Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

1010 S 8TH ST

Architecture and History Inventory
1010 S 8TH ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:MANITOWOC COUNTY COURTHOUSE
Other Name:MANITOWOC COUNTY COURTHOUSE
Contributing:
Reference Number:16252
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):1010 S 8TH ST
County:Manitowoc
City:Manitowoc
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1906
Additions:
Survey Date:1985
Historic Use:courthouse
Architectural Style:Beaux Arts
Structural System:
Wall Material:Stone - Unspecified
Architect:CHRISTOPHER TEGEN
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Manitowoc County Courthouse
National Register Listing Date:4/16/1981 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
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 Wisconsin Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation. ORIGINALLY HAD A GLASS DOME; IT WAS SHEATHED WITH STAINLESS STEEL IN 1950 AFTER A HAILSTORM. THE INTERIOR OF THE COURTHOUSE HAS BEEN RESTORED. INTACT ROMAN IONIC PAVILIONS ON ALL SIDES; DOME ON SQUARE BASE.

Site file at IDG's desk

THE MANITOWOC COUNTY COURTHOUSE WAS BUILT IN 1906 TO REPLACED THE OUTDATED 1857 COURTHOUSE. IT WAS DESIGNED BY LOCAL ARCHITECT CHRIST H. TEGEN IN THE BEAUX ARTS STYLE AND STANDS OUT TODAY AS UNDOUBTEDLY THE MOST ELABORATE OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS IN THE CITY.

Around the turn of the century, reformers in many American cities tried to make municipal government more honest, efficient, and businesslike. This Progressive Era movement not only changed the way many local governments operated, but also left a distinctive mark on America’s urban landscape in the form of “City Beautiful” design. The idea behind the City Beautiful was to plot out grand public spaces and build lavish public edifices that would visually express the civic virtues of democracy and rationality that urban reformers wanted to instill in government. The favored architectural style was Beaux-Arts Classicism, named for Paris’s renowned academy of design, the École des Beaux-Arts. The style called for the essential parts of a public building to be organized logically, either along a circulation spine or its cross-axes. Exterior treatment typically drew on classical vocabularies that Americans had associated with rationality, democracy, and civic virtue since the age of Thomas Jefferson. But Beaux-Arts Classicism was more lavish, fitting a period of prosperity and imperial ambition. It became especially popular after the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, where designers displayed the potential for reshaping whole cities according to Beaux-Arts principles.

In Manitowoc, architect Christ Tegen drew plans for a three-story county courthouse in this fashion, constructed of Indiana limestone and resting on a raised foundation of red sandstone. Strong horizontal rustication defines both the basement and the ground floor. Arcaded entries grace each of three principal elevations, where a two-story Ionic colonnade, supported by oversized console brackets, forms a balcony. The columns support a simple entablature, crowned by a paneled parapet. A tall copper dome terminates with a small lantern.
Tegen, a locally prominent architect, studied at the Polytechnic School in his native city of Hamburg, Germany. He later designed the Oneida County Courthouse in Rhinelander, which is similar to this little gem in Manitowoc.
Bibliographic References:(A) ARCHITECTURAL AND HISTORICAL WALKING TOUR OF DOWNTOWN MANITOWOC, MANITOWOC COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 1988. (B) STORY OF A CENTURY, P. 14. (C) FALGE, LOUIS H., HISTORY OF MANITOWOC COUNTY, VOL. II, P. 98. Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter 5/14/2004. Valders Journal 5/27/2004. Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter 3/24/1999. Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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