Watkins Administration & Manufacturing Buildings | Built 1911-1912, and 1914 | 150 Liberty St, Winona, MN 55987

Photos above courtesy of the Winona County Historical Society

One of the largest and grandest of Maher’s designs, the National Register of Historic Places-listed Administration Building was commissioned by the founder of the J.R. Watkins Medical Company – now named the J.R. Watkins Co. – at the height of his business’s success.

The full Watkins complex consists of seven buildings, two of which were designed by Maher: The Administration Building (1911-1912), its facade stretching across one city block, and the Manufacturing Building (1914), which, at 10 stories tall with an observation penthouse and water tank house, is the complex’s tallest structure.

These commissions would prove to be valuable for Maher’s career, leading to one more commission in Winona – The Winona Savings Bank – and to Rockledge, an estate built at the foot of a rocky cliff in nearby Homer, MN, for J.R. Watkins’ daughter, Grace Watkins King, and her husband (J.R.’s successor at the Watkins Company) Ernest L. King.

While Maher’s works in Winona still stand, the same can’t be said for Rockledge – it was razed in 1987 by E.L King Jr. after decades of neglect.

J.R. Watkins

Rockledge, the estate of Grace Watkins King and Ernest L. King

Built circa 1911, demolished in 1987.

Winona Savings Bank

Built 1914-1916