Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
104 S MAIN ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Commercial National Bank
Other Name:Dana & Worm Pharmacy
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:54363
Location (Address):104 S MAIN ST
County:Fond du Lac
City:Fond du Lac
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1923
Survey Date:1988
Historic Use:large office building
Architectural Style:Chicago Commercial Style
Structural System:Unknown
Wall Material:Brick
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 seven story Commercial Style office building is constructed of red brick accented with stone trim. Above the plain stone cornice of the building is a row of parapet trim. Under the cornice is a row of dentils and a wide frieze decorated with plain medallions. The top floor is defined by a stone belt course and stone shields flank both sides of the end windows on both the front and side walls. Both enes of the front wall of the building are very slightly projecting, suggesting wide pilasters. Windows are almost all singled-light double-hung sashes, regularly placed in the building walls. A stone cornice divides the second and third floors. Themain entrance to the building has been remodeled and consists of large glass and aluminum entry doors. The single pane show windows are also modern.

The Commercial National Bank Building is a good example of the Commercial Style. The style developed in the late nineteenth century when new technology made the construction of taller, larger, and more open office buildings feasible. Commercial Style buildings have iron or steel structural systems that allow for taller buildings and an open interior plan. Other details include regular fenestration with large, divided light windows and minimal exterior ornamentation.

With its several stories, simple ornamentation, and regular fenestration, the Commercial National Bank Building is typical of the Commrcial Style. And, with the exception of the lower floor storefront and entrance, the building exhibits a high level of integrity. This building is especially important as its type is found more commonly in larger cities. It's design and construction can provide important information about such buildings in smaller communities in the state.

The building was constructed as the new office for the Commercial National Bank. By 1934, though, the bank's name had changed to the National Exchange Bank and the office building was renamed accordingly. By 1970, the building was known as the First National CasualtyBuilding. Most of the building's space has been taken up with professional offices, but a drug store has been located on the first floor of the building ofr a number of years.

This building is 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. City Directories for the City of Fond du Lac, on file at the Fond du Lac Public Library, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory Citation
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