Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

233 N BROADWAY

Architecture and History Inventory
233 N BROADWAY | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:C.A. Lawton Company
Other Name:Lawton Foundry Townhouses
Contributing:
Reference Number:1805
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):233 N BROADWAY
County:Brown
City:De Pere
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1879
Additions: 1906 1918
Survey Date:1989
Historic Use:industrial building
Architectural Style:Italianate
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Lawton, C. A., Company
National Register Listing Date:1/30/1992 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:11/25/1991 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 State Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation.

"F" roll negatives filed with Fox River Valley Survey Project.
Additional photo code: FCS 10/20.
Related Buildings: office.

LARGE MANUFACTURING COMPLEX W/LONG CENTRAL BLDG W/RAISED MIDDLE GABLE. SEGMENTAL ARCH WINDOWS ON ONE-STORY SHED ROOF AREAS ALONG SIDES. LAWTON PATENTED THE BRAN DRESSER MACHINE.

Lawton Manufacturing is a two-story utilitarian industrial building, a shallow-gabled, clerestoried brick rectangle abutted by other structures of a factory complex. The right wing of FCS 10/20 is flush with the facade of a brick building with a sawtooth roof. Its rear wall is obscured by an uphill building. Its west, trackside facade, reinforced by a horizontal cleat braced by pipes, has two square, paneled attic windows set above and between three stone-silled, metal-framed second-story windows. The three windows in the left wing of the ground story are covered by wood and metal panels. A large square at center has a beam lintel and metals doors. The three openings in the right wing are a metal-paneled window, a stone-silled, metal framed window at center, and a recessed right door. The roof over the first two, left bays of the north sidewall has raised to accommodate an overhead door. The other dozen sidewall windows are covered with wood or corrugated fiberglass panels. Fiberglass panels cover the clerestory. Along the ridge of the roof are evenly-spaced metal ventilators and a rear ladder to the uphill, roadside building.

HAER INVENTORY (07/1979):
Charles A. Lawton and his uncle, E.W. Arndt started their general machine shop in 1879, as a partnership under the name of the Novelty Mfg. Co. This shop was designed to service the many small manufacturing plants in De Pere. Founder Lawton headed the company for thirty-eight years until his death in 1917. It was then taken over by his son, Edward, and then his grandson, Charles II. The company was incorporated in 1893, and expanded in 1918.

One of the first items manufactured was a patented machine called the "Bran Dresser"--invented by Charles I, which separated bran from flour after it was ground. It was quite successful, but only until 1881 when a new milling process, Steven's Roller Mill, revolutionized flour milling. The De Pere firm then started making the Steven's machine. They took out out a loan at Jone's Bank, the bank folded, and Lawtons sold everything to pay their debts. Charles II then borrowed machinery and started again in a new building built adjacent to and including the old one. The main building, built before 1945, stands 360' x 250' and is in complete working order. The original buildings are made of brick with a mixture of segmental arch and flat-type windows. The roofs vary from gable, saw-toothed, and shed type.
Bibliographic References:(A.) Take a Walk on Main Street: Historic Walking Tours in Wisconsin's Main Street Communities, Wisconsin Main Street Program, 1998. (B.) The Wisconsin Magazine, Special Green Bay number, 1951.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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