Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

2-28 S Barstow St, 206-316 Eau Claire St (north side), 8 S Farwell St

National or State Register of Historic Places
2-28 S Barstow St, 206-316 Eau Claire St (north side), 8 S Farwell St | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Confluence Commercial Historic District
Reference Number:07001047
Location (Address):2-28 S Barstow St, 206-316 Eau Claire St (north side), 8 S Farwell St
County:Eau Claire
City/Village:Eau Claire
Confluence Commercial Historic District
Portions of Barstow, Eau Claire and Farwell streets
Eau Claire, Eau Claire County
Dates of Construction of contributing buildings: 1861-1936

This commercial area is centered on the first block of Barstow Street south and east of the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers, the historic point of origin of the City of Eau Claire. It is a concentrated area in the downtown business core that represents a variety of commercial functions associated with a regional population center transitioning from the early settlement period of the late-19th century to economic maturity in the early-20th century. The original developers of this area were a mix of business and trades people, including such notables as businessman David Drummond, builder Henry Laycock, and hotelier Matthias Kneer. The pre-eminence of this downtown district as a business and cultural center continued well into the late-20th century.

French voyageurs had identified the "clear water" of the Eau Claire River in the pre-settlement period. A French-Canadian fur trapper established a habitation site directly across from the current District on the west bank of the Chippewa River in the 1830s. As immigrants flowed into the Chippewa Valley in the 1850s and 1860s, steamboats landed in this area and later, in the 1870s, several rail lines were extended into this district that was recognized as the heart of commercial activity. In later years, three vehicular bridges connected the south and north banks of the Eau Claire River just upstream from the confluence of the rivers.

The buildings in the area reflect their varied periods of construction. The most impressive building in the district is the Romanesque Revival style Drummond-Cameron Building (1893), featuring a grandiose three-story tower overlooking the intersection of Barstow and Eau Claire Street, a highly visible corner in the center of the district. Other significant buildings are the terra-cotta faced Gothic Revival style Kline's Department Store (1925) at 8 South Barstow and the Art Deco style State Theatre (1925) at 312 Eau Claire.

Most of the buildings are open during normal business hours.

Period of Significance:1881-1957
Area of Significance:Architecture
Area of Significance:Commerce
Area of Significance:Entertainment/Recreation
Applicable Criteria:Event
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Historic Use:Domestic: Hotel
Historic Use:Commerce/Trade: Financial Institution
Historic Use:Commerce/Trade: Specialty Store
Historic Use:Commerce/Trade: Department Store
Historic Use:Commerce/Trade: Warehouse
Historic Use:Recreation And Culture: Theater
Architectural Style:Romanesque
Architectural Style:Italianate
Architectural Style:Art Deco
Resource Type:District
Architect:Liebenberg, Jack & Kaplan, Seeman
Architect:Pear, Charles
Architect:Nason, Joseph E
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:10/03/2007
State Register Listing Date:01/19/2007
Number of Contributing Buildings:13
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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