From soaring, imposing courthouses to medieval-style churches in the woods, the architecture of Wisconsin not only shows our roots and influences, but tells the history of our state and the people who came and settled here. Across the state you’ll find some gorgeous, unique and amazing buildings to explore, photograph and enjoy.
1. Stavkirke - Washington Island
This replica of a Scandinavian-style medieval church is owned by Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church and is used mostly for ceremonial purposes.
Located on Town Line Rd, Washington, WI 54246.
2. Cana Island Lighthouse - Baileys Harbor.
Still in active use, this lighthouse was built in 1870 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Located just off Bailey's Harbor on Door County at 8800 E Cana Island Rd, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202.
3. Pabst Theater - Milwaukee
Frederick Pabst bought an opera house on this site in 1890. Two subsequent fires destroyed that building and the current one was erected in 1895. It is done in the German Renaissance Revival style and was one of the most fireproof buildings of its day. It's done in the style of German opera houses, giving it great acoustics. There's a hydraulic orchestra pit and a 2-ton Austrian crystal chandelier. Located at 144 E Wells St, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
4. Columbus City Hall
Opened in 1892, this was a true mutli-use building, housing the jail, the police department, the fire department, the library and a public auditorium that sometimes doubled as a movie theater. Located at 105 N Dickason Blvd, Columbus, WI 53925.
5. Lincoln County Courthouse - Merrill
Built in 1903, this Beaux-Arts style building sits on near the Wisconsin River north of Wausau. It's a beautiful, imposing building. Located at 1110 E Main St, Merrill, WI 54452
6. Farmers and Merchant Union Bank - Columbus
Designed by architect Louis Sullivan, the father of skyscrapers, this small-town bank is one of just eight "jewel box" styles buildings he designed. Located at 159 James Street, Columbus, WI 53925
7. First Unitarian Society Meeting House - Shorewood Hills
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, this is one of the largest Unitarian Universalist congregations in the world. Wright's parents were founders of this church and he was a member.
Located at 900 University Bay Dr, Madison, WI 53705.
8. Grant County Courthouse - Lancaster
This classic revival style building is from 1902 and has a gorgeous copper and glass dome. Located at 130 W Maple St, Lancaster, WI 53813.
9. Joan of Arc Chapel - Milwaukee
Thought to be originally built in France in the 15th century, this chapel was move to New York in the early 1900's and then to Marquette's campus in 1964.
It is situated on the south side of Marquette's campus, west of the Raynor Memorial Libraries. Parking for St. Joan of Arc Chapel is available in the 16th Street Parking Structure.
10. Stoughton City Hall and Opera House - Stoughton
My guess is there aren't too many other places in the world where you can find City Hall on the first floor and an Opera House on the second. This building from 1901 is beautiful on the outside, but the true gorgeousness is in the opera hall inside. Located at 381 E Main St, Stoughton, WI 53589.
11. Bray's Point (Rockwell) Lighthouse - Oshkosh
This gorgeous lighthouse is unusual in that it was privately built in 1910. A state senator, George Bray, owned the land and built the lighthouse to mark the entrance to the Fox River. Located on Bay Shore Dr, Oshkosh, WI 54901.
12. Mabel Tainters Center for the Performing Arts - Menomonie
This place has an imposing stone exterior, but it's the performance hall inside that you'll want to take a look at. Make sure you check out the original Steere and Turner pipe organ, with a total of 1597 pipes and 28 stops. This homage to the daughter of a lumber baron who died at 19 is a truly gorgeous piece of architecture. Located at 205 Main St E, Menomonie, WI 54751.
13. Mecikalski Stovewood Building - Pelican Lake
Built in 1899, this National Historical Site is the only known commercial example utilizing the stovewood building method in the United States. It's considered a type of folk art and is singularly American in style. Located at 465 Max Rd, Pelican Lake, WI 54463.
14. Basilica of St. Josaphat- Milwaukee
One of 62 minor basilicas found in the US, it's modeled after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and has one of the largest copper domes in the world. The inside is ornate and opulent and the style has come to be known as Polish Cathedral. Finished in 1901, it features stained glass from Austria. Located at 2333 S 6th St, Milwaukee, WI 53215.
15. Dell's Mill - Augusta
Built in 1864 as a grist mill, it became a social spot of sorts where farmers gathered waiting for their grinding to be done. First it was a wheat mill, but it later adapted to become a flour and feed mill and operated continuously until 1968. Located at E18855 County Road V, Augusta, WI 54722.
16. Oneida County Courthouse - Rhinelander
The highlight here is the Tiffany glass dome, though the big imposing building from 1908 has plenty to see. There are actually two domes towering 50 feet above the first floor. More than 2,000 panes of glass make up the dome. Located at 1 S Oneida Ave, Rhinelander, WI 54501
17. Black Point Estate - Lake Geneva
One of the oldest mansions on the shores of Lake Geneva, this beauty was built in 1888 in the Queen Anne style. Now accessible via boat tours, the 13-room estate tells the story of the opulence of summering in Lake Geneva.
Located at W4270 Southland Rd, Lake Geneva, WI 53147.
18. House on the Rock - Spring Green
This opulent, over-the-top house outside of Spring Green isn't always easy to describe, but it certainly is one of the most unique pieces of architecture in all of Wisconsin.
Located at 5754 State Road 23, Spring Green, WI 53588.
Where else did we miss? What architectural gems do you love to check out? Let us know in the comments!