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Sturgeon Bay Third Avenue Historic District Tour - Part 1
Item 16 of 20

  • Current building.
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The Joseph F. Stroh Block was built in 1890 and probably constructed by the owner as he was in the construction and building business in Sturgeon Bay. At the time of its construction it housed a bakery/restaurant, a dry-goods store, and on the second story what was known as the "The Commercial Hotel," operated by Stroh. By 1898, the hotel occupied both stories and outbuildings--used as salesmen's sample rooms--were at the sides. By 1914, however, the hotel function diminished and the primary use of the building was for a series of retail establishments. Stroh was a partner, with C. Leonhardt, in the hotel, sewing machine, and construction businesses. This six-bay, two-story painted brick building is crowned with an ornately detailed cornice fabricated of cast iron. While Italianate in massing, the cornice, cast iron lintels, and cast iron "voussoirs" forming a curiously off-center Gothic arch pediment at the building’s parapet, point to the eclectiveness of the building's design and the availability of stock building parts. These details, together with a remaining original storefront (north side), show the richness of the original ornamentation which make this building significant as the best example of this late, local interpretation of the Italianate style within the District.1