Milwaukee in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
East Wisconsin Avenue
Northwestern National Life Insurance Company was incorporated in 1869 to protect property owners and lake shippers against financial losses due to fire and marine disasters. The initial incorporators included some of the city’s leading businessmen, including Alexander Mitchell and John Plankinton.
In 1906, the company moved into 526 East Wisconsin Avenue, a graceful, beautifully detailed neo-Renaissance edifice, designed by Milwaukee master architects Ferry and Clas and ornamented with ironwork by Cyril Colnik. A four-story addition was constructed at the rear of the building in 1927, and, in 1963, the addition was completely remodeled and six floors were added. The company occupied the expanded complex until 1987.
At the other end of the block is the Milwaukee Club, Milwaukee’s oldest men’s club. Leading businessmen discussed the club in the winter of 1881. According to Club records, the Chicago firm of Burnham and Root was chosen to design the building, and Edward Townsend Mix served as supervising architect. Other
For most of the 19th century, the federal government housed only a few small agencies in Milwaukee. Rented quarters at various locations sufficed until the 1870s, when Milwaukee’s tremendous population explosion necessitated larger facilities.
A federal committee selected the site for the Federal Building after an acrimonious debate over whether to locate the facility east or west of the river. In 1891, Willoughby J. Edbrooke, Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department, arrived in Milwaukee with the plans for the new structure. The design was based on famous 19th century architect Henry Hobson Richardson’s scheme for the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh, which had been built in 1883 and was widely emulated. Similar federal buildings were erected in St. Paul, Omaha, Washington, D.C. and other cities.
By the late 1920s, the increased number of federal agencies with offices in Milwaukee required that the Federal Building be enlarged to provide additional office space. A large five-story addition was added to the rear of the main block between
Location. 43° 2.339′ N, 87° 54.263′ W. Marker is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in Milwaukee County. Marker is at the intersection of East Wisconsin Avenue and North Jackson Street, on the right when traveling west on East Wisconsin Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 526 East Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee WI 53202, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Northwestern National Insurance Company (a few steps from this marker); Federal Building - U.S. Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Historic Milwaukee (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Automatic Temperature Control System (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Historic Milwaukee (about 600 feet away); Brig. Gen. Rufus King’s Home (about 700 feet away); Matthew Keenan House (about 700 feet away); Saint John Cathedral (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Milwaukee.
Categories. • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 15, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 483 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on June 15, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.