Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

302 E MAIN ST

Architecture and History Inventory
302 E MAIN ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:Plymouth Post Office (U.S. Post Office)
Other Name:PLYMOUTH POST OFFICE
Contributing:
Reference Number:46656
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):302 E MAIN ST
County:Sheboygan
City:Plymouth
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1940
Additions:
Survey Date:1991
Historic Use:post office
Architectural Style:Art Moderne
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:Louis SimonMELNICK, NEAL
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Plymouth Post Office
National Register Listing Date:10/24/2000 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:
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. THE BUILDING IS AN EXAMPLE OF OF THE ART MODERNE STYLE. THE PLAN IS RECTANGULAR WITH THE PUBLIC ENTRANCE/LOBBY ON THE MAIN STREET FACE. THE ELEVATION IS ORGANIZED SYMMETRICALLY ABOUT THE ENTRY DOORS. THE ENTRY DOORS, TRANSOM PANEL ABOVE, AND TWO SIDE WINDOWS ARE RECESSED DEEPLY INTO THE FACE, HIGHLIGHTING THE ENTRANCE. THE BUILDING IS CONSTRUCTED OF TAN BRICK WITH LIMESTONE TRIM. THE ENTRY RECESSES ARE TRIMMED WITH BOTH SMOOTH AND FLUTED LIMESTONE. THE WINDOWS ARE ORIGINAL. THE ENTRY STAIRS ARE GRANITE WITH A PAINTED METAL RAILING ON EITHER SIDE. AN ADDITION WAS CONSTRUCTED AT AN UNSPECIFIED DATE. THE BUILDING IS IN FAIR CONDITION. THE CORNERSTONE NOTES: "HENRY MORGENTHAU, JR., SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JAMES A. FARLEY, POSTMASTER GENERAL, JOHN M. CARMODY, FEDERAL WORKS ADMINISTRATOR, W. ENGLEBERT REYNOLDS, COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS, LOUIS A. SIMON SUPERVISING ARCHITECT, NEAL A. MELICK, SUPERVISING ENGINEER, 1940." THE INTERIOR HAS THE ORIGINAL TERRAZZO FLOOR AND MARBLE WAINSCOT. THE WALLS AND CEILING ARE PLASTER. THE WOOD TRIM, DOORS AND VESTIBULE ARE ORIGINAL. THERE IS A MURAL ON ONE WALL SIGNED "CHAS. W. THWAITES 11/22/41." THE BUILDING IS LOCATED ON PLYMOUTH'S MAIN STREET IN A COMBINED RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL DISTRICT. ARCHITECTURAL/ENGINEERING SIGNIFICANCE: A SIMPLE COMPOSITION, THIS BUILDING RETAINS IT'S INTEGRITY. THE INTERIOR MURAL IS CONSIDERED NOTEWORTHY OF WPA MURALS IN THAT IT SHOWS WORKERS AS GENERALLY HAPPY AS OPPOSED TO THE USUALLY GRIM DEMEANOR OF LABORERS IN WPA MURALS NATIONALLY. (SEE BIB. REF. J). THE BUILDING IS PROBABLY CONSIDERED ELIBIBLE FOR LISTING IN THE NATIONAL REGISTER. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: THIS BUILDING, WHICH IS THE FIRST FEDERALLY-OWNED POST OFFICE IN PLYMOUTH, WAS ORIGINALLY OCCUPIED IN JUNE OF 1941. PRIOR TO CONSTRUCTION OF THIS BUILDING, POSTAL SERVICES WERE CONDUCTED IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS SELECTED BY A SERIES OF LOCAL POSTMASTERS. POSTAL SERVICE IN PLYMOUTH DATES FROM 1846 AND THE FIRST POSTMASTER WAS THOMAS I. DAVIDSON. (SEE BIB. REF. K). THIS POST OFFICE WAS ONE OF SEVERAL CONSTRUCTED IN WISCONSIN BY THE FEDERAL PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION IN THE 1930'S. THERE IS A MURAL IN THE LOBBY OF THE BUILDING PAINTED BY CHARLES THWAITES ENTITLED "CHEESE MAKING." (SEE BIB. REF. C). THE MURAL DEPICTS THE PROCESS OF MAKING CHEESE. THE PROCESS IS ILLUSTRATED BEGINNING WITH THE WEIGHING OF MILK AND PROGRESSES TO THE STIRRING, MOLDING AND STORING OF IT. CHARLES W. TWAITES WAS BORN MARCH 12, 1904 IN MILWAUKEE. AFTER STUDYING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, HE ATTENDED THE LAYTON SCHOOL OF ART. HIS EASEL PAINTINGS, FOR WHICH HE IS NOW WELL-KNOWN, ESPECIALLY IN THE MIDDLE WEST, HAVE ALSO BEEN EXHIBITED IN THE EAST. THE GALLERIES WHICH HAVE SHOWN HIS WORK INCLUDE THE COCORAN GALLERY OF ART IN WASHINGTON, D.C., THE AMERICAN ART SHOW AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER, AND THE PENNSYLVANIA WATER COLOR SHOW. HE HAS RECEIVED NUMEROUS PRIZES AND MEDALS IN THE 1939 WISCONSIN PAINTERS AND SCULPTORS SHOW. MR. TWAITES HAS ALSO EXECUTED WORKS FOR THE SECTION OF FINE ARTS MURALS IN THE CHILTON, WISCONSIN AND GREENVILLE, MICHIGAN POST OFFICES. RING CONSTRUCTION CORP OF MINNEAPOLIS WAS THE CONTRACTOR. THE GRANITE USED ON THE EXTERIOR WAS FROM GEORGIA.
Bibliographic References:A. Plymouth Review July 21, 1938, p.1 B. Marling, K.A., "Wall-to-Wall America," p. 171. (box 8, Box 3 MMS #1, U.S. WPA -Federal Art Project (Wisc.) in Archives State Historical Society of Wisconsin. C. Plymouth Review July 28, 1938, p. 1 D. Plymouth Review April 6, 1939, p. 1. E. Plymouth Review July 7, 1938, p. 1. F. Plymouth Review May 31, 1940, p. 1. G. Plymouth Review August 19, 1940, p. 1. H. DATE OF CONSTRUCTION - CORNERSTONE. I. PLYMOUTH REVIEW 12/20/1995. J. ZILLIER, CARL, ED., "HISTORY OF SHEBOYGAN COUNTY, PAST AND PRESENT," CHICAGO, 1912, P. 296. K. MASLING, KARAL ANN, "WALL-TO-WALL AMERICA: A CULTURAL HISTORY OF POST OFFICE MURALS IN THE GREAT DEPRESSION," MINNEAPOLIS, 1982, P. 173.
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".