Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

109 N 1ST ST

Architecture and History Inventory
109 N 1ST ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:Park Falls Post Office
Other Name:U.S. Post Office
Contributing:
Reference Number:19131
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):109 N 1ST ST
County:Price
City:Park Falls
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1936
Additions:
Survey Date:1983
Historic Use:post office
Architectural Style:Neoclassical
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:JAMES WATROUSSIMON, LOUIS A. SUPERVISING ARCHITECT
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Park Falls 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' titled "Park Falls Post Office" 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. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

THE PHOTO CODES 21/12-24 ARE PREFIXED BY THE LETTERS "PO."

THE PUBLIC ENTRACE/LOBBY IS LOCATED ON THE FIRST STREET FACE. THE ELEVATION IS ORGANIZED SYMMETRICALLY ABOUT THE ENTRY. THE BUILDING IS THREE STORIES HIGH AND IS CONSTRUCTED OF RED BRICK WITH LIMESTONE TRIM. IT RESTS ON A LIMESTONE AND GRANITE FOUNDATION. THERE IS A LIMESTONE FACIA AND CORNICE THAT EXTEND AROUND THE PERIMETER OF THE BUILDING WITH "UNITED STATES POST OFICE" ENGRAVED ACROSSS IT. THER ARE TWO STORY LIMESTONE PILASERS ABOVE THE ENTRY DOORS COVERING THE SECOND AND THIRD STORES. THE WINDOWS ARE DOUBLE HUNG AND LARGER (15/15) ON THE FIRST LEVEL THAN THEY ARE ON THE SECOND AND THIRD LEVELS (8/8). THEY ARE NOT ORIGINAL. THE ENTRY STAIRS ARE GRANITE WITH LIMESTONE SIDES. THE 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 TARRAZZO FLOORS AND MARBLE WAINSCOT. THE WALLS AND CEILING ARE PLASTER. THE ORIGINAL WOOD TRIM AND VESTIBULE REMAIN. THERE IS A MURAL TITLED "FLAMBEAU RIVER FIGHT" AND IT IS SIGNED "JAMES WATROUS, 1938." THE BUILDING, WHICH IS IN GOOD CONDITION, IS LOCATED APPROXIMATELY ONE BLOCK OFF OF THE CITY'S MAIN STREET IN THE BUSINESS/COMMERCIAL DISTRICT.

ARCHITECTURAL/ENGINEERING SIGNIFICANCE:

THE POST OFFICE BUILDING IS THE TALLEST BUILDING IN THIS CITY OF 3,000 PEOPLE AND IS IN SHARP CONTRAST TO MOST OF THE OTHER BUILDINGS IN THE COMMUNITY.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:

THIS BUILDING, WHICH IS THE FIRST FEDERALLY-OWNED POST OFFICE IN PARK FALLS, WAS ORIGINALLY OCCUPIED IN JUNE OF 1937. PRIOR TO CONSTRUCTION OF THIS BUILDING, POSTAL SERVICES WERE CONDUCTED IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS SELECTED 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. THE PARK FALLS POST OFFICE WAS BUILT TO ALSO SERVE AS THE HEADQUARTERS FOR THE 850,000-ACRE CHEQUAMEGON NATIONAL FOREST. (SEE BIB. REF. B). THERE IS A MURAL IN THE LOBBY OF THE BUILDING PAINTED BY THOMAS WATROUS. WATROUS PAINTED A NUMBER OF W.P.A. MURALS INCLUDING THE ONE IN THE GRAND RAPIDS, MINNESOTA POST OFFICE. (SEE BIB. REF. C).
Bibliographic References:A. DATE OF CONSTRUCTION - BUILDING CORNERSTONE. B. INTERVIEW WITH MARY LOBERMEIR, U.S. FOREST SERVICE, CHEQUAMEGON NATIONAL FOREST. C. MARLING, KAROL ANN, "WALL-TO-WALL AMERICA: A CULTURAL HISTORY OF POST OFFICE MURALS IN THE GREAT DEPRESSION," MINNEAPOLIS, 1982. Take a Walk on Main Street: Historic Walking Tours in Wisconsin's Main Street Communities, Wisconsin Main Street Program, 1998.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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