Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

402 Main St.

National or State Register of Historic Places
402 Main St. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Adams County Courthouse
Reference Number:82000627
Location (Address):402 Main St.
Adams County Courthouse
402 Main Street, Friendship, Adams County
Date of construction: 1913-1914
Architect: Arthur Peabody

In 1911 and 1912, a bitter rivalry erupted between Friendship, the Adams County seat, and the Village of Adams when the Adams County Board adopted architectural plans for a new County Courthouse to be located in Friendship at the site of the original Adams Courthouse. Naturally, Friendship voters, excited for their own aesthetically pleasing landmark, approved the new plans overwhelmingly, while most Village of Adams voters did not. Nevertheless, voters narrowly approved the $30,000 bond issue. In 1914, the original two-story, wooden courthouse was replaced by a red brick Neoclassical building designed by Arthur Peabody, the Supervising Architect for University of Wisconsin. Peabody would later become Wisconsin's first State Architect.

Neoclassical architecture owes its sophistication to the influence of ancient Roman and Greek buildings. The Adams County Courthouse, though considerably simpler in plan and detail than most Neoclassical buildings, has trademark elements such as four colossal pilasters defining the central portico.

The courthouse, which is surrounded by a large lawn in the middle of the commercial district, serves as Friendship's center. Throughout its history, the courthouse lawn has hosted everything from basketball and Friday night ice cream socials to Civil War troops on their way to Camp Randall in Madison.

The courthouse is open during normal business hours.

Period of Significance:1900-1924
Area of Significance:Architecture
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Historic Use:Government: Courthouse
Architectural Style:Classical Revival
Architectural Style:Other
Resource Type:Building
Architect:Peabody, Arthur
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:03/09/1982
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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