Building Description Manchesters Department Store, Madison Wisconsin

The original Manchester's Department Store Building was a four-story flat-roofed structure in the style known in Madison at the time as "modern". The essential boxiness of the structure is relieved by its elegant proportions and by the slight indentation of the central bays, which are trimmed with decorative iron spandrel panels between floors and carved limestone panels above the fourth floor windows. The cornice frieze is made up of limestone blocks carved in a repeating pattern. Each decorative panel is shallow in relief. The foliate and floral designs are symmetrical around a central axis and are fine local examples of the stylization of classical motifs popular for Art Deco ornament.

The original Manchester's Building was 78' along Mifflin Street and 125' deep along Wisconsin Avenue (Building Permit). The Mifflin Street side was five bays wide, and the Wisconsin Avenue side was divided into seven bays. The Montague Building was 54'3" wide and 125' deep (Building Permit, May 15, 1930). The 1946 rear addition was 132' wide and 73' deep (Building Permit). The Manchester's Building was four stories high, with a basement and a service penthouse. The Montague Building was two stories high with a basement, and the rear addition is three stories high with a basement and a penthouse.

The original exterior entrances each contained four wooden doors with large panes of glass and brass handle bars. The doors were replaced with glass doors ca. 1974. A metal and glass canopy hangs from chains over the Mifflin Street entrance. An identical canopy over the Wisconsin Avenue entrance was removed, probably in 1965.

All floors were essentially open display areas with square pier supports. Partitions in certain areas were relocated many times through the years. The interior underwent many remodelings through the years, including extensive modernizations in 1946 and 1974.