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Best Building

1st Place: RCU Headquarters
2nd Place: Banbury Place
3rd Place: Mabel Tainter Theater

The RCU Headquarters (200 Riverfront Ave., Eau Claire) is an outstanding building in an outstanding spot, so it’s no wonder it took first place in the debut year of this category. Sitting alongside Phoenix Park, the office building’s giant windows offer a full view of the park and the Chippewa River. Banbury Place (800 Wisconsin St., Eau Claire), easily one of the Valley’s largest building complexes, follows up in second place. With nearly 2 million square feet, the former tire plant houses scores of businesses as well as everything from self-storage units to a fitness center. It may not be our most attractive set of buildings, but it is one of the most significant. The historic 19th-century Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts (205 Main St. E., Menomonie) looks like a small castle on the outside and captures the eloquent nature of Victorian design on the inside. With a beautiful 251-seat theater, this is a building that everyone should get a chance to see. –Mike Seitz

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