Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

305 S. Main St.

National or State Register of Historic Places
305 S. Main St. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Jefferson Public Library
Reference Number:80000142
Location (Address):305 S. Main St.
Jefferson Public Library
305 South Main Street, Jefferson, Jefferson County
Architect: Claude & Starck
Date of Construction: 1911

The Jefferson Public Library is a Carnegie funded library located at the southern edge of the commercial district on land donated by the Jefferson Promoters Club. The building is a distinguished and unique example of the progressive spirit in midwestern architecture. The regionally known Madison firm, Claude & Starck, was chosen for the artistic merit shown in their many small library designs. They designed the building in a clearly defined Prairie School tradition.

The horizontal lines of the low-pitched gable roof with its broad overhangs and the groups of ribbon windows on each gable end dominate the overall composition. . The symmetrical fa├žade has a projecting entrance pavilion with a similar low pitched gable roof. Surrounding entablatures and end pilasters frame the entrance and each corner of the building.

The library has a typical Carnegie plan with a reading room on the main level and community spaces provided for public lectures and meetings in the basement. Tall windows with transoms containing geometric patterned glass are found in the reading room. There are also horizontal bands of windows above the book stacks to allow additional light into the building. The first floor is raised above grade to enable natural light into the basement through windows.

The library is now being used as office space for the Council for Performance Arts 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:Prairie School
Resource Type:Building
Architect:Starck,Edward E.
Architect:Claude,Louis W.
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:01/17/1980
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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