Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Milwaukee in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Historic Milwaukee

West Wisconsin Avenue

 
 
Historic Milwaukee Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 8, 2012
1. Historic Milwaukee Marker
Inscription. In the mid 1800s, many well-known Milwaukeeans built mansions along what is now Wisconsin Avenue. The first, and one of the few remaining, was built by Alexander Mitchell in 1848. Mitchell (1817-1887), reputedly 19th century Wisconsin’s richest man, made his fortune in banking, insurance and railroads. His son, John, was a U.S. Congressman and Senator, and his grandson was the famous aviator Billy Mitchell. In 1898, what is now the Wisconsin Club purchased the property from the Mitchell estate.

The Mitchell mansion was originally built as a modest brick house. During the 1870s Edward Townsend Mix, the city’s leading architect, transformed the Italianate residence into a French Second Empire mansion. Constructed of cream city brick, the remodeling added a third story with a straight mansard roof and a four-story tower. A gazebo, fountain and horticultural conservatory were also added.

Before a 60-foot bluff at 8th street was cut down, the upper and lower streets that became Wisconsin Avenue were laid out with no thought of connecting. When the street improvement finally came, the two sections did not match up. The land in the center became what we know today as the Court of Honor. Four sculptural monuments adorn the landscaped area.

Civil War Monument (1898) called The Victorious Charge: This bronze group
Historic Milwaukee Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 8, 2012
2. Historic Milwaukee Marker
Reverse side with area map
of four soldiers, cast in Rome, is dedicated to “those who fought in the War for the Union.” When a local art patron failed to raise the needed funds for the monument, Captain Frederick Pabst paid the balance.

Carnival Column with Sphere (1900): This 65-foot Corinthian column with a sphere on top commemorates the week-long carnival held in Milwaukee during the administration of Mayor David Rose. The eagle pictured atop the sphere was identical to those above the public library entrance.

Memorial to Spanish-American War Veterans (1932): This monument was commissioned by veterans of the Spanish-American War as a tribute to their comrades.

George Washington Statue (1885): This bronze statue of Washington is said to be the first west of New York and is probably Milwaukee’s oldest public monument. The first sculpture placed in the Court of Honor, it was donated by Elizabeth Plankinton, daughter of Milwaukee meat packer John Plankinton.

Calvary Presbyterian church (completed in 1872), a fine example of Victorian Gothic architecture listed on state and national historic registers, was designed by master Milwaukee architect Henry C. Koch and Julius Hess. Built of cream city brick (now painted red), the size and opulence of the structure was a testament to the affluence of the congregation, which was drawn from the city’s Yankee elite.
Close up of upper left photo image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 8, 2012
3. Close up of upper left photo
The Alexander Mitchell mansion, after the 1870s remodeling by architect Edward Townsend Mix. It was notable not just for its architecture, but also for its grounds and horticultural conservatory.

 
Location. 43° 2.314′ N, 87° 55.403′ W. Marker is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in Milwaukee County. Marker is at the intersection of West Wisconsin Avenue and North 10th Street, on the right when traveling east on West Wisconsin Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 915 West Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee WI 53233, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Saint James Court (within shouting distance of this marker); Central Library (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Historic Milwaukee (about 300 feet away); Mabel Wanda Raimey (about 700 feet away); Milwaukee's Last Operating Tower Clock (approx. 0.2 miles away); Roman Catholic Church of the Gesu (approx. 0.2 miles away); MacArthur Square (approx. 0.2 miles away); Indian Village Site (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Milwaukee.
 
Also see . . .  History of the Mitchell mansion and the Wisconsin Club. (Submitted on June 15, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.)
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Upper right photo image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 8, 2012
4. Upper right photo
Court of Honor
Close up of lower right photos: image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 8, 2012
5. Close up of lower right photos:
Upper Photo: This image from the late 19th century combines photography and illustration and shows Wisconsin Avenue, looking east from 10th Street, with Calvary Presbyterian Church in the foreground. Lower Photo: Looking west at the south side of Wisconsin Avenue (then Grand Avenue) from 8th Street in the early 20th century, showing the Court of Honor and the spires of St. James Episcopal church, Calvary Presbyterian Church and the Roman Catholic Church of the Gesu.
Historic Milwaukee Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 12, 2012
6. Historic Milwaukee Marker
looking west along Wisconsin Avenue
The Wisconsin Club image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 8, 2012
7. The Wisconsin Club
formerly Alexander Mitchell Mansion
Court of Honor image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 12, 2012
8. Court of Honor
looking west along Wisconsin Avenue
George Washington Statue image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 8, 2012
9. George Washington Statue
Spanish American War Statue image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 8, 2012
10. Spanish American War Statue
Carnival Column with Sphere image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 8, 2012
11. Carnival Column with Sphere
Eagle is missing
Civil War Statue image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 8, 2012
12. Civil War Statue
<i>Court of Honor, W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wis.</i> image. Click for full size.
By E.C.Kropp, circa 1930
13. Court of Honor, W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wis.
Looking west along West Wisconsin Avenue. The Washington Statue stands prominently in the foreground, with the Carnival Column (with eagle) visible further back. The prominent red spire on the left belongs to the Calvary Presbyterian Church, while the Roman Catholic Church of the Gesu is visible further back. The decorative eagle in the foreground indicates that this photo was taken from the roof of the central library.
Calvary Presbyterian Church image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, June 8, 2012
14. Calvary Presbyterian Church
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 14, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 435 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on June 14, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.   13. submitted on November 16, 2014.   14. submitted on June 14, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement