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Take an inside look at the restoration of a historic downtown Janesville building


JANESVILLE, Wis. – A major restoration project near downtown Janesville is continuing to take shape.

Formerly known as the Chase Bank location on Milwaukee Street, crews have unearthed the former First National Bank building. To some, it’s been a stark transformation.

“I had someone ask me if I had got this building somewhere else, picked it up and put it on the lot,” said Blackhawk Community Credit Union CEO Sherri Stumpf. “They couldn’t believe that it was actually underneath what the old facade was.”

Stumpf said the site, which will eventually be home to the BCCU Legacy Center, has been a pleasant surprise.

“It’s been really exciting,” she said. “We really thought it was going to take a whole lot longer to uncover the beauty of this building, but incredibly, it went very quickly.”

Inside, crews have uncovered the building’s original high, arched ceilings. Outside the building, the original brick is still in tact.

“It’s been really incredible,” Stumpf said.

When the legacy center is complete, it will be home to memorabilia and artifacts from Janesville’s General Motors plant. Stumpf said work could finish in 2021.

In addition, Stumpf is hopeful a portion of the building could be rented conference space, and another portion used for an urban market.

“People from everywhere have talked to me about how much this is going to help the city in their arise strategy and bringing people back downtown,” Stumpf said.