Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

2219 South Avenue

National or State Register of Historic Places
2219 South Avenue | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:La Crosse Armory
Reference Number:16000206
Location (Address):2219 South Avenue
County:La Crosse
City/Village:La Crosse
La Crosse Armory
2219 South Avenue, La Crosse, La Crosse County
Date of Construction: 1902
Architect: C.F. Struck

The La Crosse Armory is a two-story brick Romanesque Revival style building that was designed by local architect C.F. Struck and constructed in 1902 as the stables for the John Gund Brewing Company. In 1921, the John Gund Brewing Company leased the stable building to the Wisconsin Army National Guard which used it as an armory and occupied the building until 1960.

The armory itself is comprised of red brick laid in a variation on English Garden Wall Bond, with five rows of stretchers to one row of headers. The primary façade features stepped parapet walls at the corners and the central bay, a feature repeated on the other sides of the building. Large segmentally arched window openings dominate the first story of the primary façade; the remaining window openings are rectangular with segmental, radiating, arched brick tops. Other decorative details include brick corbeling along the roofline, a limestone water table, limestone keystones, brick and limestone voussoirs, and limestone dripstones, window sills, lintels, and belt courses.

The La Crosse Armory is significant for its 40 year history with the Wisconsin Army National Guard and reflects the era after World War I when the role of the National Guard became increasingly important in national defense. The National Guard was established as an equivalent to a state militia, ensuring a cadre of regular and trained citizen-soldiers who were available and could be mobilized quickly in national emergencies. The Wisconsin Army National Guard moved into the building in 1921, when nationally, National Guard armories were being established in urban areas. National Guard units stationed at the La Crosse Armory served in World War 1 (prior to occupying the Armory), World War II, the Korean War and other conflicts. The Armory was also a gathering place for the community hosting both military and non-military activities including balls, National Defense programs, shooting contests, food and clothing drives, holiday parcel post, and other recreational activities. The National Guard remained until 1960 when they moved to a purpose-built Armory in Onalaska, Wisconsin. The current plans are for the building to be rehabilitated for housing.

Period of Significance:1921-1960
Area of Significance:Military
Applicable Criteria:Event
Historic Use:Defense: Arms Storage
Architectural Style:Romanesque
Resource Type:Building
Architect:C.F. Struck
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
National Register Listing Date:04/22/2016
State Register Listing Date:02/19/2016
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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