A.D. German Warehouse | Richland Center

A.D. German Warehouse - Richland Center, Wisconsin
Location: 
Richland Center, Wisconsin
300 S Church St, Richland Center, WI 53581

A.D. German Warehouse - 1917-1921

An architectural masterpiece, like any masterpiece, gains in meaning and enriches its owners and its community. The joys of an architectural masterpiece are its long lasting lessons and beauty. Such distinction belongs to the A.D. German Warehouse, said to have been designed in 1915 by Frank Lloyd Wright, located in Richland Center where Wright was born in 1867. This building is one of Wright’s architectural gems listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Wisconsin, (NRHP 1974). It is the only warehouse designed by Wright and was built during his “organic” or “natural” period (1911-1924) which also included the famous Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and Midway Gardens in Chicago. 

The A.D. German Warehouse is an impressive brick structure topped by a magnificent concrete frieze. Generally considered to resemble a Mayan Temple, this avant-garde warehouse and attached music room was built for A. D. German’s wholesale grocery business. It employs a unique structural concept known as the “Burton Spider-web system.” The warehouse features plain brick surfaces broken by vertical slits extending from the base to the frieze. The building is dominated by a broad corbeled concrete frieze ornamented by cast concrete ornament and narrow window slits. The building has four floors, approximately 4,000 sq. ft. each and has an open floor plan on each level. Significant as an example of early poured concrete construction, the building rests on a pad of cork for stability and shock absorption. Wright used concrete slabs for the floors supported by concrete columns that grow smaller in size proceeding upward to the fourth floor. Construction was stopped with the building unfinished in 1921, after spending $125,000, which exceeded the original cost estimate of $30,000. It is the only remaining commercial structure designed by Wright that still exists from this time period. As time passes, its architectural and historic significance continues to grow, reaching far from its location on the corner of Church and Haseltine Streets in Richland Center. 

Contact Info: 

Richland Center Tourism
397 W. Seminary St. Richland Center, WI 53581
(608) 649-3376
visitor.center@richlandcenter.com

Please mention this site as your source for these numbers.

Tour Details: 

Address:
PO Box 436, 300 South Church Street, Richland Center, Wisconsin 53581
 
Days and Hours:
Open to the public on Sundays, May through October, 10 am - 2 pm, other times by appointment. Docent guided tours on the quarter hour.

Admission: $10 

For more information visit www.adgermanwarehouse.org, call (608) 604-5034, or email larbegust@gmail.com