Eagle River Stadium "The Dome"

Also known as: Jack O'Lantern; Eagle River Recreation Association,Inc.; The Dome; The Old Barn
4149 WI 70, Eagle River, Wisconsin

A wooden lamella design dome, one of three built in the United States and the last one extant.


Overview Looking Southwest

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in August 2013




"The Dome" as it is affectionately known around Eagle River, is a wood frame dome that covers a hockey rink and seats about 2,000 spectators. Engineer Max Hanisch conceived of the dome using a lamella design, and it was built using solid-sawn timbers interconnected in a unique honeycomb pattern. Three such domes were built in the United States, the other two have been torn down, leaving this the only one extant.

Max Hanisch went on to introduce glued laminated timber to the United States. He had learned glued laminated timber techniques in Germany. In 1934 he founded Unit Structures, Inc. in Wisconsin. The first glued laminated timber building in the United States was the gymnasium/auditorium at the Peshtigo High School in Peshtigo, Wisconsin.

There are other sports venues with wooden domes in the United States, such as the Kibble Dome in Moscow, Idaho where the Idaho Vandals play football and basketball, the Superior Dome, built in 1991 in Marquette, Michigan, home to Northern Michigan University football, and the Tacoma Dome, a multi-purpose dome that opened in 1983. None of them use the lamella design, unique to the Eagle River Stadium.

"The Dome" (also affectionately known as "The Old Barn") had only one major upgrade, in 1963-1964 when indoor plumbing and dressing rooms were added. The Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame opened here in 1983 after being named the Hockey Capital of Wisconsin in 1980.

It is home for the Northland Pines Eagles (the local high school hockey team) and a semi-pro hockey team called the Eagle River Falcons of the Great Lake Hockey League.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 24, 1994
Reference number
NR name
Eagle River Stadium
Architectural style
Modern Movement
Areas of significance
Engineering; Entertainment/Recreation
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Sport facility
Current function
Sport facility
Period of significance
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Contributing structures: 1
Non-contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • August 19, 2013: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status, Added Description and Added Photos