Janesville Wisconsin Walking Tour
This short walking tour includes over a dozen stops throughout the heart of Janesville. This tour was made possible by the work of staff members and interns at the Rock County Historical Society.
Christ Episcopal Church was built at this location in 1861. Trinity Church was established prior to this in 1844, just west of the Rock River in 1844. The two parishes merged in 1925, becoming Trinity Episcopal Church. The new congregation decided to replace the old Christ Episcopal Church building. In 1931, that vision was completed and Trinity Episcopal Church dedicated this English Gothic Revival building.
This Greek Revival Style residence once belonged to George Barnes, who is best-known as the contractor for the Tallman House located on Jackson Street. This house, built in 1853, is notable for it's original Doric columnns which carry the small entrance portico; this is one of only two Doric porticoes to survive in Rock County.
This park was one of the very first and at the time rare commitments to open spaces in Janesville. Created around the 1830s, before the Nolen plan was implemented, the Lower Courthouse Park was taken up by the Rock County Courthouse and decreased over time from the original acres attributed to it, as space was needed for more city development in the 19th century. Between the 1830s and 1920s, only seventeen acres would be added to the park development in Janesville.
The original courthouse was built in 1842 and burned down in 1859. A second one was built in it's place in 1871.The second courthouse was demolished in 1957 after the construction of the current building.
This 1860s era factory building takes up a whole city block and was once known for producing fine horse carriages.
This Queen Anne Style building was once the London Hotel, popular to the traveling salesman or Janesville businessmen who had not yet acquired their own houses. It was first constructed in 1892 and owned by Janesville resident Fred Jones. It functioned as a hotel until sometime after the 1980s. Today the building is occupied by a tavern called the Hilltop International Pub.
The Peters Block originated as a hotel. The first two stories were constructed in 1849 and the three additional stories were added in 1855. The present facade dates to 1913 and is completed in the Arts and Crafts style.
Built by local resident Peter Myers in 1870, the Myers Theater was a key location for entertainment in Janesville. It was first constructed as an Opera House for performing troupes and local organizations to reside and entertain in.
Built in the Second-Empire style, this building has seen a lot of changes since it was first constructed in 1868.
This Andrew Carnegie funded library is built in a neo-classical style, reminiscent of many courthouses, museums, and government buildings around the turn of the century.
George Shurtleff was one of the few individuals to take advantage of Janesville`s dairy industry in the nineteenth century. In 1878, he established the Shurtleff Ice Cream Company on South Main St. and became one of the most successful candy and ice cream sellers in Southern Wisconsin.
The Merrill-Nowlan Residence is an exquisite two and a half-story house that showcases the Georgian Revival style of architecture, a common and patriotic style across the country.
Located right in front of the Rock County Courthouse, this statue memorializes all those who fought and dies during the civil war.
The Lovejoy Residence is a charming two and a half-story brick house. The first two stories of the building are composed of the crème style brick and the rest is built with multi-textured wood and shingles. This house features two porches: a wrap around porch on the first level and another porch on the second level.
The murals in downtown Janesville are part of the “Heart of the City Outdoor Art Campaign” which started in 2009. There are three murals in the original campaign that represent a decade each in the founding of Janesville. One additional mural was added to represent women during these years. Each mural resembles what made the community grow economically. The murals are 22 feet by 29 feet and are printed on UV-coated vinyl and wrapped around aluminum frames.
This house was built in 1900 and owned by Archie Reid, a Scottish well-to-do merchant, and importer of horses. The rock faced corner turret of the house is it's most prominent feature.
This is one of Janesville's more elegant examples of the Italianate style, built in 1864. Thomas Lappin, the owner, was Janesville's first merchant.