Milwaukee in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
North Plankinton Avenue
In 1887, the Gimbel family selected Milwaukee as the location for their flagship department store. They built their 30’ x 100’, four-story Gimbel’s store (they used an apostrophe then) at the site of its present building (101 West Wisconsin Avenue). Gimbel’s soon embarked on an expansion program that continued until the turn of the century and encompassed the entire block.
Know to Milwaukeeans for near 100 years as Gimbels Department Store, the building is an eight-story classicized Commercial Style building in white glazed brick and terra-cotta. Built in stages, the first part of the complex rose on Wisconsin Avenue from plans from the well-known Chicago firm of Daniel H.
The Empire Building, 116 West Wisconsin Avenue, built in 1927, is one of Milwaukee’s most visible Roaring Twenties skyscrapers. It houses the Riverside Theater, Milwaukee’s last great vaudeville show house. The principal architectural feature of the building is the theater’s interior—French Baroque in style, with marble walls and floors, gold leaf moldings, and five huge chandeliers.
The Plankinton Arcade, at 161 West Wisconsin Avenue, was originally built as a two-story shopping arcade in 1915 and was enlarged in 1925 when five floors of offices were added. The arcade was the forerunner of today’s enclosed shopping mall with one structure housing numerous independent shops focused on an interior circulation area. It originally included a basement level with a first class dining salon, a 60-table billiard hall, a 41-lane bowling alley and a Turkish bath. The terra-cotta cladding of the original first two floors has Gothic detailing, while the later upper stories are clad in terra-cotta with a Renaissance motif. It was Milwaukee’s first shopping center, providing room for nearly 130 small shops. The centerpiece of
Location. 43° 2.336′ N, 87° 54.708′ W. Marker is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in Milwaukee County. Marker is at the intersection of West Wisconsin Avenue and North Plankinton Avenue, on the right when traveling west on West Wisconsin Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 152 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee WI 53203, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wisconsin Soldiers’ Home (within shouting distance of this marker); Milwaukee's Bridge War (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Milwaukee's Miraculous Mallard (about 300 feet away); Gertie (about 400 feet away); The First House on the East Side of Milwaukee (about 500 feet away); Wisconsin's Oldest Newspaper (about 500 feet away); Nearly a Century of Planning (about 500 feet away); Architectural Gems on the Riverfront (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Milwaukee.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 8, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 497 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on August 8, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. 8. submitted on August 10, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. 9. submitted on November 16, 2014. 10. submitted on August 8, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. 11. submitted on November 16, 2014. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.