Original YMCA Building

629 Main St | Locally Designated 08/26/2002

Local Register of Historic Places Nomination Form
Notice of Designation of Historic Structure

Massive projecting cornice with block dentil ornament and hanging shields with stylized YMCA symbol. Massive pier formations flank the facade. Heavy belt courses divide the structure horizontally; segmental arched lower story windows with articulated voussoirs; projecting one bay, one story entrance with arched door, scroll keystone and Y.M.C.A. inscription. Addition at rear; altered windows. Designed by Parkinson and Dockendorff and dedicated during President Taft's visit in October of 1909, the YMCA Building is important architecturally to the community as a representative turn of the century social structure. Unfortunately, when it was "restored" much of the architectural character was altered. President William H. Taft dedicated the building in October 1909. 1996- "This large, four stories, brick structure with a flat roof is rectangular and features an arched, masonry entrance with a detailed keystone. The windows of the first level are equally decorative, including stout masonry work, above which is a stone belt course. A detailed cornice circles the entire structure, and projecting corner bays are adorned with sculpted masonry, including Collegiate Gothic, shield-like forms. While the masonry and cornice work are interesting, they are not particularly unique. Moreover, the entire structure contains all new window treatments, which detract from the building's historic integrity." "La Crosse North/South Transportation Corridor", g ID #5991-04-00, Prepared by Heritage Research, Ltd. (1996). The YMCA played an important role in the social history of La Crosse. The fact that President Taft dedicated the structure in 1909 when it was completed, helped to make it important. Rehabilitated for WWTC.
-(Historical notes from the Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory)