About the Pump House


AboutPHThe Pump House Regional Arts Center is a non-profit organization founded in 1977.  Housed in a re-purposed municipal waterworks structure, the organization offers a wide range of visual and performing arts opportunities that utilize the venue’s theater, 3 art galleries, classroom, pottery studio, and meeting areas.  Twin vaulted wood ceilings and historic woodwork accent the remodeled interior of the fully accessible cultural center.The Pump House Regional Arts Center is home to award winning concerts, drama, exhibits, comedy, films, classes and more.   Serving as the anchor of the City of La Crosse Arts District for decades, the center is affectionately known by locals as “The Pump House.”  No admission fee is required to visit the galleries. Donations are appreciated.Funding is provided through donations, memberships and sponsorships from individuals and businesses throughout the tri-state region.  Further generous support is received from United Fund for the Arts and Humanities, Wisconsin Public Radio, and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Hours of Operation
Tuesday – Friday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday: Noon – 4:00 pm
or by appointment

The Pump House Beginnings

The original Pump House was built in 1880 by the City of La Crosse to house the first main water pump to provide the fire protection for the community. A one-story rectangular building with arched windows and doors,Original Pump House blueprint the Pump House was a brick version of Romanesque Revival architecture popular in the Midwest at that time. It had the capacity to pump 2.5 million gallons of water a day. In 1895 the building was enlarged, and a water tower was added to the front. Pumping capacity was increased to 12.5 million gallons of water a day. The Pump House was vacated in 1913 when the city moved its pumping operation to Myrick Park. In 1926 the city street department moved in, remaining until 1962. During that time doors and windows were changed, and the building’s tower was shortened. Click Here for a short video that tells a long story of how our community made the Pump House possible.

The Road to Arts Center

In 1977 Western Wisconsin Regional Arts obtained the lease to restore and remodel the Pump House for its present use as a regional arts center for the visual and performing arts, and as a meeting and working area for member organizations. In renovating thePump House renovations building WWRA has used woodwork from the old La Crosse Post Office torn down in 1977. The Pump House’s intricately-angled wooden ceiling has been preserved as a special feature of the original waterworks building.

 On July 29, 1979 the Pump House was designated an historic building and was placed on the State and National Register; in February of 1981, the city of La Crosse authorized a long-term lease with WWRA insuring that the Pump House remain a regional arts center.

The Pump House Today

In 1995, the name Pump House Regional Arts Center became the official title for the center that had seen so many changes. However, the changes did not stop there. Plans for expansion which included The Pump House todaynew bathrooms, an elevator, and a kitchen, were started and finished in 1996. In 2007, the Pump House celebrated its 30th anniversary as a regional arts center. Generous community support continues to provide funding for the many diverse programs here at the Pump House Regional Arts Center. Click Here to go to Footstep of La Crosse, an online resource and guided tour of some of the city’s most historic buildings included on the National Register of Historic Places.

Executive Director
Toni Asher

McKenzie Olson
Shelby Phillips
Ben Strand

Interns & Volunteers
Dale Montgomery, Arts Administrator
Judy Thelen, Natural Arts Garden Club

We have many docent, volunteer, and internship opportunities available at the Pump House.
Please see our Volunteer page for more information about volunteer positions.
For internship opportunities, visit Internship Opportunities.

2016-17 Board of Directors

Ryan Soberg, President

Craig Hanson, Vice President

Julie Deets, Treasurer

Kimberly Dockham, Secretary

Toni Asher, Executive Director

Lee Hafemann, Executive Committee

Bethany Brent

Robin Cosby

Anne Hlavacka

Doug Kerns

Lance Paulson

Ashley Stussy

Claudia Weinberger

Pump House Regional Arts Center, Inc.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Pump House Regional Arts Center is to:

Enhance the quality of life in the region by maintaining the Pump House as a cultural center;

and by promoting a wide range of visual and performing arts activities including

performance, participation and appreciation.

Get Involved with the Arts in your Community!

