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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 Square D Company--Industrial Controller Division
Reference Number 14000878
State WI
County Milwaukee
Town Milwaukee
Street Address 710 S. 3rd St.
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 10/22/2014
Areas of Significance INDUSTRY
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The Square D Company/Industrial Controller Division is locally significant under Criterion A for its innovations and contributions in the field of electric motor control. With the advent of utilizing electricity for power, the firm produced motor controls, pressure regulating switches, starters and other products that controlled and regulated motor speed in industrial applications. The company grew and developed during the period when other Milwaukee-based firms, namely, Cutler-Hammer and Allen- Bradley, were also leaders in the same field. Originally incorporated in May 1910 as the Independent Electric Manufacturing Company, the name of the firm was changed to the Industrial Controller Company in 1914. Industrial Controller purchased the subject building in 1925 for use as their headquarters and manufacturing plant. Four years later, the company merged with the Square D Company of Detroit and, thereafter, the Milwaukee operations were referred to as the Square D Company/Industrial Controller Division. Speaking to the significance of Industrial Controller in this merger, officers with that company assumed leadership positions in the unified entity. Francis Magin, who served as secretary-manager of the Industrial Controller Company, was made president of Square D in 1933 serving in that capacity until 1956. Magin guided the Square D Company to a leading position in the electric controls industry. At the same time, Hermon L. Van Valkenburg, chief engineer and treasurer of Industrial Controller, was promoted to a senior vice-president position within the Square D Company. Serving as head of its engineering staff, Van Valkenburg and his engineers embodied the innovation that the Square D Company/Industrial Controller Division demonstrated in their industrial field. Van Valkenburg held sixty patents during his time with the firm, many of which he developed during the occupancy of the subject building. This research and development was critical to company growth and, by the late 1970s when Square D had grown to have an international presence, the company cited that most of their 20,000 products were the result of their own design program. The period of significance is 1925-1940; the starting date representing the year the Industrial Controller Company purchased and occupied the subject building, while the ending date is the year the Square D Company/Industrial Controller Division vacated the building following construction of their new plant on North Richards Street, Milwaukee. Within this period of significance, 1929 is a significant date as it is the year the addition was constructed on the south facade.

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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