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Interesting La Crosse Landmark will host WiSys SPARK Symposium welcome reception

This year, WiSys will host a “Welcome to La Crosse Reception” at the historic Pump House Regional Arts Center for attendees of the WiSys SPARK Symposium on Sunday, July 31 from 5-6:30 p.m.

In addition to being a venue for local artists and events, the Pump House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The local landmark will be an ideal location for attendees to meet up informationally with their fellow symposium-goers and enjoy light snacks and refreshments.

Here are a few interesting facts about the historic site:

  • It is over 100 years old. The structure was originally built in 1880 and served as the first City Water Works until 1914, when increased demand for water surpassed the facility’s capacity.
  • The architecture is significant. The Pump House is the only surviving example of Romanesque Revival civic architecture in La Crosse. The dark red brick two-story building is a simplified interpretation of the Romanesque style but still retains many of its original late 19th century elements. These details include a distinctive central bay with the segmental brick blind round arch over the battered entry and carved limestone date block.
  • It’s now used for the arts. The building is inhabited and maintained by the private non-profit Pump House Regional Arts Center, showcasing three art galleries, a fully functioning arts studio with a kiln and a small theater.

The WiSys SPARK Symposium, July 31-Aug. 2, is the organization’s annual celebration of the UW System’s best and brightest, It focuses on: 

  • Seeding cross-campus networking and collaboration.
  • Highlighting impactful faculty research at regional UW campuses.
  • Showcasing student research and innovative projects.

For more information about the WiSys SPARK Symposium, visit For more about the Pump House, visit

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.