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2 S MAIN ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

2 S MAIN ST

Architecture and History Inventory
2 S MAIN ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:Lappin-Hayes Block
Other Name:Lappin-Hayes Block
Contributing:
Reference Number:87109
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):2 S MAIN ST
County:Rock
City:Janesville
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1855
Additions: 1899
Survey Date:1988
Historic Use:retail building
Architectural Style:Queen Anne
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect: Peabody and Beauley
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
NATIONAL AND STATE REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
National/State Register Listing Name: Lappin-Hayes Block
National Register Listing Date:11/7/1976
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
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, State Historic Preservation Office. This office building, located on a corner lot, exhibits design elements of both the Italianate style (1855) and the Queen Anne style (additions, 1899). The building's four-story red brick exterior is punctuated by two massive, white, cylindrical corner turrets. Brick work designs delineate an arcade, beneath which are formed columns of windows, with each story represented by either round, segmental or flat arches. These windows each have decorative window hoods. The massive cornice is lined with brackets. A rear wall, although less adorned, still has windows accented by lintels and sills. Historical Statement: This Block was built for Thomas Lappin, one of Janesville's earliest and most successful merchants. From 1855 to 1870, the upstairs area was the scene of major cultural and public events in the city. When the Hayes brothers purchased the structure in the 1890s, they hired the Chicago architectural firm of Peabody and Beauley to remodel both the interior and exterior. "The Lappin-Hayes Block is the focal point of the Main and Milwaukee intersection, and it has sheltered a great variety of enterprises over its 130-year history. The block stands on the site of Henry F. Janes' cabin, one of the first dwellings constructed in Rock County. In 1842, Thomas Lappin erected a two-story store on this site. Thirteen years later he completed this four story office block, a handsome Italianate style structure of cream-colored brick. Its details are typical of the Italianate blocks built in Janesville between 1855 and 1870. Particularly notable are the upper story windows; the window heads are treated differently at each story. The original Lappin Block housed five ground-level stores leased by grocers, banks, and merchants, and upper story offices occupied by attorneys, real estate dealers, physicians, an architect, and other professionals. An early tenant was the Mutual Life Insurance Company, known today as the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. A public hall seating 800 persons occupied the upper stories, and a saloon was housed in the basement. Until 1870, when the Myers Opera House was opened, Lappin's Hall was the center of the city's cultural and social life. In 1899, the building was purchased Dennis and Michael Hayes, Janesville contractors. Their remodeling included the installation of an elevator and the construction of a new central lightwell. Exterior additions to the buildings included a Queen Anne style sheet metal cornice and two pressed-metal rounded bays at the corners. Much of the original 1855 building above the first floor was unaltered. Over the next seventy years, the building continued to house the offices of many prominent professionals. "Main & Milwaukee: Janesville's Downtown Historic Districts, A Guide. Prepared by Landscape Research for the Janesville Historic Commission, 1989. Covenant/Easement: From 2/20/1984 to 2/20/2004. A 'covenant file' exists for this property. It may contain additional information such as photos, drawings and correspondence. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the Wisconsin Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office.
Bibliographic References:HISTORIC JANESVILLE, HERITAGE PRESERVATION ASSOCIATES, INC. MACDONALD AND MACK PARTNERSHIP, CITY OF JANESVILLE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, 1994. Main & Milwaukee: Janesville's Downtown Historic Districts, A Guide. Prepared by Landscape Research for the Janesville Historic Commission, 1989.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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