Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

400 MAIN ST

Architecture and History Inventory
400 MAIN ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:Park Store (1903) Doerflinger's Department Store (1907)
Other Name:Feminine Fancies
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:35001
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):400 MAIN ST
County:La Crosse
City:La Crosse
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1903
Additions:
Survey Date:1996
Historic Use:department store
Architectural Style:Commercial Vernacular
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:Schick and Roth
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: La Crosse Commercial Historic District
National Register Listing Date:9/2/1994 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:10/8/1993 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 Wisconsin Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office. The WHS holds a covenant on this building until 2/14/2019. Simplified bracketed cornice on west and north facades with row of brick dentils and belt course beneath the cornice; brick elevations divided by recessed panels with groups of three windows in the second and third stories and outlined with brick tracery and classical mouldings; transom windows of clouded glass above the store fronts on the west and north facades; the glass in the store fronts appear to have been altered fron the original.

Exhibiting the simplicity of decoration chracteristic of the early 20th century, the Doerflinger Store is architecturally significant as the first modern commercial store in the City and important as an example of the work of the lcoal architects, Schick and Roth.

In 1893, Doerflinger is a "dry-goods dealer" at 109-113 South Fourth (a hotel/saloon that is not extant). By 1897, he has built the first Park Store at 400 Main. This property burned and in 1903 the present building was erected. It, too, was originally called the Park Store, but by 1907 is called Doerflinger's Department Store. This was the first of a new style of "modern" commercial buildings. The ground floor has very large glass display windows with no significant supports visible. Above the display windows was a narrow band of windows with frosted glass to provide indirect light inside, a feature used in the 1880s and 1890s. The forth floor has smaller windows and seems shorter, a device to make the building seem taller.

Hugo Schick was trained in Europe and used various decorative styles based on historic sources for his other buildings. His partner, Andrew Roth, had no formal training in architecture. Neither man was trained to design this kind of building, so its origin is something of a mystery.
Bibliographic References:(A) Dr. L. Crocker, "A Report on Some Historical Structures in the Downtown Area, La Crosse, WI", 1977. (B) La Crosse City Directory, 1893-1907. (C) Sanborn-Perris Maps, City of La Crosse, 1891, 1906, 1938. LACROSSE TRIBUNE 9/14/1996. LaCrosse Tribune 4/15/2002. Crocker, Leslie. La Crosse Buildings through Time. La Crosse: La Crosse Public Library Archives Department, 2015.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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