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Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

301-303 S BLOUNT ST

Architecture and History Inventory
301-303 S BLOUNT ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:McCormick-International Harvester Co. Branch House
Other Name:McCormick-International Harvester Co. Branch House
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:95163
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):301-303 S BLOUNT ST
County:Dane
City:Madison
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1898
Additions: 1909 1926
Survey Date:19831973
Historic Use:industrial building
Architectural Style:Astylistic Utilitarian Building
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: McCormick-International Harvester Company Branch House
National Register Listing Date:4/27/2010
State Register Listing Date:2/19/2010
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, Division of Historic Preservation-Public History.

McCormick Harvesting Machine Company was one of the two largest farm implement manufacturers by the end of the 19th Century. The original McCormick building was constructed as a regional branch house for sales and distribution of agricultural implements to the independently owned retail dealers. Few such branch houses were constructed by the company and no others are known to remain in Wisconsin.

The building adjoined the Madison and Watertown Railroad tracks, and was expanded in 1910, more than doubling the size of the building. The International Harvester Company (as it was known after a 1902 merger with several other Harvester companies) occupied the building until 1953, when the company moved to a new building.

The building is a three-story cream brick building set above a raised basement of dressed rusticated limestone. A simplified Greek key design in polychromatic brick detail runs across the top of the street and north sides of the building. Parapet walls hide a flat roof. Some of the exterior painted signs remain (2007). OIL TRACTORS is painted vertically on the brick at the front edge of the south elevation; INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER COMPANY OF AMERICA is visible on the north elevation between the second and third windows. Parts of a third sign (FARM and TRACTOR) are on the north elevation.

The building was partly remodeled for offices in the late 1970s by the owners, the Reynolds Transfer and Storage Company. Renovations included bricking in portions of the window openings on the street front and track sides of the building and installing smaller windows as well as a new storefront entrance with aluminum frames and glazing. Further remodeling in 2003 replaced the third-floor steel fire-safety windows on the south elevation with look-alike replacements and bricked in the window openings on the east elevation.

A demolition permit application has been filed on April 2, 2014.
Bibliographic References:Madison, Past and Present, 1852-1902. Wisconsin State Journal. Madison, WI, pp. 224. "Stony Island Avenue". Wisconsin State Journal. July 20, 1897. "Implement Row". WSJ. Sept 19, 1898. "Over Half Million, Building Improvements in Madison During the Past Year." WSJ. January 3, 1899, pp. 4. Great Building Year Was 1909. WSJ. January 11, 1910, pp. 8. Harvester World, Article from Farm Implement News. Chicago, Ill.: International Harvester Company of America. December 1909, pp. 19. Harvester World, Building Program. Chicago, Ill.: International Harvester Company of America. May 1911, pp. 4-6. Williamson Street, Madison Wisconsin: An Historical Survey and Walking Tour Guide, by Gary Tipler & the City of Madison Landmarks Commission & Professor William H. Tischler, 1979.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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