LPL Archives' Hidden Treasures: Teaser Trailer for Footsteps

Posted by Jenny on April 24, 2019

(written by Jenny DeRocher, Archives staff)

In this new Hidden Treasures video, follow La Crosse Public Library Archives staff member Jenny as she discusses how the Hoeschler House, at 117 Losey Blvd. relates to the historic downtown shopping district on 5th Ave. The Hoeschler House can be found on the Crowley Addition/Edgewood Place Footsteps tour, which will be on Tuesday, May 28. Each Footsteps tour is free and open to the public. To register for the May Footsteps tours, go to 


The La Crosse Public Library Archives has local newspaper clippings following Frank Hoeschler’s campaign to fill in the Marsh. Today, we can understand the very real environmental and social impact that this plan would have had on wildlife, flooding, gentrification, and environmental racism. However, at the time, Hoeschler envisioned it as a way to connect the North and South sides of La Crosse.


A La Crosse Tribune article from July 3, 1938 shows Hoeschler's entire plan for the 1,777 land lots.



As mentioned in the video, the Hoeschler House originally included a metal fence, which enhanced the International Style architectural status. This photograph was taken by Architectural Historian Dr. Les Crocker.


Though it isn’t evident now, 5th Avenue was a center in La Crosse’s shopping district for many years before the Valley View Mall was finished in 1980. These photographs show exactly how Hoeschler’s vision for 5th Avenue came to fruition after his buildings were completed:


An undated photograph (likely circa 1940s-1950s) of 5th Avenue from the corner of 5th and King. You can see Sears, Grants, and the Hollywood Theater sign.



A photo from 1941 of the Exchange Building at 201-205 5th Ave. You can see the Hoeschler bull on the elevator shaft.


These 5th Avenue buildings will all be featured on the Downtown Footsteps tour this September.

You can also contact the Archives by phone at (608) 789-7136 or by email at for more information on the blog or help registering for a tour.