Black River Falls, WI. – The Wisconsin Historical Society placed the Black River Falls Commercial Historic District (Black River Falls, Jackson County) on the State Register of Historic Places in February of 2021.
The Black River Falls Commercial Historic District represents the development of a concentrated commercial area primarily from 1911 to the 1960s. While development occurred as early as the 1860s, a disastrous flood in 1911 destroyed much of the city and nearly its entire commercial core, at which point the city rebuilt its downtown. Many of the historic commercial buildings along Main Street were completed in the decade following the flood to form a dense streetscape, recognizable as the historic commercial core of the city. Overall, architectural styles in the district reflect popular design trends including Italianate, Romanesque Revival, Art Deco, Art Moderne, and the Twentieth Century Commercial styles. The popularity of Commercial Vernacular forms is reflected in a large number of these buildings.
Businesses provided a wide range of goods and services with dry goods stores, pharmacies, groceries, post offices, barbers, garages, financial institutions, hardware stores, newspapers, restaurants, and taverns featuring prominently. Meeting halls, apartments, and office spaces were consigned to the second-floor spaces. The district continues to be the community’s commercial core, providing goods and services as it has since the 1860s.
The State Register is Wisconsin’s official list of state properties determined to be significant to Wisconsin’s heritage. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Wisconsin Historical Society administers both the State Register and National Register in Wisconsin.
To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.