Around the turn of the twentieth century, reformers in Wisconsin led the movement for honest, efficient, and businesslike government. This Progressive Era movement also left a distinctive mark on America’s urban landscape in the form of “City Beautiful” design, which favored Beaux-Arts classicism, associated with rationality, democracy, and civic virtue since the age of Thomas Jefferson. Constructed of Indiana limestone, this three-story courthouse rests on a raised foundation of red sandstone. Strong horizontal rustication defines the basement and the ground floor. Arched entrances mark each of three principal elevations, where a monumental two-story Ionic colonnade, supported by oversized console brackets, fronts a loggia. The columns support a simple entablature, crowned by a paneled parapet. A tall copper dome terminates with a small lantern. Tegen, a locally prominent architect, studied at the Polytechnic School in his native city of Hamburg, Germany. He later designed the Oneida County Courthouse (ON2) in Rhinelander, which is similar to this gem in Manitowoc.
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Manitowoc County Courthouse
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