Milwaukee in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
West Wisconsin Avenue
Built in 1895-99, the original U-shaped structure had an open court on the north end. Subsequent additions over the next 50 years doubled the library’s size while retaining the original form and beauty of its principal historic façades.
The building, listed on local, state and national registers of historic places, is constructed of Bedford Indiana limestone. A large coffered dome rises above an entrance rotunda with an intricate mosaic floor and marble staircases.
St. James Episcopal Church, which is also listed on local, state and national registers of historic places, is said to be Milwaukee’s oldest limestone church. The English Gothic Revival structure was built in 1867-68.
A disastrous fire in 1872 left only the stone walls, spire, bells and north windows standing. The architect’s plans were used to rebuild the church in 1873-74. Of note are two signed Tiffany windows in the fourth bay off the east aisle.
The church was built on the
Alexander Mitchell, a member of the church and the building committee, is said to have donated one-third of the original construction cost. When Mitchell’s niece was married at St. James, the story goes, Mitchell had a rose-covered bridge built over Wisconsin Avenue between the church and his family mansion (now the Wisconsin Club) so guests would not soil their wedding finery in the muddy street.
St. James Court apartments was built in 1903, designed by the Ferry and Clas architects, who also designed the Central Library. The Neoclassical luxury apartments were home to many well-known Milwaukeeans, including one of the architects, Alfred C. Clas. The building is a rare example of a multi-unit residential building by a firm better know for its luxurious single family dwellings, imposing commercial blocks and grand public buildings.
Location. 43° 2.335′ N, 87° 55.335′ W. Marker is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in Milwaukee County. Marker is at the intersection of West Wisconsin Avenue and North 8th Street, on the right when traveling west on West Wisconsin Avenue. Touch for map. Located in front of Milwaukee Central Library. Marker
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Central Library (a few steps from this marker); Saint James Court (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Historic Milwaukee (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Milwaukee's Last Operating Tower Clock (about 600 feet away); MacArthur Square (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mabel Wanda Raimey (approx. 0.2 miles away); Indian Village Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Roman Catholic Church of the Gesu (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Milwaukee.
Also see . . . A history of St. James Episcopal Church. (Submitted on June 15, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.)
Categories. • Notable Buildings •
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 422 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on June 14, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.