Strong Building (1929)

© Photographed July 20, 2015
Beloit, Rock County, Wisconsin

The Strong Building is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of East Grand Avenue and State Street, at or near 400 East Grand Avenue, Rock County, Beloit 53511.

Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory
400, 404, 408 East Grand Avenue, Rock County, Beloit
Historic Name: Strong Building
Reference Number: 80951

Year Built: 1929
Architectural Style: Art Deco
Wall Material: Terra Cotta
Architect:Samuel Oman and Samuel Lillienthal
National/State Register Listing Name: Strong Building
National Register Listing Date: 1983-01-07
State Register Listing Date: 1989-01-01
Additional Information:
The most distinctive Art Deco building in the city, the four story Strong Building, built in 1929 by Chicago architects Oman and Lillienthal, is characterized by a glazed terra cotta facde, reeded piers and recessed spandrels, and dramatic (and colorful) Art Deco ornament, including the remarkable floral motif at the frieze. Faced with light green terra cotta panels on the upper stories, and darker brown panels on the ground story, the Strong Building wraps around the intersection of State and Grand with a curved corner. Fifteen piers, most ornamented with reeding, race uninterrupted to the frieze where they are crowned with large, stylized white and yellow daisies imposed on a dark green background. Recessed from the piers, the spandrels are ornamented with incised and applied Art Deco ornament in a variety of geometric and floriated patterns. The first story facade is punctuated with large plate glass display windows, surmounted by transoms, and two entries including one on the north facade which features a large Art Deco surround. Except for some alterations to the store fronts on the easternmost bays of the north facade, the exterior of the Strong Building remains in original condition. Inside, however, extensive remodeling over the years has divided the space into small offices and retail space and has taken a toll on the original Art Deco features. Surveys of Rock County (beginning with a county-wide reconnaissance survey in 1975, and updated through intensive surveys of Beloit (1980-81) and Janesvile (1981-82), have clearly revealed that the Strong Building is the most significant Art Deco structure in Beloit and one of two excellent examples of teh style in Rock County. (The Monterrey Hotel in Janesville is the only comparable Rock County structure). The stylized and colorful ornament, the terra cotta sheathing and the reeded piers create a "modernistic" landmark in the center of the city. Chicago architects Samuel Oman and Samuel Lillienthal began their practice in 1922 and have been credited with the designs of the St. Clair and Eastgate hotels in Chicago as well as the Marine Drive apartments in that city. Built in 1930 by F.M. Strong, the building has served as retail and office space since its construction.
The foregoing text used with permission of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Wisconsin.

The Strong Building is located in Beloit, Wisconsin.

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