‘Laura Mae’ added to National and State Register of Historic Places
For the Gazette
PORTAGE COUNTY – The owners at 1417 Main Street., Stevens Point were thrilled to receive notification from the Wisconsin Historical Society that the Prairie Style 106 year-old home that they operate their business in, was recently listed in both the National Register and State Register of Historic Places, by the Secretary of the Interior on June 7, 2021. LouAnn and Gene Schulfer purchased the historic home in 2012 to operate Schulfer & Associates, LLC Wealth Management.
“We often establish personal and long-time relationships with our clients. We wanted an office that would provide a professional yet comfortable, welcoming atmosphere,” says LouAnn Schulfer.
“I had driven past the iconic home almost daily and felt magnetized. When the building came available for us to purchase, there was no hesitation. We had already felt connected.”
To Schulfer, the home is timeless and elegant yet strong and unyielding. During the purchase process, she recalls saying to her husband Gene “I don’t feel right calling it just our new office. I can’t say ‘I am going to the office’ anymore. We have to come up with a name, something that fits – strong yet elegant, and correct to the time period of which she was built.”
Gene suggested they look deeper into the history of the home. Built in 1915, there have been many owners, and many stories. They found the second owner of the home rather fascinating and intriguing and decided to name the home “Laura Mae” for Laura Mae Corrigan, who’d purchased the home in 1917 for her parents, William and Emma Parker. Laura Mae was born near Stevens Point on January 2, 1879. She was a notable socialite in Europe and helped Americans financially stranded overseas during the war. Learn more at the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History (http://ech.cwru.edu/ech-cgi/article.pl?id=CLM). Laura Mae also gave back significantly to the community of Central Wisconsin.
The structure at 1417 Main is unique to Stevens Point in that it is one of the few examples of Prairie Style architecture in the area. Prairie Style homes usually have some of the following features: a shallow-pitched hip roof, broad overhanging eaves, strong horizontal lines, an open floor plan and bands of windows located high up on walls. The Prairie School was an architectural style originating in the Midwest, primarily in Chicago, from the late 1800’s to approximately 1920.
Few alterations have been made on the exterior, with the exception of the access ramp erected to serve the public. Surprisingly, even the stucco finish is intact. Much of the interior has also been preserved. The Arts & Crafts design in woodwork, solid baseboards & crown molding, minimalist room design, and banded windows are still in place, and a contrast to the Victorian era homes built around the same timeframe that is seen around town. The Prairie Style was intended to counter the smaller rooms and closed-in feeling of Victorians, just as the prairies of our area are more unconfined.
Schulfer & Associates are proud to be housed in a stellar representation of an architectural era founded in the prairies of the Midwest to convey strength, style and an appreciation of the lands of our local heritage.
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