Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
189 N CENTRAL AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Masonic Temple
Other Name:Blue HighwaysBuilding
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:27636
Location (Address):189 N CENTRAL AVE
City:Richland Center
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1920
Survey Date:1987
Historic Use:meeting hall
Architectural Style:Beaux Arts
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:Edward Tough
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Court Street Commercial Historic District
National Register Listing Date:11/13/1989 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
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-Public History.

Just as women were enabled to voice political ideas and promote solidarity, fraternal organizations allowed men to express political power, form business alliances, and foster middle-class cohesion. Among the most prestigious was the Free Masons, which in 1920 built the Masonic Temple (189 N. Central Ave.) in the Beaux-Arts Classical style, symbolizing civic order. Architect Edward Tough used stone moldings to divide the brick building into three zones, much like a classical column. The raised foundation forms the base, classical cantons and colossal Ionic columns divide the two-story shaft into bays, and a festooned name plate crowns the building. Most distinctive is the arched, stained-glass window extending from the top of the base almost to the full height of the building.
Bibliographic References:1. Margaret Scott, Richland Center: A History (Richland Center: Richland County Publishers, 1972), pp. 24, 33, 144, 185-86; Local History Room, Brewer Library (Richland Center, Mss. 498); C.W. Butterfield, History of Crawford and Richland Counties (Springfield: Union Publishing Company, 1884), p. 1179; Masonic Temple, 100 Years of Masonry in Richland Center: Program of the 100th Anniversary of the Granting of the Charter (Madison: Mss. Archives, SHSW, Madison). 2. Barbara Wyatt, Cultural Resource Management in Wisconsin (Madison: Historic Preservation Division, SHSW, 1986), vol. III, part 5, pp. 2-4; Joyce McKay, Architecture as Archaeological Artifact (Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1985). A. Richland (WI) Republican Observer, 3 March 1920, 25 March 1920. B. Ibid., 20 July 1922. C. Sanborn Insurance Maps, City of Richland Center (New York: Sanborn Map Company, 1927). D. Margaret Scott, Richland Center, Wisconsin, A History (Richland Center: Richland County Publishing, 1972), pp. 184-185. Richland Center observer 9/6/2001. E. Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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