COVID-19 Updates: The Wisconsin Historical Society hours have changed. See a full list of COVID-19 Closures and Events HERE.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
306 S MAIN ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Waupaca Post Office
Other Name:U.S. Post Office
Reference Number:70537
Location (Address):306 S MAIN ST
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1938
Survey Date:1998
Historic Use:post office
Architectural Style:Neoclassical
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:Louis A. SimonNeal MelickLouis A. SimonNeal Melick
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Waupaca Post Office
National Register Listing Date:10/24/2000
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 State Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation.


The building is an example of the Classical Revival style. The plan of the building is rectangular with the public entrance/lobby on the Main Street facade. The original, or front, section of the building has a standing seam metal hip roof. There has been an addition to one side of the building. Because this addition is set back from the face of the original building and its materials and detailing are similar to the original building, the integrity and form of the building are preserved. The elevation of the building is organized symmetrically about the entry. The building is constructed of red/brown brick on a granite base. The entrance doors and side windows are set back and trimmed in limestone. Limestone plasters at the entry extend to support a limestone fascia that extends around the building. The building name and city are engraved on this fascia. Attached to the fascia is a wood cornice, painted white. The original double hung windows have 15 over 15 light configuration at the entry, and a 6 over 6 configuration elsewhere. The entry steps and porch are granite with Art Deco pole lamps on either side. This structure is in good condition. The cornerstone notes: "Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury, James A. Farley, Postmaster General, Louis A. Simon, Supervising Architect, Neal A. Melick, Supervising Engineer, 1938."

The interior of the building has the orginal terrazzo floor and marble wainscot. The addition has a terrazzo floor with wood wainscot. The walls and ceiling are plaster. In addition to the original wood trim, the original wood vestibule is intact. This structure is in good condition. There is a mural on the wall at the end of the lobby. The Post Office is located on the fringe of the downtown business district adjacent to the residential area.


This is the most developed of the four Post Offices surveyed in this substyle of the Classical Revival style. The original windows are intact and the later addition to the side has been designed to be sympathetic to and support the original design.


This building, which was originally occupied in June of 1939, represents the first federally-owned Post Office in Waupaca. Prior to its construction, the postal functions for the community were located in leased quarters in two different downtown commercial buildings. Prior to 1880, the post office traveled to a variety of locations determined by each successive postmaster.

The Waupaca Post Office is one of several in the State built during the period of the Public Works Administration. A mural from the WPA artists program is found in the lobby. WPA projects are historically significant because they represent the first effort of the federal government to provide direct funding for work projects. The WPA was one of many programs that changed the federal government's role in people's everyday lives during the later twentieth century.

The Waupaca Post Office is also the best representative of the federal government in the city. Before the federal government became an important element in people's lives, the post office was one of the very few representatives of the federal government in United States' communities. Although technically a private institution today, the post office still represents the federal government in many people's minds.
Bibliographic References:(A) Date of construction - Building Cornerstone. (B) Ware, John M., "A Standard History of Waupaca County, Wisconsin," Chicago, 1917. Take a Walk on Main Street: Historic Walking Tours in Wisconsin's Main Street Communities, Wisconsin Main Street Program, 1998.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, 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".