Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
209-211 S CENTRAL AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:
Other Name:Better Hearing Aids, Inc.
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:28203
Location (Address):209-211 S CENTRAL AVE
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:
Survey Date:1990
Historic Use:bank/financial institution
Architectural Style:Art Deco
Structural System:
Wall Material:Stone Veneer
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Marshfield Central Avenue Historic District
National Register Listing Date:11/4/1993 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:7/9/1993 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:This two-story Art Moderne/Deco building is located in the 200 block of South Central Avenue. The upper story features a light brown sandstone veneer and sculptured metal relief panels above each of the six regularly spaced two over two double hung wood sash windows. The panels appear to have symbolic references, perhaps to various aspects of local history. This was a decorative treatment popular during the 1930s, especially in construction of government buildings. Sanborn Perris Insurance Maps from 1898 through 1946 show two buildings at this location, indicating that the present storefront was added, or this building completely rebuilt, after 1946. It may be, however, that the Sanborn maps are inaccurate, and that the remodeling was done when the Citizen's National Bank reorganized out of the American National Bank during the financially troubled 1930s. The panels depicting "Citizens" of Marshfield and the surrounding area would be more likely to date from that period than from the late 1940s.

Although the street level store front has been recently altered with the addition of a projecting pebble dash division between the first and second stories, the rose colored stone surrounding the full-length windows probably dates from the remodeling of the second story.

This property is a contributing member of the Marshfield Central Avenue Historic District under Criterion C of the National Register of Historic Places. It is representative of the Architecture Theme of the Wisconsin Cultural Resource Management Plan as an example of Commercial Vernacular architecture with Art Moderne details. The building's architectural integrity on the second story is high, while the first story alterations are reflective of continued use and changing stylistic preferences.

The Sanborn Perris Insurance map of 1891 states that the north half of this lot is to be a bank and will be built by January 1 of 1892. By 1898 the bank was constructed, and featured a heavy Richardsonian Romanesque arch on the main facade. It was occupied by the American National Bank, founded in 1891 as the German American Bank. At that time the address of the property was 205 South Central. In 1933 the American National Bank folded. The Citizens National Bank was formed in 1934, paid off the creditors of the American National Bank, and maintained the same location as the American National Bank. In 1971 Citizens National Bank moved to a new facility on south Chestnut Street (not surveyed).

A simple Commercial Vernacular building occupied the lot just south of the stone veneered Richardsonian Romanesque bank until the present building was constructed and included properties in its plans.

This property is a contributing member of the Marshfield Central Avenue Historic District under Criterion A of the National register of Historic Places. It is representative of the Commerce Theme of the Wisconsin Cultural Resource Management Plan as an example of a retail building providing goods and services.
Bibliographic References:(A) Sanborn Insurance Maps: Marshfield, Wisconsin - 1884, 1887, 1891, 1898, 1904, 1912, 1925, 1946. (B) Marshfield City Directories. (C) Historic Photograph of South Central Avenue, North Wood County Historical Society photograph collection, Marshfield, Wisconsin. (D) Marshfield News-Herald, 7 June, 1972. "Central Avenue, Marshfield Historic District Walking tour," Marshfield Historic Preservation Committee, ca. 2019
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".