Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

615 N 6TH ST

Architecture and History Inventory
615 N 6TH ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Sheboygan County Courthouse
Other Name:
Reference Number:82266
Location (Address):615 N 6TH ST
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1934
Survey Date:2002
Historic Use:courthouse
Architectural Style:Art Deco
Structural System:
Wall Material:Limestone
Architect:John Burns, K.M. Vitzhum & Co.
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Sheboygan County Courthouse
National Register Listing Date:3/12/1982 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:County Courthouses of Wisconsin Thematic Group
Additional Information:Reputed to be one of Wisconsin's finest examples of Art Deco, this massive, seven-story building of Indiana limestone and metal trim was built in 1934 to the designs of John Burns of K.M. Vitzhum & Co. Sheboygan County Landmark.

When built in 1934, at the depth of the Great Depression, the Sheboygan County Courthouse expressed a sense of optimism for the future and pride in the past, for its completion coincided with the centennial observance of the city’s founding. To create a contemporary design, the County Board of Supervisors engaged Vitzthum of Chicago, in association with Weeks, a locally prominent architect. The two produced a PWA Moderne (see OU07) monolith of Indiana limestone, stepped back six stories to overlook Lake Michigan. Tall narrow windows, alternating with limestone buttresses, create a strong vertical emphasis. Chevrons etch the buttresses, the panels between windows, and the roof line, softening the severity of the geometric forms, and carved winged lions ornament the stepped parapet above the entry portal. The building’s bold geometric massing continues in the lobby and halls inside, accentuated by striking color contrasts: pink marble walls, black marble baseboards, and brass-seamed terrazzo floors. Easily crafted ornaments such as the chevrons bordering the plaster ceilings and the torch-shaped aluminum-and-brass wall sconces were common in government buildings at this time when economy was the watchword.
Bibliographic References:LJM Architects, Inc. #28;City of Sheboygan, Wisconsin: Architectural and Historical Intensive Survey Report.#29; City of Sheboygan Historic Preservation Commission & Department of City Development; 2002, 2004 & 2006. Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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