Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

207 West Blackhawk Avenue

National or State Register of Historic Places
207 West Blackhawk Avenue | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Prairie du Chien City Hall
Reference Number:02001186
Location (Address):207 West Blackhawk Avenue
City/Village:Prairie du Chien
Prairie du Chien City Hall
207 West Blackhawk Avenue, Prairie du Chien, Crawford County
Date of construction: 1894

For over 100 years this building was the seat of Prairie du Chien city government. Built as an all-purpose municipal building, for many years it housed the mayor's office, and the police and fire departments. At one time, the western half of the building held a fire truck, with a jail cell at the back. In 1912 the city created the first public library in space shared with the city council on the east side of the building.

Like many small communities, Prairie du Chien outfitted its city hall with a large public auditorium, in response to public demand for wholesome and cultured entertainment. This second floor hall was the location of annual balls and of performances by visiting troupes. It was popularly known as the Grand Opera House and the City Opera House. The current building rests on the foundation of the old Opera House, constructed about 1870 and destroyed by fire in 1893. The speedy replacement of the popular entertainment hall indicates the community┬┐s support for such a public facility and the need to provide a location for visiting performers. In 1929, the city leased the upstairs hall to the American Legion. The Legion held its meetings in the building and hosted roller-skating and dancing in the hall through the 1950s.

The building's long use and changing civic functions resulted in alterations, including the filling of the upper floor windows with glass block and changes to the ground floor. Originally, a decorative, open belfry capped the building. With the move of city offices from the building in 2002/2003, a restoration and adaptive reuse of the building as hotel and retail space is anticipated. Because of the repair work, the building is currently not open to the public.

Period of Significance:1894-1952
Area of Significance:Entertainment/Recreation
Area of Significance:Politics/Government
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Applicable Criteria:Event
Historic Use:Government: City Hall
Architectural Style:Late Victorian
Resource Type:Building
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:10/16/2002
State Register Listing Date:07/19/2002
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

How to Cite

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:

National Register of Historic Places Citation
National Register of Historic Places, "Historic Name", "Town", "County", "State", "Reference Number".

Have Questions?

If you didn't find the National Register listing you were looking for or have other questions about the National Register, please email us and we can help: