National Register of Historic Places in Jackson County

National Register #82003727: Wilkinson-Swem Building in Medford
21 September 2006
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National Register #82003727
Wilkinson-Swem Building
217 East Main Street
Built 1895

The Wilkinson-Swem Building was one of the first brick commercial buildings built on Main Street to displace the hastily-built wooden structures which anticipated completion of the Oregon and California Railroad in 1887.

The building's bay window with curved metal roof, stylized wood trim and central window sash with colored border lights, and the elaborate, variegated chimneypiece in the upstairs parlor embody the distinctive characteristics of the Eastlake Style.

The building was designed by W. J. Bennet, whose architectural practice in Medford was short-lived but noteworthy as the earliest of record in the city. The first occupant was a butcher shop managed by English emigre Edward H. Wilkinson. In 1919, Wilkinson Meat Market was replaced by Swem's Photo Studio and Store of a Thousand Thoughtful Gifts.

The Wilkinson-Swem Building and its neighbor, the Tayler-Phipps Building of 1909, are the only buildings in this block of Main Street to have escaped the comprehensive façade remodeling prevalent in Medford after World War II.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1982.

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