West Wisconsin Avenue
Between 1880 and 1898, Milwaukee's first public library was housed on the second floor of a building on the same corner. Built by meatpacking magnate John Plankinton, the building later housed the Espenhain Department Store, which opened for business there in 1906. Like many other businesses at the time, Espenhain's was forced to close in 1932 by the Great Depression. The building had been demolished by 1935 and J.C. Penney Company occupied a new building on the site until the early 1980s.
In 1928, Walter Schroeder built Milwaukee's largest hotel as the flagship of his statewide hotel chain. The Schroeder Hotel, later called the Marc Plaza and now the Milwaukee Hilton, is a sophisticated example of the Art Deco style of architecture fashionable in the late 1920s and 1930s. The building exterior is faced with pink Minnesota granite. Bas-relief carved limestone panels embellish the corners, spandrels and cornices on its three exterior elevations. Its elegant lobby is lavishly decorated with crystal chandeliers and ornamented ceilings, walls
The Mariner Tower (now the Wisconsin Tower) was also built in 1928. Named after its builder, real estate developer John Mariner, the 22-story building was Milwaukee's tallest 1920s-era skyscraper. The Moderne-style building, with its stepped-back upper stories, features polished granite ornamental Art Decco grilles with peacocks and entrance carvings against its stark stone-sheathed exterior. The tower is wrapped in Bedford limestone, while the first two floors are clad in polished marble and ornamented with bas-relief Art Deco style metal castings. The entrance, with its handsome grilles and the marble lobby, is a fine example of Art Deco design.
Location. 43° 2.332′ N, 87° 55.076′ W. Marker is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in Milwaukee County. Marker is on West Wisconsin Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Milwaukee WI 53203, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Indian Village Site (a few steps from this marker); Carl Frederick Zeidler (approx. 0.2 miles away); Milwaukee's Last Operating Tower Clock (approx. 0.2 miles away); Straus Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Birthplace of China-Burma-India Veterans Ass'n.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on July 22, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 8, 2018, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 8, 2018, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. 6, 7, 8. submitted on July 22, 2018, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. 9. submitted on July 8, 2018, by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.