Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

445-447 West Wilson Street

National or State Register of Historic Places
445-447 West Wilson Street | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Dowling Apartment Building
Reference Number:02001127
Location (Address):445-447 West Wilson Street
Dowling Apartment Building
445-447 West Wilson Street, Madison, Dane County
Architect: Philip Dean, alterations by Flad and Moulton
Dates of Construction: 1922, 1931

The Dowling Apartment Building is an example of the early twentieth century apartment block. It was built for William and Margaret Dowling, who lived in a three bedroom apartment on the building's first floor. The Dowlings maintained a high social standing and economic status in the community. William Dowling worked for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad and later opened a shoe store on the Capitol Square. Margaret Dowling made important contributions to the community through her work in civic associations. Mrs. Dowling was very active in Catholic and public charity work in the city of Madison. She also served on various statewide citizens' committees, appointed to these positions by the governor and the mayor.

Architect Philip Dean created the original design. The building is rectangular in plan. The entrance portal exhibits a stone surround with paneled pilasters and an entablature enriched with simple moldings. The frieze reads "DOWLING." Both the east and west facades have a recessed central section that is flanked by projecting end pavilions. After the death of William Dowling in 1931, the building was remodeled into eleven dwelling units, crating an efficiency apartment from an earlier garage and janitor's office. The well-known local firm of Flad & Moulton, now Flad & Associates, designed the remodel.

The Dowling reflects the growing popularity of urban luxury apartments in early 20th century cities. Apartment living appealed to an upper class clientele seeking urban living without the expense and labor of maintaining a private dwelling. Although each model is different, all but the efficiency feature a fireplace, craftsman style woodwork, built-in kitchen cupboards and dining room bookcases. Each apartment has a laundry and trash chute for convenience.

The apartments in this building are private residences. Please respect the rights of the residents.

Period of Significance:1922-19521922-1931
Area of Significance:Architecture
Area of Significance:Social History
Applicable Criteria:Person
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Historic Use:Domestic: Multiple Dwelling
Architectural Style:Late 19th And Early 20th Century American Movements
Resource Type:Building
Architect:Dean, Philip
Architect:Flad and Moulton
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:10/07/2002
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

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