Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

906 W EXCHANGE ST

Architecture and History Inventory
906 W EXCHANGE ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:GOMBAR HALL; LAUBE HALL
Other Name:PIERCE TRUE VALUE
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:47742
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):906 W EXCHANGE ST
County:Green
City:Brodhead
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1868
Additions:
Survey Date:1976
Historic Use:meeting hall
Architectural Style:Italianate
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Exchange Square Historic District
National Register Listing Date:11/15/1984 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:Architecturally significant as an outstanding example of the commercial Italianate style in Green County, Gomber Hall is distinguished by the variety and exuberance of its detail. From cast-iron pillars to a cast-iron cornice, the cream brick facade is enlivened and enriched by Italianate detailing which contributes depth, texture, and a classical mien to the building. A heavy bracketed cast-iron cornice (added sometime after the original date of construction) rests above the original cast-iron cornice and dominates the building. Thin brick pilasters, joined by a brick string course, divide the upper stories into six bays in which are set tall round headed windows surmounted by heavy brick hoods with receding archivolts. Each window is divided horizontally by a panel with relief decoration, above which rests a fan light. The ground floor still retains the original cast-iron posts, rising through the large plate glass windows and the transoms.

The most elaborately detailed building on Exchange Square, Laube Hall appropriately served as the town's original opera house, a "spacious and convenient public hall" close to both railroad depot and business center. Built during the construction boom of 1868, the building was first owned by Fred Gombar who gave it to his sons-in-law Charles and Sebastian Laube. Charles located his hardware store on the ground floor while the second floor hall was set up to accommodate traveling shows, musical entertainments, and an audience of 500 people. For many years, according to local history, the hall was "Green County's largest and finest opera house." Since 1900, the Pierce family has run their hardware store at the location.
Bibliographic References:(A0 The City of Brodhead. T.S. Sherwood, 1893, p. 51. (B) Bicentennial Book, 1976, Brodhead Historical Society, p. 34.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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