Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

Lenawee Rd., S of jct. of Lenawee Rd. and WI 13

National or State Register of Historic Places
Lenawee Rd., S of jct. of Lenawee Rd. and WI 13 | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Herbster Community Center
Reference Number:97000888
Location (Address):Lenawee Rd., S of jct. of Lenawee Rd. and WI 13
One block south of STH 13 on Lenawee Road, Herbster, Bayfield County
Architect: Roland C. Buck
Date of construction: 1939

The Herbster Community Center was funded by the Work Progress Administration, a federal agency established in 1935 by President Roosevelt to provide employment for needy workers during the Great Depression. The WPA project at Herbster was developed to utilize local material and to employ local labor while achieving the final goal of erecting a building that could be used as a gymnasium and town hall. Today the center is considered one of the most impressive WPA projects in northern Wisconsin.

Architect Roland C. Buck of Superior, Wisconsin designed the building in the Rustic Style. Rustic architecture is characterized by rough work decoration creating an appearance reminiscent of pioneer log construction and compatible with the rural environment. Native timber, including balsam, spruce and red oak, cut from land owned by the school district, constitutes the majority of the building. The vertical and horizontal positioning of the logs creates a most extraordinary checkerboard appearance across the front fa├žade. The design of the building allows for a multiple uses, as a town hall, school gymnasium, and as a community center.

Approval for the community center was granted on May 13, 1939 and work on the project was started in October 1939. The center was completed in the spring of 1940 at the cost of $30,000. The project employed a crew ranging between 20 and 35 men. The large availability of labor in Herbster at the time was partially due to the decline of the lumber industry, which played an instrumental role in the formation of the town of Herbster.

The Hebster Community Center is a public building and is open to visitors.

Period of Significance:1939-1946
Area of Significance:Architecture
Area of Significance:Politics/Government
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Applicable Criteria:Event
Historic Use:Government: City Hall
Historic Use:Education: School
Architectural Style:Other
Resource Type:Building
Architect:Buck, Roland C.
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:08/15/1997
State Register Listing Date:04/22/1997
Number of Contributing Buildings:1
Number of Contributing Sites:0
Number of Contributing Structures:0
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:0
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:0
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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