Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

W4651 County Road J, Town of Plymouth, WI 53083

National or State Register of Historic Places
W4651 County Road J, Town of Plymouth, WI 53083 | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Lueder, Rudolph, 13-Sided Barn
Reference Number:16000768
Location (Address):W4651 County Road J, Town of Plymouth, WI 53083
Rudolph Lueder 13-Sided Barn
W4651 County Road J, Town of Plymouth, Sheboygan County
Builder: Adolph Suhrke
Date of Construction: 1916

Round barns are distinctive for many reasons; most obviously their round shape, but these barns also represent a period of experimentation in agriculture at the turn of the twentieth century. The centric shape is an exploration in efficiency.

Adolph Suhrke, along with a fourteen-man crew of carpenters and laborers, constructed the Lueder Barn over the course of two years, from 1915 to 1916. Most of the wood used in construction was obtained from oak, elm, and tamarack trees on the property. Boards and flooring were recycled from an existing dairy barn on the Lueder farm that was torn down simultaneous to the construction of the new 13-sided barn. In 1916, when the barn was completed, it incorporated a number of advanced twentieth-century building techniques including the incorporation of an air circulation system that would naturally pull cool air in from the base and draw it up to ventilate out the large cupola at the top. Another innovative design element is the thick, double-brick wall with an integrated airspace. This detail serves to insulate the lower level of the barn, making it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The geometry of the building is unique, with twelve equal sides, all roughly matching one another, and a thirteenth side, longer than the others, for use as the main upper level barn door. The scale itself is notable, with a roof spanning 85 feet and towering over 68 feet high with a large silo enclosed. The barn could hold 48 cows in stanchions in the lower level and enough hay and feed for all of them simultaneously.

The Rudolph Lueder 13-Sided Barn is a unique example of the polygonal barn type, maintains a high level of integrity, and incorporates rare attributes such as its scale, utilization of advanced building technologies, and its odd-numbered sides that make it remarkable compared to other local round barns in Wisconsin. Perhaps one of the most distinguishing features of the Lueder Barn is that it is one of the last centric barns in the state of Wisconsin that is still used for its original purpose as a dairy barn.

Centric barns are becoming rarer and are significant to the history of agricultural architecture in Wisconsin, especially in the context of vernacular round barn building traditions. This listing recognizes a unique period of Wisconsin’s agricultural heritage.

This property is private. Please respect the rights and privacy of the owners.

Period of Significance:1916
Area of Significance:Architecture
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Historic Use:Agriculture/Subsistence: Animal Facility
Architectural Style:Other
Resource Type:Building
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
National Register Listing Date:11/07/2016
State Register Listing Date:08/28/2015
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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