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Local businessmen donate historical blueprints to university archives

June 27, 2012
 Blueprint Collection
Hoeppner Building Corp. blueprints are currently in the Special Collections and Archives department's processing room, where they will eventually be identified, tagged and placed in the archive's climate-controlled storage area.
EAU CLAIRE — A collection of construction documents found in a building previously owned by Hoeppner-Bartlett Construction Co. (later Hoeppner Building Corp.) was recently donated to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation and will become part of the university library's archives.

The gift of documents was made by Matt Moss and Ken Landis of K&M Landscaping, 631 E. Madison St., Eau Claire. The business owners came into possession of the collection when their company moved to their current building in 2006. That same building had been occupied by Hoeppner Building Corp. since 1923.

The documents include 420 blueprints, 178 account ledgers and three boxes containing unsorted correspondence. Among the collection's original blueprints are those for UW-Eau Claire's Schofield Hall (1914), W.R. Davies University Center (1957), music building (1954), classroom buildings (1947) and two residence halls. Also included are blueprints for the Eau Claire YMCA, Eau Claire County municipal building, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Chippewa County Courthouse, National Presto Industries, Uniroyal Inc. and other area buildings.

Landis said he and Moss found an entire roomful of documents left behind by Hoeppner Building Corp.

 Blueprint Collection
Blueprints for the State Normal School at Eau Claire (now UW-Eau Claire) illustrate the original configuration of Schofield Hall.
"We started going through the documents and found it overwhelming," Landis said. "We discarded anything dated after 1960 and still ended up filling a dumpster."

Landis said there was nothing in the collection of papers that was of use to their business, so he contacted a number of people and organizations to see if anyone was interested in taking possession of it. UW-Eau Claire was.

"Beyond its relevance to the university, the collection contains blueprints and other pieces of information about several local and regional landmarks," said Greg Kocken, head of McIntyre Library's Special Collections and Archives department. "While the blueprints alone are a wonderful addition to the university archives, the additional information in the ledgers — job expenses, payroll information — provide scholars, historians and other researchers with a more intimate and detailed look into the company's history and its impact on our area."

Once library staff finish organizing, preserving and describing the collection, it will be made available to the university community as well as the general public.

More information about the collection is available from Kocken at kockeng@uwec.edu or 715-836-3873.

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