Historic Structures

Building Description Beck Building - Redding's Restaurant, Jefferson Wisconsin

The Beck Building exhibits a commercial version of the Queen Anne architectural.style. The Queen Anne style was popular in Wisconsin from 1880 to 1910 and was prominently used for commercial buildings statewide as well as in Jefferson's Main Street Historic District. Also popular for residential buildings, the Queen Anne style is often defined by corner turrets, bay windows, and period decorative details. The Beck Building displays bay windows and period details, and is comparable in stylistic detail to prominent examples of the style in the historic district, such as the commercial building at 105 South Main Street and the J .A. Fisher Building at 109-111 North Main Street. In terms of integrity, a large number of buildings within the Main Street Historic District display modern storefronts and other alterations, but largely retain their upper-story architectural features. The Beck Building also retains a high level of integrity from its second-story architectural features.

The building occupied nearly the entire lot of 140 feet x 60 feet and was two stories in height with a full-size cellar.

A cellar with 12-foot ceilings underneath the building has roughly the same dimensions as the building. A wood-framed coal shed was extant within the cellar. The entire cellar was used for storage.

The first floor of the Beck Building was devoted to the restaurant. A long formica counter with stainless steel stools consumed the center and northwest corner of the dining area. Behind the counter, aligned along the north wall, was equipment such as a milk machine, soda fountain, large refrigerator, mixers and shelving. At the front of the restaurant, a portion of the north wall was lined with booth seats and tables with chairs. Similar furniture was also aligned on the south wall. First-floor bathrooms were located on the south wall. The west end of the first floor was the kitchen and was separated from the dining area by a wall that contained an arched entryway and a kitchen counter. The kitchen contained restaurant equipment such as a cooking grill, stove, ovens, refrigerators, freezers, sink, tables, shelves, and counters.

The second floor contained the living space of the Beck Building. The L-shaped living room was the largest in the apartment, consuming the easternmost third of the second floor. Moving west, toward the back of the building, the next rooms along the north wall were the bathroom, dining room, kitchen, and rear porch. The center of the second floor contained three bedrooms. The two smaller bedrooms were in the center of the floor, each accessed by three doors. The larger bedroom was in the rear, only accessible from the kitchen.