Wisconsin Historical Society

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Architecture and History Inventory
91 S MAIN ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Other Name:Fond du Lac Abstract Co., Ltd.; Lighting Design Ctr.
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:46802
Location (Address):91 S MAIN ST
County:Fond du Lac
City:Fond du Lac
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1903
Survey Date:1988
Historic Use:bank/financial institution
Architectural Style:Richardsonian Romanesque
Structural System:
Wall Material:Stone - Unspecified
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: South Main Street Historic District
National Register Listing Date:3/11/1993 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:2/8/1993 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:This two-story Richardsonian Romanesque bank building is built of rusticated brownstone with a coursed ashlar finish. Under the parapet roof is a stone cornice with small, heavy brackets. The window openings on the upper floor are deep-set behind round Richardsonian arches with heavy stone voussoirs and archivolt moldings. The openings have been partially enclosed with stucco and modern casement windows. On the first floor, the openings are deep-set behind larger round Richardsonian arche with heavy stone voissoirs and archivolt moldings. These arches sit on large piers and have plain capitals on the side of the building and foliated capitals on the front of the building. The openings are partially enclosed.

At the southwest corner of the building is the main entrance. It sits in an identically decorated Richardsonian arch, except the voussoirs are smooth and the word "Bank" has been applied to the surface. On top of the capitals flanking the entrance are two stone-carved lion heads. The entrance is partially enclosed and features a modern glass and aluminum entry door.

The Commercial National Bank puts all of the commonly seen Richardsonian Romanesque forms to good use in this building. Its massive quality is achieved by the use of the rusticated brownstone. The heavy, almost chiseled cornice is large, but almost lost in the heavy stone walls. The arches of the second floor openings, and their more elaborate arcaded counterparts on the first floor are well-constructed and reflect a common detail of the style. The partial enclosure of the openings detracts only a little from the overall integrity of the building, as most of the details of this sturdy building, down to the carved lion heads, are extant. Details of the style include heavy, massive features on a building constructed of large rusticated stone blocks. Other details of the style include large round-arched arcaded openings and, often, round or square towers.

The Commercial National Bank occupied this building until 1923, when they moved into their Commercial Style multi-story office building at 104 S. Main St., in this district. Between 1924 and the 1970s, the building housed a cafe and professional offices. It was known as the H & H Building and the Lion Cafe Building, respectively. It has been a lighting store and office building since the early 1970s.

This building was the home of one of Fond du Lac's most important banking houses. It also contributes to the commercial significance of the South Main Street Historic District.
Bibliographic References:(A) FOND DU LAC REPORTER 6/29/1995. (B) FOND DU LAC CITY DIRECTORIES.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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