Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

235 MAIN ST E

Architecture and History Inventory
235 MAIN ST E | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:US Post Office
Other Name:UNITED STATES POST OFFICE, MENOMONIE
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:44591
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):235 MAIN ST E
County:Dunn
City:Menomonie
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1913
Additions: 1914
Survey Date:1978
Historic Use:post office
Architectural Style:Neoclassical
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:OSCAR WENDEROTH
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Menomonie Downtown Historic District
National Register Listing Date:7/14/1986 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:DESCRIPTION OF GENERAL AREA: THE MENOMONIE POST OFFICE IS LOCATED AT THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF MAIN STREET AND 3RD STREET EAST IN THE CENTER OF THE CITY'S BUSINESS DISTRICT. MAIN STREET IS THE HISTORIC COMMERCIAL STREET IN MENOMONIE, AND TO THE SOUTH AND EAST OF THE POST OFFICE IS THE ORIGINAL CORE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN STOUT CAMPUS, WHILE TO THE IMMEDIATE WEST OF THE POSTAL FACILITY IS THE MABEL TAINTER MEMORIAL BUILDING. MANY OF THESE BUILDINGS, INCLUDING THE POST OFFICE, ARE PART OF THE MENOMONIE DOWNTOWN HISTORIC DISTRICT, WHICH CONSISTS OF 37 COMMERCIAL, EDUCATIONAL, AND PUBLIC/GOVERNMENTAL BUILDINGS THAT DATE FROM C. 1884 TO 1924. THE MENOMONIE POST OFFICE, CONSTRUCTED IN 1913, IS A CONTIRBUTING BUILDING WITHIN THE DISTRICT. THE POSTAL FACILITY WAS ORIGINALLY OCCUPIED IN JUNE OF 1915. GENERAL CONDITION OF PROPERTY: THE MENOMONIE POST OFFICE STANDS ON A FLAT CORNER LOT, AND BOTH THE BUILDING AND SITE ARE WELL MAINTAINED. THE SITE IS LANDSCAPED ALONG THE FRONT AND SIDES OF THE BUILDING WITH NARROW PATCHES OF GRASS; LOW SHRUBS GROW ALONG THE FRONT OF THE SIDES AND TWO TALL DECIDUOUS TREES FLANK THE FRONT ENTRANCE. THERE IS A BIRCH TREE AND A MEDIUM-SIZED SHRUB ADJACENT TO THE EAST WALL. BEHIND THE BUILDING TO THE NORTH IS A PAVED PARKING LOT. A ONE-STORY ADDITION OF ABOUT 4,650 SQUARE FEET WAS BUILT ON THE REAR OF THE POST OFFICE IN 1965. HACKNER, SCHROEDER & ASSOCIATES, LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN WERE THE ARCHITECTS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS ADDITION. AT THIS TIME THE WORKROOM WAS ENLARGED AND THE PUBLIC LOBBY EXPANDED TO THE OUTER EAST WALL. OTHER MODIFICATIONS UNDERTAKEN AT THE SAME TIME INCLUDED INSTALLING FLUORESCENT LIGHTS, REMODELING THE SCREENLINE, THE LOCK BOX AREA, AND THE ENTRANCE. THE LOBBY VESTIBULE WAS REPLACED AT AN UNKNOWN DATE. THIS ONE-STORY, STEEL-FRAMED BUILDING HAS ITS FOUNDATION, WALLS, PIERS, AND FLOORS CONSTRUCTED OF REINFORCED CONCRETETE. THE FOUNDATION IS FACED WITH WHITE STONE AND THE EXTERIOR WALLS ARE COVERED WITH DARK, RED SANDSTRUCK BRICK LAID IN RUNNING AMERICAN BOND. LIMESTONE IS USED AS A BELTCOURSE, IN THE CORNICE, FOR THE WINDOW SILLS, KEYSTONES, AND OTHER MINOR DECORATIVE ELEMENTS IN THE FACADE. THE HIPPED SECTION OF THE ROOF OVER THE FRONT OF THE BUILDING IS COVERED WITH STANDING SEAM METAL (TIN), WHILE THE REAR PART IS FLAT AND OF COMPOSITION CONSTRUCTION. THE PUBLIC LOBBY FEATURES A PATTERNED TERRAZZO FLOOR WITH A GREY MARBLE BORDER, A VERMONT ORIENTAL MARBLE BASE, PANELED WOOD WAINSCOT, PLASTER WALLS, AND SOME ORIGINAL LOCK BOXES. THE POSTMASTER'S DOOR IS SET WITHIN