Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

651 West Doty Street

National or State Register of Historic Places
651 West Doty Street | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:American Tobacco Warehouses Complex
Reference Number:03000580
Location (Address):651 West Doty Street
American Tobacco Company Warehouses Complex
641-651 West Doty Street, Madison, Dane County
Built: 1899-1901
Architect: Claude and Starck

In the second half of the 19th century, Wisconsin saw a boom in its tobacco production and tobacco-related industries. Dane County was the largest producer of tobacco in the state until the 1940s, and the American Tobacco Company Warehouses in Madison remain a testament to that industry.

Built from 1899 to 1901, the complex consisted of two cream brick warehouses, located along the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad lines. This was the perfect location to receive shipments of tobacco leaves from outlying agricultural regions. In the warehouses, the leaves, which were mostly used for cigar wrappings, were sorted by size and stored until sold.

As the 20th century progressed, the popularity of cigars waned in favor of cigarettes, for which Wisconsin tobacco was not well suited. In 1919, the American Tobacco Company sold their warehouses to another tobacco firm, the P. Lorrillard Company, which remarkably continued to use the buildings for sorting and storing tobacco long after similar companies in Madison had ceased production.

Not only are these warehouses significant as reminders of an important industrial age in the county, they also were designed in part by the architectural firm of Claude and Starck, Madison’s most prominent firm in the first two decades of the 20th century. Shortly after this property’s nomination to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003, the American Tobacco Company Warehouses were converted into apartments called the Tobacco Lofts.

The buildings are now used as private residences. Please respect the rights and privacy of the residents.

Period of Significance:1899-1939
Area of Significance:Industry
Applicable Criteria:Event
Historic Use:Commerce/Trade: Warehouse
Architectural Style:Late 19th And Early 20th Century American Movements
Resource Type:Building
Architect:Claude & Starck
Architect:McCarthy, Timothy (builder)
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:06/26/2003
State Register Listing Date:04/11/2003
Number of Contributing Buildings:2
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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