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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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3005 N Main (Mead and Hunt photo, 2006)

465 Melvin Avenue (Mead and Hunt photo, 2006)

460 Melvin Avenue (Mead and Hunt photo, 2006)

456 Melvin Avenue (Mead and Hunt photo, 2006)

Melvin Avenue Residential Historic District
Melvin Avenue generally bounded by Erie Street and North Main Street, Racine, Racine County
Dates of construction of contributing buildings: 1924-1941

Situated north of the downtown in a residential area of Racine, the Melvin Avenue Residential Historic District contains houses reflecting a range of residential architectural styles popular during its period of development between 1924 and 1944. The district conveys a sense of historical and architectural cohesiveness through its high style architectural designs of 32 modest size homes, which distinguish it from other residential areas within the city.

The fall of Racine County’s agricultural industry, accompanied by the upgrading and consolidation of rural schools, the installation of electricity and telephones, the proliferation of automobiles, and the resulting improvement of roads led to further expansion into rural areas through the 1920s. Areas on the outer fringes of the city became suburban enclaves to the city's more prosperous residents. In the residential area north of downtown, these houses were concentrated along Melvin Avenue, an area which became one of Racine's premiere residential neighborhoods. Contextually, the development of the district relates to the economic and subsequent housing booms that affected the city in the 1920s and 1940s. Representative of the prevailing architectural styles of the times, Bungalow and Period Revival styles such as Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival, Dutch Colonial Revival, and Spanish Colonial Revival, are prominent within the district. One of the Tudor Revival homes was based on a 1929 publication by Popular Mechanics Magazine entitled "16 Selected Bungalows for Lean Purses."

The residences within the Melvin Avenue Residential Historic District are well preserved and have much the same appearance today as they would have years ago. The result is now one of Racine's most architecturally intact historic residential areas.

The district's houses are private residences. Please respect the rights and privacy of the residents.


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