National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Downtown Historic District
Reference Number 13000686
State Wisconsin
County Walworth
Town Darien
Street Address Bounded by Wisconsin Street from West Beloit Street to Fremont Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 9/4/2013
Areas of Significance ARCHITECTURE, COMMERCE
Link to full file
The Downtown Historic District in Darien is being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places under criteria A and C. Under criterion A, the district is locally historically significant because it was the location of a long-time event, the growth and development of commerce in Darien between 1890 and 1963, a period when the small village was a thriving farmer's town and its commercial businesses, primarily located within this district, served most of the needs of area residents. The historic services provided by the businesses that were located in this district's buildings were broad, from retail goods, to professional and financial services. It was also the center of community social activities and the center of local government. The district is also being nominated for the National Register under criterion C, because, as a whole, its contributing buildings reflect a specific and significant time in the growth and development of the commercial vernacular architecture of downtown Darien. The buildings have had minimal alterations to their facades and a number retain their historic storefronts and historic period windows. The bulk of the district consists of simple commercial buildings that have few, but complementary, stylistic details, but are very cohesive in their form and massing and their construction materials and methods. This is because most of the buildings were constructed between 1909 and 1920 due, in part, to two major fires, but also because this period was the most important in the growth and development of Darien's commercial economy. The period of significance for the district is 1890 to 1963. Although Darien's downtown developed prior to 1890, all of the contributing buildings in the district were built after 1890 and the significant activities that took place in the buildings continued to have importance up to the standard 50 year closing date for historical significance.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria