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Yesterday in La Crosse

Some old buildings were getting attention, 15 years ago

Brad Williams



In early 2006, the city of La Crosse was ordering the demolition of a nearly century-old building next to the new Cameron Avenue bridge.  The owners of Advanced Fiber Products on Cameron argued that the walls of the building were unstable because the two-year-old bridge was built only five feet away from the structure, said to be the original site of the Trane Company.   

One of the oldest houses in La Crosse was being recognized as part of the city’s 150th birthday.  The Rublee-Washburn House, high on a hill along Ferry Street, was built in 1856, the same year that La Crosse was declared a city.  For many years, it was the home of Cadwallader Washburn, who served as an area Congressman and Wisconsin’s governor.  The house still stands today, and has been listed as an endangered building within the city.   

One “W” in WWTC was endangered.  There were complaints about the plan to shorten the name of Western Wisconsin Technical College, by dropping the word “Wisconsin.” The change eventually did happen at Western Tech, but the name game was on in 2006, yesterday in La Crosse.    

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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