The Janesville Woman’s Club beat out 20 sites across the country to win $80,000 in a National Historic Preservation Trust contest.
The Janesville club was the top vote-getter in the Vote Your Main Street contest.
From Sept. 24 to Oct. 29, the woman’s club received 124,000 votes, said Ann Roe, president of the building’s nonprofit preservation foundation.
The club edged out the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah, Georgia, a national Girl Scouts organization landmark, for first place.
More than 1 million votes were cast in the competition, Roe said.
The money will be used to fix the building’s leaky basement, do tuck pointing, fix the iconic balustrade, replace the commercial dishwasher and address climate needs for the second floor art gallery, Roe said.
Projects could begin as soon as this week, but the order of completion will depend on weather, Roe said.
All projects have to completed within two years, Roe said.
Winning would not have been possible without community partners, Roe said.
“I knew to never underestimate Janesville,” Roe said. “... the support we received humbled us and made us grateful.”
Since 1928, the building at 102 S. Jackson St. has been home to the Janesville Woman’s Club, American Association of University Women, Janesville Art League, Daughters of the American Revolution and MacDowell Music Club.
It was the only location chosen in Wisconsin for the contest. Other cities with projects include Denver, Miami, Austin and Los Angeles.
The Woman’s Club applied for the contest in spring because members believed the building’s mission fits the contest’s theme: 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment—Celebrating the Contribution of Women.