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Downtown Design Guidelines


100 East Main Street Block
South Elevation


The average lot width in Stoughton’s commercial district is a uniform 25 feet. Of the 82 buildings on Main Street, 57 are 25 feet wide. The majority of these 25-foot buildings are examples of the late-Victorian “Italianate” style. The next most-common building width is 50 feet, or the space of two lots. About 20% of the buildings on Main Street fall into this category, including the monumental City Hall. These larger buildings were mostly built after 1890.

Certain buildings in the Commercial district are wider than 50 feet: some, including the Hyland-Olsen Block (1897), the Hotel Kegonsa (c. 1920), and the Erickson Block (1905), are historic buildings of a monumental scale that were designed with vertical breaks or “bays” that reflect the 25-foot building width present on Main Street. Other, more recent buildings, such as the Schultz Building, were designed without reflecting this over-riding 25-foot design element.

The lot width in the Depot area, where the land use includes warehouses and industrial buildings, is much different. Here, buildings tend to be large, volumetric shapes with gables or sloping roofs. They are set apart from each other, with either the long side or a gabled end facing the street.

Guideline on Width

The regular, 25-foot interval in the Main Street commercial district creates a strong visual rhythm as one walks or drives down Main Street. It is important that this rhythm be retained in these densely-built areas; new construction should respect the width of existing buildings by designing a rhythmic division of the facade to repeat this existing rhythm. New construction must take into consideration its context within the block and maintain the continuity of the block. New construction in a block that is made up of a continuous wall of building fronts (such as that shown above) should maintain the existing building wall by filling the lot from side lot line to side lot line. That is, the building should fill the lot from side to side.

In the Depot area, building width should be determined by examining the patterns formed within individual blocks.


Downtown Design Guidelines:  Building Width   Bay Spacing   Height & Bands   Proportion   Solids & Voids   Tonality
  Materials & Color   Roofs & Setbacks   Storefront Design   Lintel & Transom   Shop Windows   Entry   Storefront Doors
  Storefront Awnings   Upper Facades   Cornices & Windows   Upper Windows   Window Hoods   Signs   Sign Location

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