Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

102 E WALWORTH ST

Architecture and History Inventory
102 E WALWORTH ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:Elkhorn Post Office
Other Name:U.S. POST OFFICE
Contributing:
Reference Number:10189
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):102 E WALWORTH ST
County:Walworth
City:Elkhorn
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1936
Additions:
Survey Date:1991
Historic Use:post office
Architectural Style:Art Moderne
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:LOUIS A. SIMON
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Elkhorn Post Office
National Register Listing Date:10/24/2000 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the State Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation.

The photo codes 10/0-9 are prefixed by the letters "PO."

Description:

This building is an example of the late Art Moderne style. The plan is rectangular with the public entrance/lobby on the Walworth Street face. The elevation is organized symmetrically about the entry doors. The building is constructed of tan brick with limestone window sills and trim. The roof is flat. The entrance is highlighted with slightly curved limestone panels that extend the full height of the building. New aluminum storms have been added over the original wood double hung windows. The windows are set in recessed panels and have a twelve-over-twelve a or nine-over-nine pane configuration. The entry stairs are granite with limestone sides. The building cornerstone notes: "Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury, James A. Farley, Postmaster General, Louis A. Simon, Supervising Architect, Neal A. Melick, Supervising Engineer, 1936."

The interior has the original tile floors and wainscot. The walls and ceiling are plaster. The original wood trim and vestibule remain although an aluminum window wall has been added to separate the Post Office boxes from the counter service area. A mural signed "Tom Rost 1938" is located on one end of the lobby. The building, which is in good condition, is situated on Elkhorn's Main Street in the downtown business district.

Architectural/Engineering Significance:

The Elkhorn and Berlin Post Offices are identical with the exception that all the windows in Elkhorn are original to the building. The original light standards at the front entry have been removed and replaced with modern fixtures.

Historical Background:

This building is the first federally owned Post Office in Elkhorn. It was originally occupied in June of 1937. Prior to construction of this building, postal services were conducted in various locations selected by a series of local postmasters.

This Post Office was one of several constructed in Wisconsin by the federal Public Works Administration in the 1930s. There is a mural in the lobby of the building painted by Tom Rost as part of the WPA artists program.

The Post Office contains a mural by Tom Lee Rost depicting postal delivery by horseback. Rost was from Richmond, Indiana and was principally a watercolorist. He was born on February 14, 1909. From 1926 to 1930, he attended Milwaukee State Teacher's College, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He worked as an apprentice for an interior decorator and clerked in drug stores while in school and after. In October of 1934, he was appointed government artist and was stationed at the CCC camp named Camp Honey Creek in West Allis Wisconsin to record camp life and held that position until April of 1935. At the time he painted the Elkhorn mural, he was a political cartoonist for the Milwuakee Journal. (Building was originally occupied 6/1937).
Bibliographic References:A. Box 3, MSS #1, U.S. WPS - Federal Art Project - Wisconsin Archives, SHSW. B. "Elkhorn Independent," 14 July 1936 p. 1. C. Ibid, 9 July 1936. D. Ibid, 30 July 1936 P. 1. E. Ibid, 28 May 1936. F. Ibid, 15 October 1936, P. 1. G. Ibid, 31 December 1936, P. 1. H. Ibid, 1 February 1937. I. Ibid, 1 April 1937. J. Ibid, 22 July 1937, P. 1. K. Date of construction source: Building Cornerstone.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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