Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

1020 1ST ST

Architecture and History Inventory
1020 1ST ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:Folding Furniture Works Building
Other Name:Lullabye Furniture Warehouse and Plywood Mill
Contributing:
Reference Number:93000666
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):1020 1ST ST
County:Portage
City:Stevens Point
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1919
Additions: 1931
Survey Date:2011
Historic Use:industrial building
Architectural Style:Astylistic Utilitarian Building
Structural System:
Wall Material:Clapboard
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Folding Furniture Works Building
National Register Listing Date:7/29/1993 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/15/1993 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. Locally designated landmark.

Built in 1919 but destroyed in a fire in 1931. Rebuilt as an enlarged replica of the original.

By the early twentieth century, the white pines near Stevens Point had been logged off, leaving vast swaths of cleared land or only hard-to-sell hardwood trees. To create a market for their own hardwoods, the Worzalla brothers, who owned large tracts of cutover land between Stevens Point and Wausau, decided to make furniture. In 1917 John Worzalla founded a furniture-making company, specializing in baby cribs and folding children’s swings, which he patented. Two years later, he built a factory in Stevens Point, at the edge of the city’s main commercial district.

In 1931, in the midst of the Depression, fire destroyed the Folding Furniture Works. But John Worzalla paid his own factory workers to erect a new, larger Folding Furniture Works on the same site. The long, narrow vernacular building looks more like a New England textile mill of the early nineteenth century than an industrial structure from the early twentieth. By 1931, fireproof masonry had long been the norm for factory construction, but Worzalla’s insurance covered only about 60 percent of the investment lost in the fire, so his workers clad its walls with narrow clapboards. Along each of the factory’s three stories, rectangular windows admit natural light onto the shop floors and create a rhythmic pattern of voids. Each window is filled with an unusual pane, in which the upper sash is filled with four smaller lights over four long ones. On the east side of the building, a one-story hipped porch supported by rectangular posts shelters two entry doors, which flank a central window.

In 1961, the factory closed for good, and the local Lullabye Furniture Company purchased the structure for use as a warehouse. More recently, it has been rehabilitated for apartments.
Bibliographic References:Date of construction: Daily Journal, 1/18/31 Income Producing Tax Credit Project - 1992 Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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