A LARGE SEMICIRCULAR ARCH WITH PILASTERS AND PENDANTS. THE POSTMASTER'S OFFICE HAS CARPETING, A WOOD BASE, A CHAIR RAIL, AND FLUORESCENT LIGHTS. AS ORIGINALLY CONSTRUCTED, THE PUBLIC LOBBY WAS DIVIDED INTO THREE BAYS, EACH WITH PILASTERS AND A VAULTED CEILING. WHEN THE POST OFFICE WAS ENLARGED IN 1965 THE EAST INTERIOR WALLS BETWEEN THE LOBBY AND THE WORKROOM WAS REMOVED THEREBY EXPANDING THE LOBBY'S SIZE. AT THE WEST END OF THE LOBBY IS THE POSTMASTER'S OFFICE AND A STAIRCASE TO THE BASEMENT WHICH ARE LOCATED BEHIND AN ARCHED OPENING WITH PILASTERS AND PENDANTS. IN BACK OF THE LOBBY IS THE ASSISTANT POSTMASTER'S OFFICE, A VAULT, THE WORKROOM, BATHROOMS, AND A SWING ROOM. THE WORKROOM HAS A BLACK TILE FLOOR, TONGUE AND GROOVE WAINSCOT IN THE ORIGINAL SECTION, PLASTER WALLS AND CEILING, AND FLUORESCENT LIGHTS. THE BASEMENT FLOOR PLAN CONSISTS OF THE FORMER FUEL ROOM, BOILER ROOM, THE SWING ROOM, MEN'S BATHROOM, FOUR SMALL STORAGE ROOMS, AND A LARGE OPEN AREA ON THE NORTH END OF THE BUILDING. ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE: CONSTRUCTED IN 1913, THE MENOMONIE POST OFFICE IS ARCHITECTURALLY SIGNIFICNAT BECAUSE IT IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THE NEOCLASSICAL STYLE COMMONLY EMPLOYED FOR POSTAL FACILITIES DURING THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY. HALLMARKS OF THIS DESIGN INCORPORATED IN THE FACADE INCLUDE THE SYMMETRICAL MASSING; THE SLIGHTLY RECESSED ARCHED OPENING FOR THE CENTRAL THREE BAYS INCLUDING THE ENTRANCE; THE MULTI-PANE WINDOWS SET IN ARCHES; THE PROJECTING CORNICE WITH DENTILS; AND THE LOW, HIPPED ROOF PARTIALLY CONCEALED BY A PARAPET. AS ORIGINALLY CONSTRUCED, THE REAR OF THE BUILDING HAD AN UNUSUAL FEATURE FOR A POST OFFICE. THE BACK WALL CONSISTED OF A CAST IRON AND GLASS WALL, WITH IRON COLUMNS AND DECORAATIVE PANELS SUPPORTING MULTI-LIGHT, DOUBLE HUNG WINDOWS WITH TRANSOMS. THIS WALL WAS REMOVED WHEN THE 1965 SECTION WAS ADDED. THE 1965 ADDITION USED COMPATIBLE BUILDING MATERIALS SUCH AS RED BRICK AND WHITE STONE, ALTHOUGH THE NEW SECTION IS NOT AS REFINED AS THE ORIGINAL BUILDING. HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: THE MENOMONIE POST OFFICE IS HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE IT REFLECTS THE LATENT INFLUENCE OF BOTH THE LUMBER INDUSTRY AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE STOUT INSTITUTE, WHICH LATER BECAME PART OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SYSTEM. THE FIRST POST OFFICE IN THE MENOMONIE AREA WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1855, AND POSTAL SERVICES MOVED TO SEVERAL LOCATIONS UNTIL 1913 WHEN THE PRESENT FACILITY WAS BUILT. THE POST OFFICE IS ONE BUILDING WITHIN THE MENOMONIE DOWNTOWN HSITORIC DISTRICT, A TYPICAL COLLECTION OF PUBLIC, COMMERCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL BUILDINGS LOCATED WITHIN A SMALL MIDWESTERN COMMUNITY. THESE BUILDINGS REPRESENT A CROSS-SECTION OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND COLLECTIVELY FORM THE CORE OF MENOMONIE'S GREATEST PERIOD OF ACTIVITY AND GROWTH. THE MENOMONIE POST OFFICE IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THE NEOCLASSICAL STYLE, AND DESPITE ITS LATER ADDITION, IT STILL RETAINS SUFFICIENT ARCHITECTURAL INTEGRITY OT BE CONSIDERED A CONTRIBUTING ELEMENT IN THE DOWNTOWN HISTORIC DISTRICT.
Bibliographic References:MENOMONIE DUNN COUNTY NEWS, 7/15/1913.
RECORD LOCATION
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".