Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

Washington Ave. and W. 3rd St.

National or State Register of Historic Places
Washington Ave. and W. 3rd St. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Washburn Public Library
Reference Number:84003621
Location (Address):Washington Ave. and W. 3rd St.
Washburn Free Public Library
Corner of Washington Avenue and Third Street W., Washburn, Bayfield County
Architect: Henry Wildhagen
Date of Construction: 1904

Washburn's first reading room and library was organized in 1891 and shortly thereafter moved into the new city hall. Throughout the next decade the city grew and expanded. Likewise, the library collection soon outgrew its existing space and funds were requested from the Carnegie Foundation for a new building. Construction on the new, larger library building began in 1904. Northern Wisconsin master architect Henry Wildhagen, best known for his school designs, was given the commission.

Wildhagen designed the library in the Neo-Classical style, setting the building on a raised basement of coursed, rock-faced brownstone, which was one of the region's major industrial products. Tall Ionic columns support the projecting front entry portico. The triple windows on each side are joined by a continuous sill creating symmetry of design that is reinforced by the paired brick chimneys on both the north and south ends of the building.

The main floor plan follows a typical Carnegie library design. A vestibule serves as an entrance into the main level with a central circulation desk that separates the adult and children's reading rooms. A pair of dog-leg stairs descends to the basement where there is a large meeting room that occupies the center.

The library is still in operation and is open during regular hours.

Period of Significance:1900-1924
Area of Significance:Architecture
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Historic Use:Education: Library
Architectural Style:Classical Revival
Resource Type:Building
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:03/01/1984
State Register Listing Date:01/01/1989
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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