La Crosse Plow Building 1

The historic La Crosse Plow Co. building is eligible for tax credits to offset renovation costs.

La Crosse got a new historic landmark this week.

The La Crosse Plow Co. building, located at 525 N. Second St., was added to the National Register of Historic Places by the Wisconsin Historical Society Wednesday after its owners, Sandy and Kristine Cleary, applied for the designation last October.

The designation makes the two-block former factory, which was constructed in phases between 1914 and 1938, eligible for historic tax credits to offset renovation costs.

The site grew out of Albert Hirshheimer’s blacksmith operation, which produced plows, rakes and other agricultural equipment designed to be pulled by horses in 1893. Hirshheimer incorporated his business as La Crosse Plow Co. and moved to Second Street between 1909 and 1914.

The building housed the La Crosse Plow Co., which was one of the largest employers in La Crosse at one time, until 1929, when it was purchased by Allis-Chalmers Co. Now defunct, Allis-Chalmers was once one of the largest tractor and agricultural implement manufacturers in the country.

The building subsequently housed Machine Products Co., later Precision Technology Inc., which produced engine parts until it failed in 1995.

The building has been vacant since 1995 and the north section was condemned in 2013 due to a crumbling roof.

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City government reporter

Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering local government and city issues for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218.

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