300 South Church Street · 1917-1921
The A.D. German Warehouse, Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, 300 South Church Street, NRHP 1974. Frank Lloyd Wright was born on June 8, 1867 to William Cary Wright and Anna Lloyd Jones Wright somewhere in Richland County. His exact birthplace remains a matter of dispute with seven locations being in contention. During, 1917 through 1921, some of the most tumultuous years of his life, Wright designed the German Warehouse in his home town for Albert Dell German was in the wholesale grocery business. Legend has it that Wright’s work on the warehouse was initiated as possible pay back for money owed.
The warehouse follows the design mode of this time frame exhibited in other Wright buildings such as the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan, the Larkin Building in Buffalo, New York, Midway Gardens in Chicago and the Frederick C. Bogk House in Milwaukee. The warehouse features plain brick surfaces broken by vertical slits extending from the base to the frieze. The German Warehouse 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. The building has been altered over the years with modifications of the interior to accommodate the various occupants. 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.
A group of local citizens have formed the A.D. German Warehouse Conservancy, Inc. (ADGWC) and are developing a plan to refurbish the building. Follow the ADGWC on Facebook to view the progress, become involved or donate.
A.D. German Warehouse Conservancy, Inc.
P.O. Box 436 Richland Center, WI 53581