Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

23688 ADAMS ST

Architecture and History Inventory
23688 ADAMS ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Independence City Hall (and Public Library)
Other Name:Independence City Hall and Public Library
Reference Number:64904
Location (Address):23688 ADAMS ST
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1902
Additions: 1904 1910
Survey Date:1981
Historic Use:city hall
Architectural Style:Queen Anne
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:Maybury and Son
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Independence City Hall
National Register Listing Date:1/17/2002 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:7/20/2001 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
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 Wisconsin Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation. DOE 2/20/1981.

Tiny Independence boasts an impressive brick municipal building, its spire visible for miles around. When the cornerstone was laid in 1902, this mostly Polish-American town had only five hundred residents, but they had voted overwhelmingly to build a city hall to convey prestige and prosperity. When a tornado demolished the second floor, a few months after the building opened in 1903, the undaunted citizens spent three years restoring it and completing the clock tower and interior. The building was the seat of municipal government and also housed the fire and police departments, the jail, and the public library, which stocked many Polish-language books. The American Legion met in the basement, and an opera house on the second floor hosted theatrical events, dances, movies, weddings, and even basketball games.

The structure expresses the Romanesque Revival style, with its quarry-faced limestone basement, ribbon of round-arched windows joining the second and third floors, round-arched front entries, pronounced corbel table, and corner pavilions, which project slightly from the plane of the main facade. The southeast pavilion sports a pediment and a metal-shingled pyramidal cap with a blunt finial. The southwest pavilion anchors the much taller clock tower, with a boxy open belfry, a foliated frieze below, and a shell-like antefix. A faceted octagonal spire, clad with metal shingles, completes the composition.

Through the efforts of a local citizens’ group, a newly rehabilitated Independence City Hall continues to convey this community’s pride.
Bibliographic References:LACROSSE TRIBUNE 3/7/1996. Independence News Wave 6/26/1997. Independence News Wave 11/1/1902. Independence News Wave 10/9/1997. Whitehall Times 12/10/1998. Whitehall Times 6/8/2000. LaCrosse Tribune 12/27/2000. Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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