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Historic Main Street: On-line Walking Tour


2. 341 East Main Street: O.F. Tipple Block

This commercial building was constructed in 1891 as Mr. O.F. Tipple’s livery barn.  Note that the building has a high parapet, which gives it a more imposing character than some of the buildings on Main Street. The Italianate Style, popular from the 1860’s through about 1900, is evident in decorative brickwork embellishing an otherwise plain facade, particularly the segmental arch lintels, and the graduated corbelling in the cornice.

4. 255 East Main Street: Badger Theater

This period revival theater has Neo-Classical details, including quoining, the trim on the central opening, the door hoods, and the scarab in the cornice. The building was touted as “as nearly fireproof as it is possible to make one, its construction being of steel, brick, cement and tile.” It was once owned by Charles Guelson and Gustave Roe. Construction for the theater began in April 1920. It opened for business in March 1921.

The first movie picture theater had opened in Stoughton in 1908. Between 1908 and 1929, when the first “talke” came to the Badger theater, Stoughton’s theaters included the Lyric, at 110 East Main Street; the White Front, at 155 East Main Street; the Globe Theater at 155 West Main Street; the Princess Theater, 143 West Main Street; and another “modern” movie theater whose location is unknown, perhaps 151 East Main Street, Movies were also shown in the City Hall Auditorium beginning in 1910.

6. 111 East Main Street:  Hausmann Block

Distinguished by its engaging oriel tower, the Hausmann Block was built in 1903 by Madison contractor L. B. Gilbert and operated as a saloon by Madison brewer Carl Hausmann. This building is a fine example of a Queen Anne style applied to a commercial building. Covered with decorative pressed metal, the tower is supported by brackets and rises into a conical roof and finial ball. Garlands, dentils, raised panels, and engaged pilasters further embellish the tower.


3. 304 South Fourth Street: Carnegie Public Library

Designed by Claude and Stark, an architectural firm based in Madison and fluent in the design of libraries, the 1907 Carnegie Public Library is constructed of brick and stone in the Neo-Classical Style. The Neo-Classical (interchangeable with the term “Classical Revival”) was popular with other period revivals around 1900, and was catapulted to popularity by the “Great White Way” of the 1906 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The cornice is accentuated by modillions. Scrolled keystones accent the entrance arches and the window lintels.  Decorative applied trim highlights the window and door transoms.  The building is an excellent example of a small Neo-Classical local library, common throughout the United States as the embodiment of Carnegie Libraries.  Other Claude and Stark Libraries can be seen in Merrill and Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

5. 139, 147, 151, 167, 175, 183, & 195 East Main Street

Constructed in 1889 after a fire destroyed a row of frame buildings on the site, these buildings were designed to be “as nearly alike as possible, thus giving the entire row a uniform appearance”. Although each building was individually owned (note the owner’s name in the date block of each section), local contractor George Becker superintended the construction of all the buildings. The result is a series of two-story cream and red brick buildings identical in their commercial Italianate detail. The uniform metal cornice with brackets, dentils, raised pediments, the decorative corbelled brick at the frieze, and the tall windows surmounted by stilted, segmental lintels with keystones visually ties the building together as one unit.

7. 101 West Main Street: Hotel Kegonsa

This site has been the location of a hotel since the very beginning of Stoughton’s history. The present building (now a pharmacy) was constructed between 1912 and 1926. Community founder Luke Stoughton persuaded Alvin West to establish an inn on this property in 1855, Hotels occupying this site have had a number of different names:  The Stoughton House, the Mt. Vernon House, The Higbee House, the Hutson House, and the Hotel Kegonsa.


Main Street Walking Tour   MS 10   MS 12   MS 16   MS 19   MS 22   MS 26   MS 27   MS 31   MS 33