Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

213 N CENTRAL AVE

Architecture and History Inventory
213 N CENTRAL AVE | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:United States Post Office
Other Name:United States Post Office
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:72619
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):213 N CENTRAL AVE
County:Richland
City:Richland Center
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1935
Additions: 1937
Survey Date:1987
Historic Use:post office
Architectural Style:Neoclassical
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:Louis Simon
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Court Street Commercial Historic District
National Register Listing Date:11/13/1989 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:Originally occupied 6/1936. Mural was painted in 1937. Architectural Description: Designed by Loius Simon in the classically derived Georgian Revival style in 1935, this red brick, tile roofed, one-story post office exhibits rather plain brick surfaces ornamented in a restrained manner by brick quoins, brick lintels with simply articulated stone keystones over plain rectangular windows, dentil trim under the slightly overhanging hip roof and a classical wooden frontspiece composed of a broken pediment and plain frieze rising on applied pilasters (AC). The red brick building is divided horizontally by a brick belt course above the windows defining a visual frieze area that is decorated with white stone, flat rectangular pediment-shaped ornaments, and by a white stone belt course separating the upper facade from the elevated foundation. A flight of brick and concrete stories lead to the elevated entrance door that is topped by a transom window. Built for $50,000 by the Mass Construction Company of Watertown under the local supervision of G.L. Cadenhead, a government engineer, the Richland Center Post Office's interior originally featured red and brown tiled wainscotting and quarry tiled floors in the lobby, built-in entrance cage and writing desks, maple floors, and pine wainscotting in the work areas and two skylights (CD). Located in numerous rented quarters from the time it was established in Richland Center, the United States Post Office was housed in this building specifically designed for its purposes in 1936 (CD). With the aid of a federal grant, the Richland Post Office was built in 1935 on the site of the old Miner property. Architectural/Engineering Significance: The United States Post Office at Richland Center is architecturally significant under Criterion C as an example of Georgian Revival influenced architecture. The only example of Georgian Revival architecture in the commercial district, the United States Post Office exhibits symmetrical formal arrangement enriched with classical detail such as quoins, frontspiece, belt courses, and dentil trim in a restrained Georgian Revival interpretation typical of the late historic era. This building is significant also as a representative of civic architecture as the only post office building ever constructed in the City of Richland Center. Designed as a post office building by Louis Simon in 1935, this building was occupied by the U.S. Postal Department in January of 1936 after occupying many rented quarters through the years (AC). Historical Background: Until the erection of a separate building in 1935, the Richland Center Post Office was placed in a common location in association with private businesses. The city received a federal grant of $150,000 along with twenty other cities in 1934 to construct a separate post office building. In 1936, the post office moved from the north end of the First National Bank Building (108 East Court; RI15-13) to the new building. The post office remains in this building (1). Historical Significance: The post office gains local historical significance under Criterion A as a representation of the Local Government Topic of the Government Theme. Although a federal arm of the government, the post office serves the City of Richland Center. The construction of the post office reflects the broadening of local government services during the New Deal era. The post office possesses significance from the date of construction, in 1935 to the beginning of the modern era in 1938.
Bibliographic References:1. Local History Room, Brewer Library (Richland Center: Mss. 295); Democrat February, 1936; Margaret Scott, Richland Center: A History (Richland Center: Richland County Publishers, 1972), pp. 176, 221. A. Cornerstone: "1935; Supervising Architect Louis Simon, Supervising Engineer Neal Melick". B. Richland (WI) Democrat, 16 January 1935. C. Ibid, 5 February 1936. D. Margaret Scott, Richland Center, Wisconsin, A History (Richland Center: Richland County Publishing, 1972), p. 221.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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