Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

1300 1st Avenue

National or State Register of Historic Places
1300 1st Avenue | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Eau Claire Vocational School
Reference Number:14000917
Location (Address):1300 1st Avenue
County:Eau Claire
City/Village:Eau Claire
Eau Claire Vocational School
1300 1st Avenue, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Date of Construction: 1891/Remodeled: 1941
Architect: R.C. Melby

What three-story Eau Claire building housed companies that manufactured trunks, dress suit cases, telescope cases (1901-1918), phonographs (1918-1919), served as a warehouse (1920s and 1930s), and was then transformed by the National Youth Administration in 1941? Answer: the Eau Claire Vocational School located at 1300 1st Avenue. This manufacturing building was remodeled prior to World War II with National Youth Administration (NYA) funding into a school which served the City of Eau Claire and the surrounding region, providing vocational education until 1967.

The National Youth Administration is one of the lesser known New Deal programs and in Eau Claire, it provided vocational and technical training - from machine shop and diesel engineering for young women during World War II to barber classes after the War for young men. This school is unique in the history of vocational training in that it was inclusive of young women. The 1950s witnessed men and women studying a variety of vocational-technical educational subjects from business English and radio and television repair, to automated processors (predecessors to today's computers) in response to Russian technological advances symbolized by the Sputnik space program.

By 1967, the Vocational School had outgrown its space in the building and moved to West Claremont, and became what is known today as Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC). Subsequently, the city of Eau Claire's Parks and Recreation Department occupied the building until recently.

Listing in the National Register of Historic Places recognizes this property’s direct link with the vocational movement in Wisconsin, with Eau Claire's vocational education system (one of the state's earliest), and with Depression-era vocational education in Wisconsin and the National Youth Administration (NYA), one of President Roosevelt's Depression relief agencies.

Period of Significance:1942-1967
Area of Significance:Education
Applicable Criteria:Event
Historic Use:Education: School
Architectural Style:Late 19th And Early 20th Century American Movements
Resource Type:Building
Architect:R. C. Melby
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
National Register Listing Date:11/12/2014
State Register Listing Date:08/15/2014
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

How to Cite

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:

National Register of Historic Places Citation
National Register of Historic Places, "Historic Name", "Town", "County", "State", "Reference Number".

Have Questions?

If you didn't find the National Register listing you were looking for or have other questions about the National Register, please email us and we can help: