Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

104 E. Perkins St.

National or State Register of Historic Places
104 E. Perkins St. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Medford Free Public Library
Reference Number:93000259
Location (Address):104 E. Perkins St.
Medford Free Public Library
104 East Perkins Street, Medford, Taylor County
Architect: Hans T. Liebert
Date of Construction: 1916

As with many towns, Medford women's groups focused on events and activities leading to social betterment. The Medford Women's Club joined with the Women's Christian Temperance Union to organize the first library, opened at Temperance Hall in 1903. In 1913 the library board applied to the Carnegie Foundation for a grant to construct a library building. The Medford Woman's Alliance was organized to help furnish and maintain the new library.

Wausau architect Hans T. Liebert's design exemplifies Prairie School ideas. The wide overhang of a low hipped roof, beltcourse and ribbon windows give the building a ground-hugging appearance favored in Prairie design. Liebert also incorporated geometric patterns in the frieze windows and brick and tile motifs. The building's natural surroundings are echoed with colors of brown, yellow and green.

The one story, brick building is located in a mixed use area on the edge of the city┬┐s downtown. It has a prominent entrance on the exterior and a small, enclosed vestibule on the interior. The library has a typical Carnegie plan with a large rectangular reading room and centralized circulation desk. A portrait of Andrew Carnegie sits at the head of the basement stairway. The basement contains a one large room that was formerly used as a meeting hall for the Woman's Alliance meetings. It now operates as a children's library.

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

Period of Significance:1900-19241925-1949
Area of Significance:Architecture
Area of Significance:Education
Area of Significance:Social History
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Applicable Criteria:Event
Historic Use:Social: Meeting Hall
Historic Use:Education: Library
Architectural Style:Prairie School
Resource Type:Building
Architect:Liebert, Hans T.
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:04/01/1993
State Register Listing Date:01/15/1993
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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