Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

320 S 5TH AVE

Architecture and History Inventory
320 S 5TH AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Washington County Courthouse
Other Name:Washington County Historical Society
Reference Number:14657
Location (Address):320 S 5TH AVE
City:West Bend
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1889
Survey Date:1987
Historic Use:courthouse
Architectural Style:Richardsonian Romanesque
Structural System:
Wall Material:Cream Brick
Architect:EDWARD V. KOCH
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Washington County Courthouse and Jail
National Register Listing Date:3/9/1982 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:County Courthouses of Wisconsin Thematic Group
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 Wisconsin Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation.

Another map code for this building is WT 18/21, found on the Hand Drawn map.

This three and one half story building features a rectangular shaped plan configuration, a stone foundation, a cream brick exterior, a brick and stone trim and a tin shingled hip roof. Perhaps the most notable element of the structure is the massive central tower which rises eight stories in height, the top of which culminates into a dramatic pyrmidal roof. Large brackets, circular shaped vents, turrets, dormers, dentil trimmed cornices, and a balustraded railing further distinguish this tower. The rear of the building displays an open gable end whose embellishments include a parapet and a bank of narrow Romanesque arched windows. In fact, Romanesque arches distinguish the windows and door openings throughout the entire structure, with colossal Richardsonian Romanesque arches defining the main entrances. The cornice along the second story is lined with dentil trim, echoing that of the tower. A belt course is rendered in cut limestone and visually separates the first from the second stories. The water table, too, is comprised of cut stone.

The Washington County Courthouse functioned as office space (1987). Currently, it houses the Washington County Historical Society (2008).
Bibliographic References:ZIMMERMANN, RUSSELL "THE HERITAGE GUIDEBOOK" (HERITAGE BANKS 1976). FOND DU LAC REPORTER 10/9/1995. WEST BEND DAILY NEWS 12/16/1995. WEST BEND DAILY NEWS 1/23/1996. HARTFORD TIMES PRESS 8/29/1996. Washington County History and Driving Tours presented by the Washington County Landmarks Commission, 1999.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

Have Questions?

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

If you have an update, correction, or addition to a record, please include this in your message:

  • AHI number
  • Information to be added or changed
  • Source information

Note: When providing a historical fact, such as the story of a historic event or the name of an architect, be sure to list your sources. We will only create or update a property record if we can verify a submission is factual and accurate.

How to Cite

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

Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory Citation
Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, "Historic Name", "Town", "County", "State", "Reference Number".