Contact: Kara O’Keeffe
Richland Center, Wis. – The Wisconsin Historical Society placed the A.D. German Wholesale Company and Warehouse in Richland Center, Richland County on the State Register of Historic Places on February 15, 2019.
The property comprising the A.D. German Wholesale Company and Warehouse consists of two buildings: the 1912 2-story Wholesale Company building and the 1921 4-story warehouse designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The 4-story warehouse was listed in the National Register in 1974 but the nomination excludes any mention of the 2-story warehouse next door. Since that time, a greater understanding of the significance of the larger property has developed. While the four-story warehouse is recognizable for its scale and unique style, the context for how it came to be constructed is inextricably tied to the earlier, associated warehouse next door. The updated nomination explains the important role the A.D. German Company had in Richland Center and describes the company’s growth and need for the large second warehouse building.
A.D. German was a produce wholesaler and participated in the feed business, contributing to the local and regional agricultural economy which depended on wholesalers to purchase and store various farm products until they could be transferred by train to outlying markets for sale. Wholesaling was an important commercial sector of Richland Center and while German’s company wasn’t necessarily the biggest (some resources indicate his was the second largest in the region during this time of growth and prosperity), his company’s growth necessitated the expansion of warehouse space, the building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed in 1921. The two buildings that make up the A.D. German Wholesale Company and Warehouse are eligible for the National Register, significant for their association with Richland Center’s important wholesale trade.
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.