Pump House Regional Arts Center offers exciting and rewarding opportunities to be part of a creative and driven team dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the region through meaningful arts experiences.

Play a vital role; join the Pump House team today!

Employment Opportunities

No current job openings.

Volunteer & Internship Opportunities

For detailed information about Pump House Volunteer and Internship opportunities, call 608.785.1434, or email McKenzie@thepumphouse.org.

Customer Relations & General Administration
Project Manager- Mississippi Steamroll
Project Manager- Concessions Renovations
Project Manager- Events Management
Events Coordinator- Rentals & Special Events
Project Coordinator- “Giving Tuesday” Event
Art Exhibit Installation Team
Facility Maintenance & General Administration
Project Coordinator- Poster Distribution “Street Team”
Community Engagement- Poster Distribution
Project Coordinator- Concessions Renovations
Project Coordinator- Clay Studio Renovations
Project Coordinator- Theater Renovations

Arts Education Opportunities

Clay Studio Manager
Instructor- Paint & Pour Workshops
Instructor- Girl Scouts Art Studio
Instructor- Pump House Drawing Workshops
Instructor- Pump House Clay Workshops

Dayton Theater – Seating for 140, Steinway piano
Kader Gallery
 – 1600 sq. ft.; hardwood floors;
Front Gallery 
– Features a black exhibition wall and vaulted ceiling
Balcony Gallery – Overlooks the Front Gallery; historic artisan railing

Pump House Gallery Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 11 am-7 pm and Saturday, noon-4 pm.
*Please note the gallery hours are subject to change due to classes, receptions, tours, and any other events held within. Please call for availability: 608.785.1434.

Art Room & Clay Studio – Pottery wheels and kiln; creative space
Conference Room – Meeting, classroom and rehearsal space for up to 20 people; upright piano
Accessibility – The Pump House is a fully accessible venue.
Assisted Listening – Devices available with advance reservation.
Rest Rooms – Located on the main floor, either side of the black wall in the Front Gallery.
Parking – Surface lot west of building, parking ramps north and east of building, street parking
Dates – All dates and events are subject to change.  For information on any event, call 608.785.1434.

Tickets & Box Office Information

Orders: General Public tickets may be ordered online in the Pump House Storeby phone: 608.785.1434, or in person: 119 King Street, La Crosse.

Discounts: Member ticket discounts apply to Pump House productions, and are determined by your membership level. Pump House member tickets are available by phone, and in person -we want to meet and talk to all of our members!

Day of Show Tickets: Day of Show tickets, if available, may be purchased in person or by phone. (Pre-purchase is always recommended.)

Pick-up: Pick up your tickets at the front desk before the performance. (Tickets will not be mailed.)

Times to Note: The box office opens one hour before each performance. The theater opens for seating 30 minutes before each performance.

Sales Tax: 5.5% sales tax is added to all ticket sales.

No refunds: Tickets may be switched for a fee of $5 per ticket (waived for Pump House members). Switching must be done at least 1 day prior to performance. Switching does not apply to one day shows.

Seating: Seating is General Admission. Reserved seating is available upon request for Pump House members at the Director level and above.

Beverages: A cash bar is available before performances, and at intermission. Beverages are welcome in the theater.

Cameras: Video and/or audio recording is prohibited during all performances. The use of cameras, including those on cell phones, is not permitted.

We are located in the heart of Historic Downtown La Crosse:119 King Street La Crosse, WI 54601Operating Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 11 am – 7 pm Saturday: Noon – 4:00pm And By Appointment


Join Our Email List!

Contact Information:
Phone: 608.785.1434
Email: Contact@thePumpHouse.org

The Pump House Regional Arts Center would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the following sponsors for their generosity in supporting our mission and the arts in La Crosse.

ufah-umbrella WPRlogo_color wiartsboard
SBFinancial mwfbg-logo altra_logo
XcelEnergyLogo culligan-logo Channel 8
Channel 8

Richard Record

We would like to thank the following individuals for lending us their talent for photos for our website: