Set on a busy corner, overlooking the Root River outlet to Lake Michigan, the five-story Shoop Building was for many years Racine’s tallest structure and one of its most visible landmarks. For this Romanesque Revival design, Chandler contrasted cream brick walls with bold red sandstone ornamentation and geometric, red brick patterning, most of it in bands around the walls. The bands are more elaborate on the upper floors, where diamond-patterned brickwork separates the third and fourth stories; lush foliated sandstone reliefs and a zigzag brick band divide the fourth and fifth; and a delicate frieze of red brick diamonds and cream brick dentils runs beneath a metal cornice. The broad-arched entrance portal, surrounded by a checkerboard pattern of smooth- and rock-faced sandstone, is framed with bands of luxuriant carving.
Shoop’s basement and first two stories went up in 1893, the top three stories in 1899. Chandler designed a two-story classical addition in 1902 for offices and a power plant, tucked into the crook of the original building’s northeast corner. Here, Corinthian columns thrust upward, cartouches crown the arched first-floor windows, and stone masks scowl from the rectangular second-story lights.
Dr. Clarendon Shoop’s Family Medicine Company concocted patent medicines. When the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 sounded the death knell for questionable remedies, this firm switched to producing toiletries.