the primary funder of the project, although the Weinbrenner Co. also contributed to the cost. Local workers hired with funds supplied by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) constructed the foundation of the factory in late May 1935, while the buildings themselves were built by the Marshfield Construction Co. and by other local firms. When completed four months later, a city-wide celebration was held and by the end of 1935, more than 200 people were employed in the new factory. The city continues to own the building and leases it to the Weinbrenner Company, where several hundred people continue to be employed making the specialized work shoes for which the company is famous.