Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
100 W MILWAUKEE ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Beals and Torrey Shoe Co.
Other Name:Mill Race Terrace
Reference Number:7192
Location (Address):100 W MILWAUKEE ST
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1904
Survey Date:1986
Historic Use:industrial building
Architectural Style:Astylistic Utilitarian Building
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:F. LINDSAY
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Beals and Torrey Shoe Co. Building
National Register Listing Date:12/6/1984 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:ALSO MAPPED ON THE CITY ENGINEERS MAP WITH CODE A. Multipaned replacement windows; altered entrance with transom window; north side one story extension; plain corbelled brick cornice; segmental arched window with brick voussoirs; concrete sills; exposed foundation on east side; in process of remodeling. This building was built for the large shoe-making concern, the Beals and Torrey Shoe Company, then later was the factory for the D. and F. Kusel Dairy Equipment Company. The Beals and Torrey Shoe Company began in Milwaukee in 1867. In 1904, the company moved the factory to Watertown and built this facility. Originally the company made both men's work shoes and women's shoes, but in 1907 the company began specializing in one particular men's shoe style. By 1918, the company had outgrown this facility and built a new plant on Hart Street. It remained highly successful and one of the largest twentieth century employers in Watertown at its new location. The building briefly housed a printing firm, but in the 1930s it became the location of the Kusel Dairy Equipment Company. This company was an off-shoot of the Kusel Hardware Company, one of the most successful retail businesses in the city. Around 1910 the firm began manufacturing and importing equipment and supplies for dairies, cheese factories and other milk products operations. In 1938, the dairy division of the hardware business was split off from the hardware company. The firm operated in the middle years of the twentieth century making heat exchangers, cheese vats, cheese presses, agitators, stainless steel tanks, and small dairy plant tools. In 1986-87 this building, which had stood vacant for a number of years, has been renovated into an apartment house. The owners used the Secretary of Interior's Standards for rehabilitation and today, the building has a new life and new purpose. This building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 under criterion A, because it is the best and most important resource connected with the Beals and Torrey Shoe Company, an important industry in twentieth century Watertown. The Beals and Torrey building is significant under criterion C as one of the three most well-preserved historic industrial buildings remaining in the city. A large three-story cream brick block exhibiting no specific historic ornament, the Beals and Torrey building ranks along with the Beifeld Building at 118 No. Water and the Van Camp Plant as the three most significant examples of early 20th century industrial architecture remaining in the city. This building was listed in the NRHP on December 6, 1984.
Bibliographic References:(A) History of Jefferson County, 1917. (B) Katherine H. Rankin, "Beals and Torrey Shoe Company Buliding." National Register of Historic Places nomination form, 1984, on file at the Historic Preservation Office, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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