Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

100 N KANE ST

Architecture and History Inventory
100 N KANE ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:BURLINGTON UNION SCHOOL
Other Name:LINCOLN SCHOOL
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:10636
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):100 N KANE ST
County:Racine
City:Burlington
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1859
Additions:
Survey Date:19752011
Historic Use:elementary, middle, jr.high, or high
Architectural Style:Georgian Revival
Structural System:
Wall Material:Stucco
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Kane Street Historic District
National Register Listing Date:7/25/2014 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:11/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:DORIC ENTRY,ROMAN WINDOWS CLOSED FALL 1981*

The Burlington Union School District was formed in 1857 to operate the primary, intermediate, and Burlington’s first public high school. Classes were initially held at the non-extant Klingele Hall. The following year, classes were moved to the second floor of the Meinhardt Bank building at 189 E. Chestnut Street.

During the late 1850s, $4,000 was allocated to construct a schoolhouse at the corner of Kane and State Streets. William Johnson and Joseph Wackerman, Sr., were hired to construct the building. The first floor of the Burlington Union School was completed and utilized for classes in September of 1859. Initially, the three rooms on the first floor housed all grades. Enrollment grew quickly, and the primary grades were soon moved to the unfinished second floor.

In 1860, dissensions within the school board arose, leading to the existence of two separate boards, and ultimately caused the closing of the school until the spring of 1861. The Civil War provided an additional slowing of the school’s progress as many boys enlisted for service. In 1863, when the time came to graduate the school's first high school class, only one girl received her diploma, because most of the boys had enlisted in the Civil War. After several years of extremely small graduating classes, high school classes were abandoned between 1865 and 1872. Sometime during the mid-to-late-nineteen century, an addition was built on the east side of the school; however, it was removed by the beginning of the twentieth century. After the passage of the State Free High School Law in 1877, the Burlington Union School District was reorganized with the high school department separated into its own district, known as Burlington Union Free High School. Classes remained in the old school until 1895 when plans began for a new building capable of meeting both districts’ growing needs.

Following the opening of Conkey School in 1897, the old Burlington Union School was occupied by several commercial businesses. These included the Multiscope & Film Company, maker of the Al-Vista panoramic camera; the Security Lightning Rod Company; and Hugh Agner, manufacturer of gum and peanut slot machines and money changing machines.

In 1912, the former Burlington Union School was remodeled and renamed Lincoln School, in honor of the Abraham Lincoln. After interior and exterior renovations, the school reopened on the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birthday with a statue in the President’s honor constructed outside the school at the intersection of Kane and State Streets.
Bibliographic References:Preservation Racine, Inc., Spring 2009 Newsletter. General Files. On file at the Burlington Historical Society, Burlington, Wisconsin. Bur Spur of Wisconsin's Underground Railroad brochure.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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