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1012 MAIN ST (AKA 1015 WISCONSIN AVE) | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
1012 MAIN ST (AKA 1015 WISCONSIN AVE) | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Henry S. Durand House
Other Name:The Masonic Center
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:11096
Location (Address):1012 MAIN ST (AKA 1015 WISCONSIN AVE)
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1856
Additions: 1922
Survey Date:1975
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Italianate
Structural System:
Wall Material:Cream Brick
Architect:Edmund B. Funston (1922 addition)
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Southside Historic District
National Register Listing Date:10/18/1977
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the State Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation.


ATTACHED TO THE EGYPTIAN REVIVAL MASONIC LODGE. THE MASONIC LODGE PURCHASED THE PROPERTY IN 1920. DURAND WAS ENGAGED IN LUMBERING, LUMBER MILLS, SHIPPING, RAILROADS, AND LAND SPECULATION. Its battered walls, winged Masonic symbol with cobras emerging from its compass points, coved cornices with lotus and papyrus motifs, and cartouche in the form of a winged scarab suggest an Egyptian temple. Long before the Egyptian Revival craze that emerged after the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922, Freemasons favored images from ancient Egypt, to which they traced the roots of their fraternal mythology. It is the work of Edmund B. Funston, a local architect and member of the temple.

"The large Italianate house at 1012 South Main was built in 1856 for Henry Durand. Durand had come to Racine in 1843 from Hartford, Connecticut. From that time until his death, he was actively involved in a wide range of business activities which included lumber mills, coal trade, shipping, banking, railroading, and city planning. He and three other bought the land and laid out the town of La Crosse, Wisconsin. In 1844 he opened an insurance company where the first policy written in Wisconsin was issued. He was believed to have had the most extensive library in the world on insurance law.

The home's fine exterior styling was equaled inside (over a period of years) by 11 fireplaces of varied design, matched Philippine mahogany woodwork, and a dome of Tiffany glass over the shower.

The house is presently used by the Masonic Temple Association as a clubhouse. It is attached to a striking Egyptian-styled temple, fronting on Wisconsin Avenue." Renewing Our Roots: A Guide To Racine, Wisconsin, Central City, Southside, Preservation-Racine, 1977.
Bibliographic References:PRESERVATION RACINE, INC. NEWSLETTER SUMMER 1994. Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript. Racine Landmarks Preservation Commission, South Side Historic District Walking Tour Guide, 1993. Renewing Our Roots: A Guide To Racine, Wisconsin, Central City, Southside, Preservation-Racine, 1977.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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