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Eager Free Public Library

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1908, Claude and Starck. 39 W. Main St.

This library was probably the first of a series of Prairie Style libraries designed by Claude and Starck, Wisconsin’s premier architects of small-town libraries, and is surely one of the most attractive libraries in the state. A hipped roof clad with red clay tiles shelters the one-story red brick rectangular building. This low-pitched roof, the wide frieze below the deep eaves, and the ribbons of windows punctuating the frieze at the sides express the horizontality characteristic of the style. The library’s most distinctive feature is the lavish terra-cotta frieze with shields, beads, and leaves, which recalls the elaborate organic motifs for which Louis Sullivan—Claude’s former employer—was famous. The Chicago Architectural Decorating Company cast the terra-cotta. Intersecting the frieze are two bay windows, which are supported on console brackets and have stained glass in their upper panes. The library is named for Almeron Eager, a prominent local industrialist who bequeathed the funds to build it.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Eager Free Public Library", [Evansville, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 422-423.

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